The Simpler Days of Law School?

 In Practicing Law and Life, Repurposing Legal Terms

You know you have hit a new level of complexity in life when you look back with fondness at the simplicity of law school. I was single, no children, rented a room in an apartment, no car payment and everything that I owned fit into a 4 x 8 U-haul trailer. My primary mission was getting the best grades I could. Granted I was so stressed out that I stacked my text books by my bed to assure myself that my anxious dreams about phantom classes were not real.

As years went on life has became more complex. This is not a complaint, but a simple statement of fact. Even though I have more to juggle, I would not trade my present life for that of law school. But with everything that I have to do, it’s all too easy to put aside my life’s core purposes for another day. It seemed as though my growth as an attorney was separate from my growth as a person.

15 years ago I figured out that this thought process was wrong. So, I quietly started the business of integrating my legal life into my personal and spiritual quest for growth. It didn’t mean giving different advice to clients or trying to change co-workers. It was a recognition of the moment by moment effect that this decision had on the purposes of work for me.

Once this process started, I was surprised by the subtle shifts in what became visible to me. Though my work continues to primarily be one of problem solver, it is now in context of serving my core purposes in life. It makes me a better attorney for my clients and a better person for those who work around me.

What are your core or spiritual purposes in life? How can you integrate work into advancing those purposes?

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  • Avatar
    Steve McCarthy
    Reply

    “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on” Winston Churchill.

  • Avatar
    Jason Posner
    Reply

    Jim,

    I look forward to reading your posts and website materials.

  • Avatar
    Ronn Elzinga
    Reply

    Jim, your questions are excellent. I look forward to reading, thinking about, and responding to your posts.

    • Avatar
      Jim Dwyer
      Reply

      Thank you Ron. I’m looking forward to the process as well.

  • Avatar
    brady mertz
    Reply

    Interesting site. Let’s see where it goes.

  • Avatar
    Cindy Danforth
    Reply

    I look forward to reading more about how we can combine spirituality and personal growth with the challenges of practicing law. Always a tough balancing act for me. Thanks for hosting the conversation!

  • Avatar
    Conrad E Yunker
    Reply

    “* * * when you look back with fondness at the simplicity of law school.” Wow — truer words. Looks like an interesting project, Jim.

  • Avatar
    Michael Kesten
    Reply

    Way to go, Jim. Glad to see your project is up and running. I look forward to hearing and reading more….and following along.

  • Avatar
    Quinn Posner
    Reply

    Looking forward to future posts!

  • Avatar
    Scott Kocher
    Reply

    For me, and others I think, these goals are hardest to achieve during trial, and at the other busiest times.

    • Avatar
      Jim Dwyer
      Reply

      I could not agree more Scott. Just like meditating, working out or whatever helps us stay centered, it is when we are the busiest or stressed the most that we need to keep our center. It allows our efforts to rise to a higher level. What do others think with this?

  • Avatar
    Paul Vames
    Reply

    Jim – I like the book “Thou Shall Prosper” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. It’s an essay on how our work is in reality service. If we treat it that way, it will sustain us.

    • Avatar
      Jim Dwyer
      Reply

      Thank you Paul, I will check his book out. I find that the more I infuse who I am into what I do, the more fulfilling I find my life.

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