942. A Day in the Life–What's It Really Like to Be a Lawyer?
“Whatever profession they’re going to explore, I think the most important thing is for them to explore themselves and know themselves. Meaning, what makes me tick, what excites me, what interests me? How do I do in groups? Do I like to take the lead in a group? Do I not like to take the lead in the group? What things that I’ve done have been most exciting to me? And then why. Then when you could really start understanding templates and your sensitivities and your sensibilities, then you start getting to know yourself. And then also to learn about psychology, emotional intelligence, personal growth to develop oneself, because that’s the most important thing. And that also includes developing not just your emotional capacity, but your mental capacity.”
Arnie Herz is a lawyer, mediator and speaker. He has delivered over 100 programs and keynotes on topics related to the attorney-client relationship, negotiation, conflict resolution and work-life balance. His work has been covered in numerous publications and he has received a host of acknowledgements and awards from his colleagues.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“Playing in an intramural basketball game during my junior year as an undergrad, I had congestive heart failure. Through sports I found tremendous solace and energy. I had channeled my restlessness for seeing the world through sports. In the hospital, they told me I would not be able to play competitive sports anymore. That turned my life upside down. It made me realize how precious life is, how at any moment everything can change. In that moment, I realized I needed to live my life for myself and not just go through the motions to please my parents, my friends or society. I had an obligation to go search for what I needed to find.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
1. After graduating from college, I did something that made no sense to anyone I knew. I bought a backpack and a one-way ticket to London. For much of the next four years I traveled around the world. Experiencing the profound differences in lifestyles in places like Bombay where people would walk miles for drinking water dramatically altered my perspective and world view.
2. In India I studied meditation and yoga and learned how to manage my mind and my emotions. Each gave me tremendous insight into myself and human nature and have been essential to my effectiveness as a lawyer.
3. As my career evolved, I transitioned out of all forms of litigation and into dispute resolution where the success or failure of the issue depends on the individuals to work things out themselves. It’s not in the hands of a third party.
4. My advice to anyone contemplating entering the profession of law is to get to know themselves—what makes you tick? The more you can explore yourself from every dimension—not merely intellectually, but emotionally, spiritually and more—the better you will be able to research and evaluate the possibilities to use your talents and skills and work with your values and goals towards a meaningful life and career.
On His Bookshelf
The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho
Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig
Connecting With Arnie Herz
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