The following posting is made with permission from the State Bar of Wisconsin who originally printed it as an article with the same name included in Fresh Perspectives, State Bar of Wisconsin, July 2015, Vol. No. 18, Issue No. 3:
Dear Young Lawyer,
“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” – James Bryant Conant
For the past two years I have been the editor of this newsletter. This is my last issue serving in that capacity, and I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to consider writing for this newsletter and the other publications of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
As a young lawyer you are no doubt intimately aware of the problems facing young lawyers today. You can help your fellow young lawyers. You can help yourself. By starting a discussion, by sharing what you have learned, and by not being afraid to voice your opinion, through writing you can help this newsletter be a free source of education, mentorship, and collegiality.
You may think you have nothing to offer. You may think others could say it better. You may think you have to research the issues more to be sure. My retired partner, Steve Adamini, once told me, “You can’t be so afraid of screwing up that you never act.” I’ll bet you have something to say that could help your fellow young lawyers, particularly when it comes to practical advice.
Think about it this way – if you have ever helped a friend or colleague with some aspect of the law or legal profession, then that could be turned into an article. Not every young lawyer is lucky enough to have coworkers. Some are forced into trying to practice solo. Speak to them. Help them out. Don’t worry about getting it perfect.
As editor of this newsletter, I have felt it was my job to encourage young lawyers to become authors. Getting started writing is the key. Your second article is much easier than your first and after a while people start to notice. I’ve been more of a salesman than an editor. If you wrote it and submitted it, I almost certainly published it. Virtually all authors are careful enough that extensive editing is unnecessary. The potential for screwing up in front of thousands of people is generally motivation enough, and getting the information out there is more important than getting too hung up on delivery.
I hope the next editor takes the same approach. Thank you for this opportunity. I hope you will consider writing for our newsletter.
And in case you thought you had heard the last from me, for better or worse, you’re stuck with my ramblings for at least three years more. I am now the President-Elect of the YLD. Scary, I know. Thanks.
© July 2015 Brandon J. Evans