We all get into the law game for different reasons, but regardless of why we signed up, we want to be effective at what we do. Law schools don’t typically teach students how to practice or be effective counsel. Instead, those skills are learned on the job. This blog -- the first of a three-part series on what new attorneys often learn too late when starting out in the practice of law -- is about deadlines.
For months after law school I would periodically wake up in a cold sweat, heart pounding, thinking not only that I was late for class, but that I had missed most of the semester and was about to walk into an exam completely unprepared. This fit right in with the classic dream of showing up for class in underwear.
Shortly after taking the Texas bar -- the following weekend to be exact -- I started working in my first real commercial litigation job. (Some would say I literally just started working there without interviewing or being asked by anyone, but that’s another story for another time.) After being on the job for a few weeks, I started waking up in a cold sweat for reasons other than the fear of missing an exam. The stakes had been raised. Real people and real organizations were relying on my work and I would have to learn to live with the sinking perpetual feeling that I might miss a deadline.