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7 New Year's Resolutions for Law Students and Young Lawyers

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 31, 2014 9:52 AM

2015 will be better. It will be a year of great personal and professional success. It will be a year when the legal industry ticks up a notch, when clients come aplenty, and when Will Smith and Martin Lawrence finally decide to film "Bad Boys III."

I'm feeling optimistic about 2015, which is why I'm setting my new year's resolutions so high. If you're feeling the same way, here are a few ideas for some goals of your own:

7. Lighten Up -- Law students take school too seriously. Everyone thinks they're going to be No. 1, or magna cum whatever, or law review editor. The truth is, 95 percent of you are going to end up in similar, middling jobs, and after a semester or two, the top 5 percent will be clear.

Ditto for young lawyers: Your current job isn't what you hoped it would be, but there is still time to make a change. Don't despair too much while you're waiting for callbacks and interviews.

But stressing out? It won't help much. And you don't want to have a stroke at age 40.

6. Drink Less -- If you grades are suffering, or if you've become a social outcast because of your unruly behavior, or if your health is suffering, or if you're simply packing on the pounds, maybe it's time to drink a little less. Lawyers, after all, do seem to drink too much.

5. Drink More -- It's called networking. Head to more bar association events, law school events, faculty mixers, and local business association events.

4. Improve Your Wardrobe -- Apparently black suits (for men) are only for funerals, not for job interviews. You learn something new every day... And if you are one of the fashion criminals that appears in court, step your game up.

3. Make Resolutions -- It's a bit meta, but make a resolution to make resolutions. Goal-setting is important, as is planning.

2. Find Your Calling -- Again, it's all about the goal. If you're still in law school, and haven't found your legal calling, try a few out-of-the-box classes, externships, and clinics. Eventually, hopefully, you'll find a passion for a practice area.

And if you're out of school, and your current job isn't doing it for you, try something else. Maybe start with a little pro bono work on the side, just to see if that practice area works for you. If all else fails, take the plunge and start your own firm -- it's terrifying, but you'll get to do what makes you happy while getting paid.

1. Find Your Soulmate -- As we've become so fond of saying (somewhat facetiously): "Law Sucks. What Else is There?" The answer: Life. Life is there. And life isn't complete until you've found the one. (Or if you're less of a romantic, a one -- a compatible one that you can share your life with.) Whether it's dating apps, friends of friends, or serendipitous encounters with strangers in a bar, make this the year that you put yourself out there.

Got a resolution? Share it with us @FindLawLP.

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