Think of a lawyer.
What did your mind’s eye picture? Depending on who you are (lawyer v. non-lawyer) the image may change (it may not). I am a lawyer, and when I did this little exercise my mind immediately flashed to a woman in a gray business suit, wearing black Gucci-style glasses (serious frames) holding an iPad. She has a look on her face like she’s ready to kick some serious assets and is not someone you want to end up on the wrong side of the deal against.
Now that’s just me doing this little exercise. You might picture someone completely different, but I would bet it’s safe to say that your archetype for a lawyer involves many of the same qualities I have depicted such as all business, someone who works long hours, and is competitive to a fault. While some of these points are inherent to the job and possessed by many in the legal profession, who we are as professionals has been colored and shaped by our life experiences. The way we handle things in the day-to-day may vary depending on personality, and developing who you are outside of the office plays a key role in who you will be in the office. This subject is exactly what we will discuss in our last theme of 2010: Life Outside the Law (visit our event page for additional info).
Starting today, December 13 running until December 22, we will focus on the important things in our lives that are outside of the scope of practicing law that have influenced us both professionally and personally. By participating in this event, we hope you will have an opportunity to connect with other legal professionals through the sharing of common interests, while building relationships in our community in a deeper and more meaningful way. You will hear stories from lawyers like Michael Chang, Senior In-House Counsel at Warner Brothers, who grew up as an immigrant in America and learned to speak English from Bugs Bunny cartoons, a cartoon that is produced by the same studio he now works for; June Casalmir, In-House Counsel at Sprint Nextel who is learning the art of fast decision making by driving high speed vehicles at car clubs with her husband who is a professional race car driver; Richard Russeth, General Counsel at Leprino Foods, who runs a legal department that knows how to be flexible since he is a daily yoga practitioner. These are just a few of thousands of stories we can tell. Our event will feature guest blogs, a special edition podcast and moderated discussions on topics such as work-life balance, achieving professional goals, personal development and more. Share your story in the featured group Lawyer Career Center.
The highlight of the event will be our live Twitter event on Thursday, December 16, at 3 pm ET. Follow and join in on this one-hour live discussion with Michael, June, Richard, and myself by using the hash tag #LOTL. An interesting side bar: the three in-house counsel who will be hosting the discussion actually never met in person. Prior to putting this event together they had never spoken on the phone! It was on Twitter that the three of them met and formed a relationship. Next week we’ll post a podcast where you can hear more, and we’re hoping to all meet someday (perhaps at ACC 2011?).