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At my law school orientation last year, one of my professor’s said that being a practicing lawyer was the hardest job he’d ever had. What do you think he meant by that?

Q: At my law school orientation last year, one of my professor’s said that being a practicing lawyer was the hardest job he’d ever had. What do you think he meant by that?

A: I think he meant that, after almost two decades of education, lawyers are still at the beginning of their learning process. I think he meant that after becoming an educated professional, lawyers still need help with writing, communicating, ethics, and etiquette. I think he meant that when lawyers are starting to feel they have mastered more than a modicum of practice skill, they have to take on additional new pursuits, such as project management and business development. I think he meant that even senior lawyers can lack leadership skills and job security.

That said, do I think he was trying to dissuade you from the profession? No. Anything worth doing in life, including making a living and teaching others to make theirs, should be challenging and constantly changing. That’s the upside, not the downside of being a professional.