The Power of NO

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December 2, 2012 by williamsjustliving

Numerous blawgs extol the power of NO. Two letters.

Yet, lawyers–creatures of endless words–have a difficult time forming the succinct roundness of NO.

Keep in mind that I’m not (yet) a lawyer. It is, however, clear to me that NO holds an important place in the professional life of the solo practitioner. NO will affect my ability to provide top-notch customer service. NO will determine how much time I can dedicate to each case that I handle. NO will be the deciding factor in my work-life balance. I just need to start practicing NO now. NO, I cannot join each and every society at law school that appeals to me. NO, I cannot ignore hygienic needs just to get 15 more minutes of studying.

No, I cannot take the case of each person who walks into my office. No, I cannot go to each and every volunteer opportunity that is near and dear to my heart. No, I cannot attend each and every meeting of each and every committee that seems interesting to me. No, I am not going to feel guilty about these things.

After all, I came into this world as a human being. It just so happens that I later chose to be a lawyer (I wasn’t born a lawyer who has to choose to be human). Law is a part of my life. No, I cannot allow law to BE my life.

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