Friday, July 11, 2008

Positive Reinforcement

I swear that positive reinforcement makes or breaks your work experience.

I have had PLENTY of work experiences. Some where I felt like the human-extension of a computer data program. Some where I felt like a work horse. For example, the summer I did freshman orientation at my college and had to wash linens, make beds, and rearrange furniture for over 800 rooms every week- wait, I WAS a work horse. (P.s. you won't believe the nasty stuff we found in those rooms after the ever so responsible soon-to-be jesuit college students were done with them- just NASTY).

By positive reinforcement, I do NOT mean being hit on constantly by foreign, barely english speaking pizza delivery men at the deep dish pizza place. One man showed me pictures of his six year old kid in Mexico and then begged me to marry him so he could live in this country. As flattering as that was, that's not the positive reinforcement that I'm talking about.

I'm talking about being in a work environment where your boss tells you when you do a good job. That's the environment I work in now. Recently my boss, the managing partner at the firm, assigned me to a case because all the associates were swamped. I was nervous as hell but did the best I could. Apparently he was impressed and told me that if I was an attorney already, they would hire me on the spot (I really didn't think it was that great but they must have low expectations for legal interns). The other partner told me they would hire me when I graduated, if I was interest. Wow. What a way to end a long work week.

Of course when I'm an actual attorney and they expect me to constantly produce high-quality, professional work product, I will probably only hear about my mistakes. I'm going to enjoy this while I can.

This just proves you don't need perfect grades, you don't need perfect LSAT scores, you don't need to make law review or be on moot court. In fact, this post proves you can pretty much be the biggest law school slacker on the planet, still not know what the phrase "stare decisis" means, miss half of your classes due to morning sickness/laziness and STILL get a decent legal job.

Maybe the standards in the profession are going down or maybe it's true what they say: how you do in law school is totally unrelated to how you will be at practicing law.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I found something that I am good at (for lack of talent, I previously had to give up on a number of other careers including but not limited to: painter of landscapes, astronaut, writer, victoria secret model, speech writer, President of the United States). I really feel like I belong to this profession. It's such a good feeling. (I need to remember this feeling next time I review the summary of my law school tuition debt).


Portia said...

Congratulations! I'm glad you love the job, and I'm glad you've already got an offer! Exciting! I always think it's nice to love what we do... :)

Anonymous said...

well, you do still have to pass the bar, so don't slack TOO much ;)