On failing

We had a good VIS Moot Court practice session last Wednesday. I love teaching moot court competition so much that I have to wonder where that comes from. I think moot court exercises bring out the lawyer in me. I sometimes missed my time as a lawyer. I enjoyed talking to clients and tried to solve their problems, whatever it takes. I actually enjoyed my time as a lawyer. 

I interned and later became an associate at a boutique law firm. At the time my mentor once told me that I have a kind of quality that makes me good lawyer material. "Clients trust you," he said. That's despite the fact that I was young and made all kinds of mistakes a young intern could possibly made. I was thrilled and curious by his comments. 

Now I realized a little bit. That was probably because I know very well the feeling of frustration and failure. I did not pass my first bar exam fresh out of school. I took a job not related to law for two years and later decided to quit in order to prepare for my bar exam. And failed. For two years I had no job and just preped for the bar exam. It was not uncommon in Taiwan for a law graduate to do that. Despair at times; lots of anxiety. You name it. I was forced to review every aspects of the preparation along the way. That is how I truly came to appreciate the qualification I finally obtained to practice the law. When I saw a client's problem, I knew how easy it was for me to fail. But perhaps somewhat ironically, I have the calmness to deal with it because I have lived through many kinds of failure. 

Congratulations to everyone who has passed the bar exam this year. For those who haven't, if it is the fight you want to fight, it will not be wasted. It can be done, and it will be done. It just need not be today.