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Justice Stratton’s 10 tips for success

January 8, 2013 | Alumni

Before retiring from the bench at the end of 2012, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton ’79 shared her 10 tips for success for law students and new attorneys. Stratton, who is the subject of an upcoming article in the next issue of the alumni magazine All Rise, is pursuing advocacy work on behalf of the mentally ill and veterans in the court system.

Here is her advice to those starting out in their careers:

1. Set goals. Make small steps for the short-term and plans for five years and beyond.

2. Find mentors. Find someone who will aid you in achieving your goals. If you’re interested in running for elected office, find a political mentor to guide you on party politics. Attend bar association events to network and learn about other paths. Find a practice mentor to advise you as you begin life at a firm.

3. Join organizations. Become involved, and once you are involved, move up from the subcommittee to co-chair to board member. Go the extra mile; do the work.

4. Networking is key. Turn at least four lunches a week into useful meetings with opposing counsel, bar members, charitable organizations, and community leaders. Practice this even as a law student, where you can make meaningful exchanges with professors, potential employers, and mentors.

5. Take risks. Do not be afraid to lose.

6. Love each stage – not just tomorrow. Enjoy what you are doing in the moment.

7. Never mistreat anyone. This is especially true for staff and assistants, as they are the key access to the boss.

8. Leave good behind wherever you go. Understand that you are blessed, and pay it forward. Practice pro bono with those in need. (Relatives don’t count.) Give to charity.

9. Winning is not the most important thing. How you handle things along the way is, though.

10. Family first. This is the best motto. No vacation in five years? This is bad for all involved. Do things with and for your family. A big house is nice but not if you can’t see your kids in order to buy it. Treat your family better than the boss and client.

- Monica DeMeglio.