what does it take to be a legendary lawyer? Talent? Luck? Hard work? Sacrifice?
When did Vishwanathan Anand become a world champion in chess? When he defeated Shirov in Tehran in 2000? That would be the official answer. But I beg to differ.
The destiny was determined the day his mother introduced a 6-year-old Anand to chess.
His destiny was determined when he chose to spend most of his time playing the game, read up books on chess and did not give up when he lost a few games. His destiny was decided when he began training hard.
Who knows how many others with great talent in chess never even discover it, or when they discover some early signs of talent, they ignore it, or get easily satisfied with a few claps and prizes and move on to pursue the next cool thing under social pressure.
His destiny was decided when instead of playing with other kids in the neighbourhood he chose a difficult and cerebral game that did not involve instant satisfaction of hitting a boundary, scoring a goal or even the company of other kids of his age.
His destiny was decided when he chose to be a nerd rather than a cool kid. His destiny was decided when he got some early success, but was not satisfied with that, but strove for bigger things. Practiced longer hours. Thought up more strategies.
After his first win as a world champion, he lost that position. Then he worked harder for 7 more years to come back even stronger and remained world champion for several years. It is that grit to excel, to fight, to grind it out in the face of tremendous uncertainty that produces great champions.
We should thank the father of Vishwanathan Anand, for not forcing Anand to go for IIT! And Anand, because he didn’t spend most of his time the way “normal” teenagers spend!
When did J.K Rowling become the richest author in the world? Was is after the Harry Potter series was published? Or was it when she took an interest in literature and started developing the faculties that enabled her to write an epic magical book?
Did Sachin Tendulkar become the God of cricket when he hit his 100th century? Or was it when he practiced for 10-14 hours straight, every single day, whether or not the skin of his feet came off inside his shoes, or whether or not a bouncer injured him, as a 14-year-old boy?
Greatness is born in the face of difficulty, in the face of adversity and pain, and it is unconventional. If you want to be normal, do the normal things, greatness cannot be yours. It requires obsession. It requires grit. And later people insult that work ethics by writing it off as great talent.
The truth is that 10 years of relentless hard work looks like talent when it hits the stage.
The other day, a friend was asking me – how do you write so well? I said practice. She said you are very talented. It felt good, but I knew the truth. So I said, when I was a kid, I wrote terribly, but people around me encouraged me seeing my enthusiasm. Plus who tells a kind that he didn’t write well? So people applauded me. And I kept writing because I was hungry for attention as a kid.
11 years later, as a 16-year-old kid, I got the president of India’s award for creative writing. People told me I have great talent. Only if they could see how horrible the first 100 poems I wrote were!
For a moment I also believed in that theory of me being talented when I was standing in the Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to receive the award from Prof. Abdul Kalam. But years down the line, as I have not been in the habit of writing poetry, lines and expressions do not flow through my fingers as it did once in my teenage years.
I write to you guys almost every day though. Even now, I can see my writing skills improving because I write almost every single day. My job demands it. Also, I love to write. It is my self-expression. Because I do it every day, I have gradually improved and today my writing may look like talent to someone.
I know that it is nothing but practice.
It is not just that!
When I was a kid, my parents really wanted me to learn to draw and paint. They got me a private tutor for learning painting. However, I was probably the worst art student ever.
I was horrible. I used to be happy when the art teacher didn’t come for some reason. If he came, I would try to create excuses to send him back. I didn’t practice the assignments he gave me. I just didn’t learn anything about drawing and painting.
However, at this age, I do have fantasies about learning to paint. And you know what, it is now much easier to learn.
So is music. Even music is easier to learn.
Or organizational behavior. Or negotiation. Or email marketing. Or Facebook ads. Figuring out anything is far easier for me now because I know how to learn. Learning so many other things and mastering them has made it possible for me to learn new skills rapidly.
Is it all that different from the profession of law?
Do you wonder why is it that law students and young lawyers do not learn and practice the skills specifically that may make them stand out as extraordinary lawyers?
What are the fundamental skills and what can one practice to become the Vishwanathan Anand or Sachin Tendulkar of law? What would 10 years of practice look like?
Why are good lawyers, who are already very good at their current area of work and therefore have a thriving practice, find it so easy to pick up new areas of practice and do well?
A majority of lawyers never become any good at anything because they do not practice. They do not sacrifice sweat and blood. They do not have coaches to show them how to be better lawyers. They do not use any tools to get better at their craft.
They sit and wait for clients to come. They behave as if they are entitled to clients or jobs just because they have given a bunch of exams and got an LLB degree. Well, and that is why you will find so many struggling lawyers in the market, complaining, complaining and complaining about how unfair the world is.
There are so many people looking for good legal representation, people whose problems are not getting solved, mass-scale issues that could be tackled with legal skills – but all they can do is behave like their seniors did in the 90s, and hope people will come and hand over their money to fill forms and make lame arguments before judges.
Well, please note that your knowledge is not that exclusive anymore, anyone can read up the law by googling. People can find out how good a lawyer you are simply by using social media and asking around. You really need to up your game!
I understand, there was no systematic access to such coaches, practice environment or tools until we built LawSikho. But now we have it. And we have a proven track record of making a difference to the careers of over 2,000 lawyers in the last one and a half years. Just ask around!
Here is what the first student of our Master Access program told us yesterday:
Anyway, you don’t need to believe us. Try any of our premium courses, risk-free, for one month, and then take your money back if you don’t want to proceed, no questions asked. We have only one condition: for one month, attend our classes and do the assignments we give you. Here is the extremely generous, unmatched in history, refund policy: https://lawsikho.com/policy/refund-policy
I am certain you can become a legendary lawyer if you put your education before your comfort, fear, and inertia. Get moving, keep learning. Keep at it, and never stop learning. In a decade, you will be unrecognizable. That is a long way to become a legend.
Do you know any shorter way?
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