After three years of law school at Marquette University in Milwaukee, our son-in-law Taylor walked across the stage Saturday and receive his diploma.
The Honorable Elizabeth B. Prelogar, Solicitor General of the United States, was the commencement speaker. I jotted down the following 9 key points she shared as counsel for the graduates as they finish one journey and start the next.
- Work where you have people to learn from.
- Know that you will make mistakes, and that’s okay. What matters is what you do next. Own your mistakes and fix them.
- Integrity matters more than just about anything.
- Use an Oxford command.
- Be kind to those above you, and below you.
- Imposter Syndrome is real. Everyone is learning to build the airplane while they fly it.
- Carry a notepad with you, and use it.
- Find an outlet separate from the law and make time for it, even when you are busy.
- Make yourself uncomfortable. Things that transform your life don’t come easy. Enjoy this moment, then go make yourself uncomfortable.
Dean Joseph D. Kearney, Dean of the Marquette Law School, in his closing remarks encouraged the graduates to keep reading. Dean Kearney referenced a quote inscribed on a painting of Abraham Lincoln that hangs in the Aitken Reading Room at the Law School.
“A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems. And not only so. It gives a relish, and facility, for successfully pursuing the yet unsolved ones.”
The painting seeks to “capture Lincoln the great lawyer and the great reader” according to an article posted on the Marquette Law School Faculty Blog on September 7, 2010.
The painting “serves as a reminder,” the article states, “that the former president spoke of the importance of reading when on September 30, 1859 he addressed the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, right in the same spot where the Marquette campus now sits.”
A few final thoughts from Dean Kearney.
- Step forward into the challenge.
- You are now a Marquette lawyer. That means something.
- The law is a learned and helping profession. Live up to each.
- When you find yourself lonely, remember this quote from the Great Gatsby. “And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler.”
Now a few thoughts of mine own, three thoughts specifically, to share with Taylor.
- Honor the journey – Each journey has a past, a present, and a future. Honor the past which has shaped you, the present in which you live, and the future that you are actively creating.
- Honor your greatness – You also have a past, present, and future. Honor the past version of yourself who did the best you could, the present you who is doing the best you can, and the future you are actively creating where you will also be the best version of yourself.
- Honor your family – The family that birthed and raised you creates a heritage upon which you will build a legacy for your current and future family. In building such a legacy, don’t lose your present family in the process.
Enjoy the Moment Esquire… Then Get Uncomfortable…
I love you son!
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes to enjoy your moment, then get uncomfortable.
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