Dream Catching 101: For aspiring attorneys

Jul 30, 2018 4:00:00 AM / by Leandreia Coates


I am contemplating how I should approach this article/blog. I would like for it to be creatively, inspirationally, informative. I am very much aware of the human attention span, and understand that however this article is written, it is must be short and sweet. So let’s just dive right in.

You create your reality, no matter how it seems. It is not going to be easy, I would never sale you that pipe dream, but if you just keep going it will be worth it. I would like to tell you of all the failures that will make you stronger and prepare you for the opportunities you never saw coming. I also would like to tell you about the sacrifices you will make, birthdays, celebrations, and precious moments you will miss and never get back. I would even like to share with you about the real life 24 for hour champagne diets that you may or may not partake in, the ones Drake raps about. “Work hard play hard.” –Wiz Khalifa. Unfortunately, speaking in depth on those topics would cause this blog to be a lot longer than you may care to read. Instead, I have come up with some concepts that I have learned thus far on my journey and I hope they help you on your dream catching journey as well.

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Cliché, but true. It is extremely vital that you write down your goals. You have to have a plan (things do not always go according to plan, but trust me, writing your goals out makes them real so do it.). When you write your goals out, think as big as you can, don’t cut any corners no matter how grandiose your dreams may seem, plan for them! It is it always better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Being a trial attorney for instance, when preparing for any case, be it criminal or civil, a plan is vital. A plan for what? I am glad that you asked. Trial attorneys should always schedule and plan how they will approach each case. What this means and looks like is knowing and understanding what you would like the outcome to be for a particular case. What steps will it take to get you there? It means planning those steps and following through with them (finishing your breakfast, no worries this will make sense by the conclusion). It means trial binders and hours and hours of research. Prepare for late nights and early mornings. It means for the corporate attorney, staying abreast to the ever changing codes and rules for your field. For the JD’s it means deciding what it is that you want to do, taking the bar are not. What to do if you pass or fail? What not taking the bar looks like? What will life look like down either one of those paths? Planning simply sets the stage for the big picture, your end goal, whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. It is easier to accomplish goals when you know what the goals are creating, if that makes sense.

Believe in yourself (Be your own biggest fan)

While this may seem like something that should be second nature, it very often is not. Your plan will most certainly fail if you do not believe in yourself. You can have everything you need to get what you want accomplished but if you do not have belief in yourself, you plan will not ever work.

The legal field is hard and extremely competitive. Sometimes you will go against the best, and sometimes you will be the best, no matter what legal setting you are in. Even if we do not take it that far, as attorneys, you essentially are your own business, because of that you must exude confidence in all that you do. Whether you are in the court room, presenting a motion to the judge, or negotiating a contract for a fortune 500 company or even just trying to get pass the bar so that can start your dream job. Know that you have what it takes and that you are good enough, and do not ever let anyone tell you different. Hype yourself up when you win that oral argument that you know your client deserved and you prepared extra hard for. Be proud of you even when others aren’t, only you will ever know how hard you worked to be where you are. Always believe in you, even when you fail you or the world fails you. If you don’t believe in you how do you expect your client to?

Motivate yourself.

Everyone will not see your vision, that mean everyone will not support your dream (even some that do see your vision won’t support you. The law student in me needed to include that fact, as it is vital lol) . You cannot let that get you down. As humans we want people to jump on our greatness bus with us. We want people to see what we see so that they support us. However, in the dream catching business sometimes you have to do things alone because no one gets it. Sometimes you have to be your own pick me up, your own motivational speaker. No one knows what you have been through better than you, so who better to tell you, “Hey you, you got this!” Get creative with your motivation. I use quotes, I live by quotes, one of my favorite quotes is,

“There is a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have. You have to believe that something different than what has happened for the last 50 million years can happen. Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”- Will Smith

If we are speaking candidly the legal field can be daunting and overwhelming. Briefs, motions, interviews, research, back to back meetings, court appearance after court appearance, document review project after document review project, all these things involve a lot of time, effort, and energy, and if you don’t motivate yourself to get it done, you’ll end up falling behind and that’s never good for anyone involved. You believed in yourself enough to get this far, motivate yourself to keep going when it looks like all the work you put in  will not be enough, when you feel like you are fighting a losing case, when the client keeps changing his mind on what he wants in a contract or out of a case. Clients can drain you just as much as the work you are doing for them, but you have find a reason to keep going and use it as your fuel ( Now, this is not the same as overworking yourself, you have to take care of yourself which we will discuss father below. This simply means when you just want to outright give up motivate yourself to not give up). A lot of the time, people outside of the legal field have no clue how to motivate someone in the field, because we all know being in the legal field is analogous to being in a secret society of some sort which makes the ability to self-motivate even more important. Always go into whatever meeting, boardroom, courtroom, office, test room, and know that you got this, and if you don’t, fail better next time!

Topics: For Candidates

Leandreia Coates

Written by Leandreia Coates

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2013 to pursue a career in the legal field. I have a vast array of knowledge in a plethora of arenas, and I truly believe that one should never stop learning and growing. I also has a strong affinity for working with children (I love the kids) and helping the underserved community wherever I see a need for help. I am currently working on laying the foundation to effectively change the juvenile justice system from the inside out. I swear by a great quote. One of my favorite quotes is by one of my mentors, Dee Rankin, “ If you are still only chasing your dreams you are not running fast enough.” When it all boils down, I am just a simple Louisiana girl that is going to change the world.

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