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The Real World: Life after Law School

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First of all, if you step into that marble foyer for the first time and realize that you would rather be anywhere but there, you should be. The practice of law is for people who truly want to be lawyers. Those who don't have their hearts in it will have a very difficult road ahead of them. However, if the smell of all those legal pads really gets you going, don't lose track of that passion. It will get you through what just might be the toughest 12 months of your life.

Many fresh-faced new lawyers go into their first year on the job with visions of perfection dancing in their heads. They plan to draft perfect briefs and advance perfect ideas while wearing perfectly ironed shirts and smiling perfectly bright smiles. They are usually disappointed.

When it comes to doing the grunt work that first-years are sure to do, it's usually easier to focus more on getting the job done right rather than getting it done perfectly. There won't be anyone grading your papers, making sure you've done everything properly. There will, however, be a real, live client paying good money for you to make sure that what he/she wants gets done.

In short, you should try to have a broader perspective when it comes to first-year work. Focus on the overall goal of accomplishing a task, and don't get bogged down in the miniscule details.

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