As a first-generation attorney, one lesson I am determined to pass down to future generations is to stop allowing other peoples' fears and insecurities determine your destiny.
During law school, people consistently told me I could not gain employment at a Big Law firm. They said because I was not in the top 10 percent of my class or I did not attend a top 15 law school, it was nearly impossible for me to work in Big Law. I was told that it would be incredibly difficult for a woman of color with my background to work for a firm like Reed Smith.
I believed their negative comments. Based on their opinions and experiences I began to think the qualities I was "lacking,” would not make me a strong, viable candidate for employment. I decided to change my dream, thinking that I could never be the lawyer I truly wanted to be or work for a top-tier law firm.
I allowed other people to project their fears and insecurities onto my future. I regret giving those people so much power and influence over my life. I regret not trusting in God's plans and allowing other peoples' opinions to define who I am.
Fast forward to today, I am working for one of the leading health care law firms in the country practicing civil litigation. I am surrounded by people who are investing in me as a young attorney and genuinely want to see me succeed. Most importantly, I am growing and learning every day.
In 2020, I am never allowing anyone to tell me what I can and cannot do. I hope to inspire and encourage other young attorneys and aspiring legal professionals to always believe in yourself.
Trust in God, knowing that He is faithful and intentional. Surround yourself with people who support you wholeheartedly and go for it, God has already provided you with the tools to be successful. Through hard work and perseverance, anything is possible!
Taylor Grant, Reed Smith
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