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It’s easy to be discouraged if you’re a newly minted lawyer these days. Landing a spot at a well-respected school, securing an associate job, shouldering hefty academic debt: The gauntlet can seem endless. But when I read over the profiles of our eight 2012 Lifetime Achievers, I couldn’t help but hope that law students read these stories. The achievers’ professional accomplishments are tremendous. To name a few: Michele Coleman Mayes helmed the legal departments at preeminent corporations. Morrison & Foerster’s James Brosnahan has gone to trial more than 140 times and won more than 90 percent of those cases. And DLA Piper’s George Mitchell is a household name for his work in the Senate and abroad.

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