Today I find myself writing and reflecting in a strange but familiar place – Miami Lakes. For my fellow St. Thomas Law School Compatriots, you know just what I mean when I say “Miami Lakes.” Being back here for the first time since law school brings back a train of long memories on the road to becoming a young lawyer.
Miami Lakes is ten minutes away from my second alma matter, St. Thomas University School of Law. Being here reminds me of those fearless law school days when the coffee cup failed to ran dry and the reading never stopped. In reflecting upon those days, now as a young lawyer, I can honestly say I do miss those days. Don’t get me wrong – I love working as a young lawyer and do not miss studying and reading hundreds of pages in the least! But, what I miss is that feeling…
(As a brief aside, I’ll never miss answering hundreds upon hundreds of MBE questions. I remember texting a friend during those mind-numbing sessions who quickly responded – “The best part about passing the Bar is never EVER having to answer an MBE question again!” How right they were…)
What I miss is the feeling of community you have while in law school. The feeling that you are in this struggle, this journey, with hundreds of other fellow classmates, striving towards a common goal; graduate, pass the bar, and find a job. As I’ve said before, the life of a young lawyer can, at times, lack that sense of camaraderie. I find it to be more of a lonely existence where ego dominates community. As a young lawyer, I can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining relationships with other young lawyers as a reminder that we are not in this alone. That together, we can and will change the world for the better.
Today and this week I am also reminded that school starts again soon. I had the privilege of visiting my first alma mater earlier this week and was given a tour of the ever-expanding University of Miami campus. It hasn’t even been ten years, and already I couldn’t help but think: “What I wouldn’t give to be an undergraduate again!”
Remember that feeling? When life seemed endless and anything and EVERYTHING seemed possible? It was only a breathe and a dream away. As I watched the groups of parents and new students experience the annual orientation tour, I laughed quietly to myself feeling much like that same parent dropping their children off at their dorm rooms for the first time; that bittersweet reverie of wanting to be back in a different time with the wisdom of this present moment.
As a young lawyer, I want to encourage that if you are one of the lucky ones about to start school, or law school classes again, please, do the following. Enjoy it while it lasts. Endure and savor every single solitary second while you still can. Real life and the real world is just as amazing in and of itself. But it’s also hauntingly different. As you progress in life you will see that some feelings, no matter how hard you try, can never be recaptured.
Until then, please, dare to be great.