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Three Lessons for Young Attorneys (or Law Students) from Olympians

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

Have you caught Olympic fever yet? We have, and any time we're not at work, we're watching world-class athletes perform feats that leave us in awe (and make us feel pretty pathetic in comparison).

No doubt the next generation of athletes watch with an eye to the future, but fear not, we lawyers can learn from, and be inspired by Olympians too. Here are three lessons for young attorneys, and law students, from Olympians.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Ok, so you're not going to go out and keep practicing a YOLO flip -- our version of practicing is studying. Whether it's law school exams, or the bar exam, keep your head down and just study. If you're practicing (pun not intended), then you won't be studying per se -- but you'll be learning the ropes of being a new associate. Do the best you can to hone the skills that you'll need as an attorney such as drafting memoranda, performing document review and attending depositions.

2. You Can't Win 'Em All

Even the best of them fall down and get back up again. We're only a few days in to the 2014 Sochi Olympics and even prior gold medalists have bad days too -- just look at Shani Davis and Shaun White. Like them, you won't ace every exam, win every case, or get a gold star on everything you do for the demanding senior partner you report to. That's ok, just keep at it and your skills will develop.

3. Sportsmanship

Next to watching the athletes do their thing, the next best thing to see is how courteous they can be when the cameras are on them -- even in the face of great disappointment. We lawyers have a bad rap; don't perpetuate negative stereotypes by stepping on other law students or associates to get to the top.

As we continue to be transfixed by the amazing feats of the athletes in the 2014 Olympics, we'll be inspired to reach for our own gold medals, and we wish you the best of luck in reaching for yours.

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