A recent conversation with a Foley colleague reminded me of a key lesson I learned as a junior attorney from a senior partner in my practice group: Take a position on an issue, be ready to defend it, and learn along the way.

It brought back a flood of memories of the times I had approached this senior partner to get their thoughts on certain issues in an agreement markup I was working on. On one occasion, whether because of exhaustion, confusion, extreme complexity, or some other reason, I blankly asked "Does this make sense to you? What should our position be?"

The partner responded: "Well, what do you think? That is why we hired you and are paying you. I want your opinion on the issue." It felt blunt but totally accurate. The partner wasn't being mean but was imploring me to invest more in the markup so I could learn from that exercise instead of just giving me the answer.

It's a lesson that still resonates with me today.

Everyone at one point or another has been confused and exhausted. It doesn't mean you're not ready or that you're not capable. It means you're human. Being a solid lawyer takes time and experience.

And as you accumulate that experience, embrace it, and don't let fear limit you from analyzing and taking ownership of your work.

You learn by doing in this profession – it is one of the things that I love most about it!

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