Starting 2022 on the Right Foot

By Karen Munoz

We are pleased to have a guest post this month from Karen Munoz, a Partner at Dolan Law and a member of the CBF Marketing Committee.

The start of a new year is always a welcome time to set new goals and to look forward. As we begin this new year, it is also important to reflect on where we have been, and specifically for purposes of this article, I mean in our practice.

The lawyer we are today is a composite or accumulation of our experiences, the lessons we have learned along the way, and the people we have learned them from. I think it is only fitting we take stock of our legal career to date and think about the people, places, and things that have shaped us. I think it can only benefit our growth as people and as lawyers to meditate on how we got to where we are, and to thank those who have helped us along the way. Sometimes these people are not so obvious or do not immediately come to mind, maybe because they came into our lives so long ago, or we tucked them way because the lessons we learned from them were too painful to remember. No matter. These interactions, experiences, lessons, and the people we learned them from are still important. As we move forward in our careers and into the new year, carry with you these lessons that have shaped us. The good and the bad. Silently send a thank you to the mentors who are no longer here and send a note to those still with you. A phone call to say hello is always so welcome in these days of texts and posts. Grab a coffee with the new lawyer who just passed the bar in your firm. Connection is how we learn, how we grow, and how we thrive. Make the effort as we head into the new year to lend an ear, lend your time, and be willing to mentor. Thank those who are always there to help you in your practice, who make your practice possible. Continue to deepen the relationships that you value in your career for they are incredibly difficult to find, but with mindful effort, simple to maintain.

Also, find a way to impart that which you have learned to those around us and younger generation of lawyers who have come after us. The pandemic has affected the traditional mentorship and learning of the ropes on the job. Law students coming into the practice of law at the end of 2019, and after that, have been tremendously impacted. They were stuck working virtually with very little or no in the office, on the job learning. Attending a deposition or any court proceeding virtually is not the same as being in person. They have been deprived of the opportunities we had as young law students and lawyers. The experiences, connections, and mentors we enjoyed are so invaluable. Think back on how much they helped shape the lawyer you are today.

Ultimately giving back, giving thanks, and staying connected strengthens all of our law practices and helps us flourish as lawyers.