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Lawyers and law students come together in this issue to help you become the lawyer you’ve always dreamed you’d be.

Welcome (back) to law school!

I’m so excited you’ve picked up our latest edition of Student Lawyer. This issue focuses on what I believe is one of the greatest things within our profession, and that’s our community.

Those of you who were ABA members last year know that my heart lies with public interest and pro bono work; the idea of helping those who need it most speaks to my soul. Similarly, within the legal field, the way mentorship flows down from senior attorneys to brand-new law students—and how freely advice is given and assistance is provided—is something special.

So we decided to devote an issue to all the wonderful and life-changing advice floating across our nationwide community.

Storytelling comes to life

One of the stories you’ll read here is about an attorney who, despite needing to bring her toddler to a hearing, was met with support and encouragement from both the opposing counsel and the judge. The attorney’s colleague marveled at what a great profession we’re in and was inspired by how her colleague’s personal life was accommodated by others in the profession so she could succeed professionally.

Throughout the pages of this magazine, you’ll read so many more encouraging and uplifting stories that will inspire you to emulate the type
of people you read about—people who are ethical and kind and within that find they’re also powerful and bold. As you read these stories, apply the advice and the lessons to your own journey, and you’ll find yourself confident in the type of attorney you’re growing into throughout law school and as you transition into your new career.

As you read this issue, you may also notice that something’s different. As you know, every so often, it’s great to grow and evolve into a better version of yourself. In fact, much of the advice within the pages of this magazine focuses on self-care and self-reflection.

Taking those concepts to heart, the ABA Law Student Division and the ABA Young Lawyers Division spent this summer rolling out a new, collaborative relationship that bridges the gap between law school and your first years of practice, giving you a clear path to navigate your first decade in this profession. Through that collaboration, in the pages of this magazine, you’ll sometimes see new things, such as articles crafted for the Young Lawyers Division that we’ve now handpicked for you.

Be bold

About 18 years ago, I got my first iPod. Back then, Apple offered engraving services, and you could get anything you wanted etched on the back of your iPod. Most of my friends chose to have their names engraved, but I wanted something different, something to encourage me when I looked down at it. I chose “Be bold.” Every time I looked down at my iPod, I thought about that determination that led me to choose that phrase, and I thought about that bold person I aspired to be.

I still think about that iPod engraving today. I still psych myself up by whispering, “Be bold.” I am normally a meek person, but in my profession, I need to show that I’m strong and confident. Tenacious.Steadfast. Bold.

That’s my advice to you: Find your small mantra to motivate and inspire you as you navigate your law school career and beyond. Use it to encourage yourself in new situations— and there will be plenty, from new jobs to courtrooms to board rooms to exams and to the bar—and find that same determination and excitement you felt when you chose your phrase.

Write it on the mirror in lipstick, put it on a sticky note on your computer, turn it into a graphic for your phone background. It’s empowering!

Join the community

My other encouragement is for you to join this national community of law students who are aspiring to become the best versions of themselves. Communicating with other ABA Law Student Division members, and ABA lawyers, on social media and through committee work is fulfilling. It also advances relationships and connectivity and offers authentic networking

Additionally, through the free ABA membership, you’ll receive career guidance, training, education, and more. It’s been so valuable to me, and I hope you’ll find it so as well.

For more information on the ABA Law Student Division and joining committees, visit….

Dayna Maeder Dayna Maeder is a civil litigation attorney at McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver, & Stern, P.A., working with state agencies and national insurance corporations. Dayna is a YLD associate editor who enjoys her volunteer work as a litigation consultant and trial advocate trainer for the Leon County Teen Court program.