I am a fan of a good analogy or story to illustrate a point. I have often spent large amounts of times in my previous career to think of an analogy to explain complex technology issues as an attempt to drive a valuable point home. But there are times when life just hands you the perfect story at the perfect time. This convergence happened when Jérémy Jurkiewicz, of France, stopped short of victory in a half-Ironman triathlon a few weeks back in Brazil.
Jurkiewicz (I promise that is his real name, I could not make up something that good) approached the finish line in first place. However, instead of crossing the line, what he did next was to slow down and begin celebrating with the crowd, stretching his arms out and pumping his fist in the air. At that time 2nd place Igor Amorelli rounded the final corner and saw, to his astonishment, that Jurkiewicz did not have his head in the race. Igor kicked into a full sprint toward the finish line and came within a few feet of victory before Jurkiewicz saw him and quickly jumped in front blocking him with his arms as he finally crossed the finish line. I, like probably the majority of people watching, was rooting for Igor to take the victory, but the shocked look on Jurkiewicz face was priceless as he realized he almost lost it all within just a few feet of victory.
That is the connection I instantly made. Like Jurkiewicz and Igor my fellow 3L’s and I are within sight of the finish line. It is tempting to begin to celebrate with the crowd, and kick of our running shoes. It doesn’t take more than a few conversations with those of us in our 3rd year to see the fatigue in our eyes and that we want to “Get this done”. However, how we finish these last months will have a substantial impact on our careers. How our colleagues view us (and our work ethic), how we seize on opportunities to network with legal professionals who are just now seeing us as soon to be peers, and how we can help others in our schools who are making their way through first and second year.
So my hope for my fellow 3Ls and myself is that we not be a Jurkiewicz, and instead we begin to take advantage of opportunities to set ourselves up for success, and sprint toward the finish line.
The race is linked below