Posts Tagged ‘risk-taking’

How soon after graduating from law school can/should you start your own practice? I hear conflicting reports. On the one hand, I hear lawyers and entrepreneurs advising that you should not try to start a new business until you have worked in the field for several years, not only to build skills but also to build important contacts. On the other hand, I have heard attorneys say that it is harder to start a new practice if you have first worked the grind in a D.A.’s office or large firm because you pick up too many bad habits that need to be undone and because the skills you learn as a bottom-level associate are not really all that transferable to — well, to anything. (See my post here.) I don’t know which of these is “right” (perhaps both are true in some way), but I do know that I have personally spoken […]

Risk-taking

October 16th, 2012 by Briana Cummings

If there’s one thing that the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and reformers have in common, it is an unusually high tolerance — or even appetite — for risk. For example, Jeff  Bezos says he makes decisions according to a “regret minimization framework.”  As in, do whatever it is you think will cause the least regret when you’re 80 years old and looking back at your life.  In his case, that meant taking a huge risk and starting Amazon. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good quote to steel up your resolve. So I’ve collected some here that have given me encouragement: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain Security is mostly a […]

When I decided to go to law school I was five years into a doctoral program in education policy. I had completed all my course requirements and passed my qualifying paper, but I was hitting a wall trying to come up with a dissertation proposal that would simultaneously interest me and satisfy my three advisors. As they dragged their feet with reading the qualifying paper and proposal drafts, I was running out of both money and patience.  To distract myself from frustration, isolation, and flagging sense of purpose I focused instead on wedding planning and on an injury I thought at the time was carpal tunnel syndrome but that now I think was just a manifestation of stress. On the day after my wedding in Salem, Massachusetts, the first of these distractions was gone. With no more wedding to plan, I sat with my mother and new husband in my […]

I keep reading and hearing that the things I want to do as a lawyer are impossible: Open my own practice straight out of law school. Offer affordable legal services to low- and middle-income clients while supporting my heavily debt-laden self financially. Raise a family while maintaining a thriving career. Any number of things, really. It is sometimes hard not to listen. Even if I shrug it off at a conscious level, deep down in my bones is a terror that keeps me up at night. It is all well and good to go through law school and job interviews talking about one’s interest in providing legal services to people who need them blablabla. But when you sit down to try to define concrete actionable steps toward that goal, you start to realize you have no idea what you are doing. But I—you—can’t listen. Don’t listen to the voices that say […]