There are some basic lessons learned as children that guide us as adults. Thanks to Melaine Shannon Rothey for reminding us of the wisdom contained in Dr. Seuss. For the professional development of Millennials, I heartily recommend the sage advice to Never Stop Learning!
The following contains excerpts from Melaine Shannon Rothey, Parting thoughts: Seek balance, don’t fear change, 19 ACBA Lawyers Journal, No. 12, 3 (Jun 9, 2017).
Remember the five lessons from Dr. Seuss:
BE YOURSELF – Who else do you want to be?
MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE – Isn’t that the reason most of us went to law school?
NEVER STOP LEARNING –Knowledge for the sake of knowledge.
IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE – Do I really have to continue to repeat the necessity of work/life balance?
BE POSITIVE – We are surrounded by negativity all day long.
Melaine notes that there are four generations of lawyers practicing today – the Silent Generation (sometimes called Traditionalists), the Baby Boomers, the Gen X-ers and the Millennials. Each of these generations has its positives and its negatives. We can learn from both aspects. We do not always have to agree with opposing counsel or with the judge; however, we must disagree in a civil and respectful manner, whether in open court or in a pleading or in correspondence. Bad attitudes and nastygrams have no place in our profession.
Work/life balance –the line between work and home has become seriously blurred. We have to figure out a way to “check out” of the office. We have to take some serious, uninterrupted time for ourselves and our families. I know that you find this hard to believe, but the office will survive without you.
Change –change is not a bad thing. Just because we “always did it this way” does not mean that we should not try a new way to do things. At the very least, those of us that have been doing it the same way for many years should listen and entertain a new option or procedure.
Mentoring –we must mentor each other. To the Silent Generation and the Boomers, be patient with the young-uns. They really do want to learn. They will catch on and will probably improve upon the technique. Gen-Xers and Millennials, be patient with us. We are not trying to make you crazy. We are just resistant to change.