Find Your Superpower By Identifying Your Biggest Weakness
Why Biglaw requires associates to pay such close attention to detail, and how the flip side of my sloppiness led to success after finding the right environment
When I was a young associate, I struggled with detail oriented work. I’d miss all kinds of typos and mistakes. Which I’d usually realize only after hitting the “send” button. For some reason I never got the memo about proofreading emails before sending out important emails. I’ve always been like this, though. Growing up, I remember constantly being told that I needed to be more careful because mistakes wouldn’t be tolerated in “the real world.”
It’s funny how “the real world” is always used as a boogeyman. Like when teachers would tell me to memorize multiplication tables because “in the real world, you won’t be able to bring a calculator with you everywhere.” Or when they’d warn me to stop playing video games because “in the real world, you can’t make money doing that for a living.”
They were wrong about both1 so after I got older, I should’ve known to take their views on “the real world” with a grain of salt. But old lessons die hard. Even after college, I always viewed my lack of attention to detail as a flaw that needed correcting.
Going to law school certainly didn’t help.