I opened my eyes and saw three unfriendly faces staring at me. This was not a dream – I was at the meeting with three investors, and had to present my ideas for opening salon business in New York. Three cases with the results of financial and legal analyses could make investors interested, yet none of them seemed willing to digest that useful information. Next second I was afraid I would not be able to say a word, when one of them asked me to start.
Three years later I was already running a successful chain of salons in New York. I was able to purchase the other investor’s shares, and to re-sell that individually owned business for profit. Unenviable situations similar to that with investors were not rare in my business career. I had to experience many failures, to face numerous conflicts, and my knowledge of litigation and legal conflicts constantly improved. How difficult such situations might have been, but I am grateful for having acquired numerous practical skills.
My business career urged me to be constantly inventive – inventiveness leaves competitors behind. I started business having nothing but college degree. I was always able to articulate my arguments in clear and concise manner.
This ability saved me in persuading three experienced investors and financial experts that my business idea was unique and promising. I was able to lead that business to becoming profitable and prosperous. Everything I have learnt in legal area and the area of business litigation I owe to myself, my efforts, and my desire to learn and practice. In reality, there is the only reliable means to determine whether a person wants to be a lawyer: one must look at the skills this person has developed, and which could lead this person to becoming proficient and competent lawyer. My legal talents were successfully developed in my daily obligations, when I had to fairly resolve disagreements between employees.
I had to analyze the issues thoroughly, and to identify their consequences regarding the law. My staff was always represented by extremely diverse and striving people, and in those disagreements I had to find a proper approach to everyone. However, even in that successful and relatively stable environment I started feeling meaningless: my successes in litigation and conflict resolution were not supported by any solid theoretical basis. This is why I realized that I could not expect further continuous professional growth without becoming a lawyer.
I was exceptionally thorough and consistent in my search for a good educational institution. Being used to diverse environments and daily challenges, I also look for diversity in education. I seek cross-cultural experiences and backgrounds. Diversity is what broadens students’ academic potential. St. Thomas combines diversity with small size classes, and it is a unique chance for future lawyers to get knowledge which is simultaneously global and personalized. In my search for professional meaningfulness and balance I have several goals to achieve.
First, I will start my own firm that will help my clients resolve issues and problems affecting their lives, which otherwise are impossible for them to solve. Achieving this goal is impossible without unique knowledge delivered by professional educators at St. Thomas. Second, I would like to travel and understand other cultures (legal cultures, in particular). My professional meaningfulness will be restored through advocating and providing legal support to those who otherwise cannot find this support. Third, I seek recognition and stable positive reputation among my fellow peers. The essential constituents of this reputation include honesty, trustworthiness, and solid legal knowledge which St. Thomas offers to its students.
My professional identity rests on the conviction that I cannot watch people who need help without helping them. Simultaneously, I cannot help those people grounding my assumptions on practical experience only. If I seek professionalism, consistency, practical skills, cross-cultural experience, and knowledge diversity, there cannot be anything better than St. Thomas.