There are about 20,000 lawyers in India, according to our estimate, who earn at least 5 lakh or more per month. In India.
That is just 1% of all lawyers. For the limited purpose of this write up, let’s call them the Winners.
Then there are a lot of other lawyers who are not Winners yet, but they are fighting to get their rightful place as a successful lawyer. Let’s call them Challengers.
I assume that my readers are the Challengers. Why would you spend your time reading an article like this if not you are driven by an intention to do more, get better, learn more and explore how far you can reach? Most of my regular audience belongs to the Challenger category..
And there is the great unwashed masses of lawyers, who live in a very different world. In their world, law is a really terrible profession, in which it is very hard to make ends meet. It is their reality, and they live in it, although they have never really tested how true their belief system is.
Their belief that they cannot succeed because there are not enough opportunities and because the profession is so unfair is so strong, and so often reinforced through the conversations around them, that they cannot even for a moment imagine anything outside that.
Only for the limited purpose of making a point that I want to make here, and with no malice or intention to insult them, let’s call them the Losers.
They are Losers not because of circumstances alone, but because most of them have done precisely little to overcome those circumstances.
If you show a Loser the opportunity, and how the Winners are doing so well through hard work, initiatives, brilliant strategy, and enterprise, the Loser would point out something. Oh but he is not a first-generation lawyer! Or something like that.
Ok, but what about the first generation lawyers who are killing it? I can give you hundreds of examples! No, but they went to NLU / Oxford etc.
Ok, I will show you those who didn’t go to any brand name college and still doing very well. Oh, but they got lucky.
Whatever. I have tried, trust me. It is next to impossible to convert a Loser to a Challenger. It is a waste of effort.
I would rather work with those who already have dreams in their eyes and the hustle in their feet. I would rather work with people who are hungry and desperate and impatient for success.
That is my tribe.
Let’s get back to the Winners. The small minority of lawyers who are the champions of the profession. What is different about them?
Are you someone who wants to be one of them?
Let’s say you want to build a law firm of your own.
Or that you want to be an ace arguing lawyer earning 5 lakhs per month from your own clients.
Maybe you want to start a legal enterprise, startup style.
These things are not commonplace aspirations. Such a result is an outlier result. There are approximately 20 lakh lawyers in India as per the BCI chairman. Out of that, just about 1% manage to reach a position where they can ask for a premium for their legal work. A vast majority of lawyers live in poverty!
So what separates the top 1% from the rest?
I have written a lot on that. You could download and read this book for some clues.
Or you could learn how to get a job in a big law firm, which would lead to you eventually growing in your career and reaching that mark of economic success.
However, whatever you may do, one of the hardest things you will have to do is to learn how to stop thinking like the mass. You have to stop imbibing and living in the reality of the Losers. You can’t afford to if you are a Challenger.
Losers want to convert you into a Loser. They want to prove your wrong, they want you to fail, they want you to give up, because what can be a better justification for their lack of initiative and poverty of imagination.
Don’t fall into the Loser trap.
Wisdom of the masses cannot give you outlier, unusual, extraordinary success. If you do what everyone is doing, the best you can hope for is to to get an average result, and most likely fare below average.
If you follow the masses, you will be crying about how senior lawyers are unfair and do not teach you or help you. You will wonder how it is possible to get your first paying client or first corporate client.
You will give excuses like I-am-preparing-for-judiciary-exam while all you are doing is avoiding admitting to yourself that you are screwed and you don’t know how to proceed.
You will think that the problem is that you didn’t go to an NLU although NLU students have the same problems more or less.
Let me tell you a secret, 90% NLU grads are in even bigger problem because they have spent tons of money on fees and the majority are still nowhere close to a decent career path.
You will give in to the myth that you become successful by showing your face in the court to judges and senior lawyers over the years. You will believe that you have to spend 5 years assisting for a senior to learn how to get your way around the court. Or some mumbo jumbo like that.
You will be told that the way to become a sharper lawyer is to read more and more case laws. Ridiculous! This used to be a great advice 20 years back but not anymore, sorry. But older lawyers are yet to stop doling out that advice.
Anyway, the mass is headed to an economic hell, and digging themselves into a hole. I hope you will not follow them.
The biggest challenge for you is to avoid the wisdom of the crowd. You need to think with your own brain, and discover the contrarian path if you want outlier success.
And remember, what worked 10 years back is unlikely to work now. You need to discover new opportunities, and there are problems that require urgent solutions in ample numbers in our country.
You need to find problems worth solving that others are currently ignoring, and then set about solving them in an efficient way, and find how people would realize that you have the solution they need so they will happily part with their money.
I hope you realize that if everyone knew and could do this, such a thing would not remain an opportunity, but will become a highly competitive sink for energy, effort, and resources.
You win by being a contrarian.
You can be a Winner if you go against the flow.
And the only way to succeed in this game is by avoiding the losers. Stay away from them. Associate yourself with Winners and other Challengers.
Do not make the cardinal mistake of surrounding yourself with Losers.
Find your tribe. Go meet the Winners and the Challengers who are making progress. Surround yourself with those people.
That is one reason why top NLU students do well, because they are surrounded by Challengers, and there are fewer Losers to influence them.
We could help you with finding your tribe. You could join our courses and surround yourself with Challengers. Here are some courses in which we are taking enrollments currently:
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