By Lori Atherton
Nov. 14, 2014
How does one live a meaningful life after law school? The short answer, said Prof. Chris Whitman, '74, is to find value in what you do every day. And the key to finding that value is to make the right career choices, starting with one's first job.
"You're making a decision at this point about what to begin with, but it's not the rest of your life," Prof. Whitman told the Michigan Law students who attended her Blue Jeans Lecture, "After Law School: Starting Out Well and Ending Up Better." "What you are looking for is something for this particular phase of your life. Take the best offer and run with it, and don't make your choice based on what will impress your friends, because that will make you happy for only a few months."
Prof. Whitman, the Francis A. Allen Collegiate Professor of Law, delivered the Blue Jeans Lecture Nov. 12, prior to receiving the 2014 L. Hart Wright Award for Excellence in Teaching, which was presented to her at the Law School Student Senate's faculty wine and cheese reception later that day.
Prof. Whitman punctuated her talk with stories and anecdotes drawn from four decades in the law, which includes clerking for the Hon. Harold Leventhal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Lewis Powell of the U.S. Supreme Court, and later serving as vice provost for faculty and academic affairs at the University of Michigan.
Among the wisdom Prof. Whitman imparted to law students are these nuggets:
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