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Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law (Photo: Danny Hurley)

Let’s talk mental toughness. Three questions: 1. Is it an essential quality of an effective lawyer? A recent series of books and articles on grit and resilience is propelling this trait as one on equal footing with diligence, intellect and professionalism. 2. Can mental toughness be learned? You bet. And the miracle of neural plasticity means this mindset can be developed at any age. 3. How can the mindset be learned? Habits. As the saying goes: We make our habits and then our habits make us. Here then are five concepts to make it a daily habit.

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