Halloween brings to mind images of scary things like ghosts, goblins and ghouls. However, nothing compares to the fear of failure self-imposed by young lawyers. When I started as an attorney, I was nervous about the many unknowns in the not-so-distant future. I felt as though every bump, obstacle or setback would bring a premature end to my legal career. That line of thinking is ridiculous. It’s unlikely that any single setback will define who I am as a lawyer. I soon realized that all lawyers, regardless of the prefix (young, seasoned or old), face setbacks, disappointments and failures.

For this article, I have taken stock of my initial feelings, concerns and apprehensions as a young lawyer and discovered that I was more afraid of the unknown than anything else. To compare now to then, I discovered a sense of what it means to be resilient. Resilience, by definition, is the ability to recover from tough experiences and setbacks, adapt and move forward. As a lawyer, resilience is about how one handles the unknown as it becomes known to him. Particularly, preparing for a hearing presents many challenges, both in and out of the courtroom. Resilience is a necessary character trait for lawyers to exhibit and a key to overcoming obstacles.

Overcoming the Courtroom