Time To Grow Up
There is No Insurance To Avoid Hard Work
Modern students have grown up in a system where no one wins and no one loses. They get trophies for participating. Competition is discouraged if not totally eliminated.
To those who graduate from law school the lack of a participation trophy disappears. First, the law student must usually take a bar examination before being allowed to practice law. This year the state of California surprised more than 50% of the law students who took the bar examination by advising them that they failed the bar exam. They were shocked. Students from the most prestigious law schools in the country failed. After spending more than $200,000 to graduate they are prevented from practicing their chosen profession. They are allowed to take it again until they pass but there is no guarantee they will pass. One law student took the California Bar 16 times and eventually went to work for his lawyer son who was an infant the first time he took the bar.
Taking the bar exam, like practicing law, establishes that there are winners an losers. In every lawsuit one party wins and one party loses. There are no guarantees, there are no safe places, there are no participation trophies, there are only winners and losers.
Life is not safe. No one earns a living without work. No one starts work as CEO. No one is promoted to the executive suite after a week on the job. No one wakes you up to be at work on time. If your Mom or Dad wrote your papers for you they cannot, once you move into the real world, no one does your work for you. You will win if you work hard, do more than is expected of you, and make sure that you always do more, without asking the boss what is needed, that what is necessary gets done. Work is what makes people useful. Playing video games, watching television, or spending your days surfing, will do nothing for the rest of the world. If you don’t work hard, if you don’t accomplish anything, if you do nothing to make life better for everyone near and dear to you, you will lose, you will never be promoted, you will never have a successful life. You will live on the work of others.
Every lawyer knows, and explains to his or her client, that winning is not certain. That, no matter how appropriate the litigation or defense is, no matter have damning is the evidence available, no matter how hard your lawyer works, no matter how skillful is the lawyer’s ability at presenting evidence to and arguing your position to a judge or jury, you can lose. That lawyer also knows that his opponent is making the same speech to his or her client. It is for that reason that lawyers meet to discuss settlement and recognize the only way both sides can win a lawsuit is if they settle with both unhappy with the solution.
The lesson is that every young person moving into the real world, outside the fantasy world of safe spaces in school, that nothing is certain. Be ready to find a job, any job, and do the very best you can whether you start in a McDonald’s as a french fry cook or as an associate in a major law firm, you must work to be better and more devoted than any other employee or person working in the same business.
Those of you who actually pass the bar exam recognize that you know nothing about practicing law and that for the rest of your life as a lawyer that you must continue to learn something new about the practice of law every day.
Insurance is a contract where a person promises to indemnify another against loss or damage from a contingent or unknown event as long as premium is paid to obtain the insurance. Regardless of the amount of money offered there can be no insurance preventing failure at work or that will guarantee success. Success comes to him or her who trains to do a job well, who works hard to perform that job, who works harder than anyone else, and who expects nothing other than to do the job expected and to do it better than anyone expected.