Power is at the core of being an attorney. I’m constantly analyzing how much power each side has in any given exchange. I want more. I can never really have too much. I want to be the smartest in how I use the facts, statutes or case law to win for my client – that’s what I’m paid to do. Have you ever had too much power going in to a mediation, arbitration or trial?
Giving up power is anathema to being a lawyer.
Yet I do it all the time.
When it comes to advocating for living my best life in relation to the practice of law, I lay down my sword and shield. If I saw an attorney on the other side do that, I would wonder what the hell was wrong with them.
What is more important – the practice of law or living your best life?
Of course we need to make a living to pay the bills, take care of the people we love and live a good life. But if you were forced to make a choice literally between the two, which would you decide?
I would love to tell you that I would not pick being a lawyer. But if the past is an indicator of future behavior, I’m not so sure.
It’s hard to separate my identity from my work.
It’s not easy to go against the grain that legal culture and mythology tells me being a lawyer is all about. But if I don’t, I’ve tossed my sword and shield to the ground.
I have no desire for my proudest accomplishments to be what I’ve done as a lawyer. I want it to be how I lived my truest life and helped the ones I love do the same.
Being a lawyer fits into my life, not the other way around.
How do you maintain living your truest life power while practicing law? Have you ever found yourself surrendering your power and what did you do to get it back?