I recently read a Seth Godin blog: Should schools reward skills or talent?
As you may remember, I have written about this subject many times over the last fifteen years, including a Practical Lawyer article titled: Rainmaking: Talent Is Overrated.
I’ve written about the two summer associates who worked for me one summer.
The first was a student in the top five of his class at a top law school. He bragged to me how many classes he missed because he didn’t need to go to class to get the top grades. He didn’t feel like he had much to learn. He was extremely gifted and talented, but he didn’t make a top effort to develop his skills.
The second was a student who received B’s by putting in a greater effort than others. When they worked with our firm, he was in the office from the time the first lawyer arrived until the last lawyer left. He wasn’t doing that to make an impression. Instead, he wanted to get the most out of his summer associate experience.
You know where this is going. The first student started as an associate with us, but he lasted only about two years. The second student started as an associate with us and over time became a very successful lawyer because he focused on developing the skills it takes to be a successful lawyer.