I was a panelist at a session at the International Bar Association conference in Sydney in October 2018. Our brief was to discuss decision points in a legal career, and how to approach such decisions. The discussion developed into a conversation about what amounts to success in a legal career, and how to be happy as a lawyer.
I believe that most lawyers ultimately seek some form of self-actualisation. This is about achieving your potential, becoming what you want to be, making something of yourself.
I encourage people to aspire to something, and sometimes when I ask lawyers: ‘What are your aspirations? What do your aspire to in your practice and in your career?’, sometimes they realize that their practice is all about meeting other people’s expectations.
They actually don’t have any aspirations of their own in their lives, and I think aspiration is a necessary ingredient for happiness and success. If you can set and achieve goals for yourself, you are likely to feel much more satisfied with your career.