Lou, you may not know this, but you are one of my favorite Dopers. I’ll read threads just because you’ve posted there. Good heavens, I even read your wrestling thread! I remember we’ve had an exchange before about how conflicted you are about being a lawyer; I told you then, and I’ll reiterate, that what you’re going through is entirely normal for most junior lawyers.
Now, what follows is free advice, and you should be mindful that you get what you pay for.
Your friend clearly loves you; you have a long history together, and I urge you not to throw that away. Sometimes the hard part of friendship is telling your friend the truth. My WAG is that one of the reasons you posted his email, instead of just putting it in the circular file, is that it resonated with you. There were likely elements of truth in it, if not wholesale truth.
The gist of his email is this: you are an incredibly smart person, and a great friend, but you sabotage yourself. He no longer wants to be a part of that sabotage, because (see, infra) he thinks that you are an incredibly smart person and a great friend.
You have two choices, and I urge you to make the second one. You could write off his friendship and continue as you are, or you could take this opportunity to examine whether he has made any valid points and try to change yourself. This isn’t easy. In fact, it may be near impossible. Nevertheless, my advice (see value of said advice, infra) is as follows:
[ul]Every day, every time you begin to feel as if you’re not good enough, or smart enough, or well-prepared enough, or experienced enough, stop. Remind yourself that you got through law school and got a job as an attorney – something that a large portion of the populace could not do or has not done. You’re already in an elite group, and you should remind yourself that you got there through the sweat of your brow and your brains and hard work.*****[/ul]
[ul]You are not alone. Really. All of us who are lawyers (and, I’ll wager, just about everyone else here who entered a profession) have been where you are. So, really, you’re not special. [/ul]
[ul]It sounds like you’re worried about passing the bar. So make a plan and stick to it. This is the Fourth of July weekend – the time when, traditionally, bar takers around the nation panic and begin to buckle down to studying. So make a plan to study: set aside five hours a day to do it. Get up an hour earlier, and do an hour. Bring your books to work; on your lunch break, do an hour. Every evening, when you get home, take a practice test. Every single day, you should do at least one-half session (hour and a half) of the MBE and write two or three essays. (I’m guessing Florida is on the MBE and essays.) If you fall behind, just pick yourself up and dig in where you are.[/ul]
[ul]You can do this. Your friend, who knows you far better than anyone on this board, thinks you can. I think you can, and so does everyone here. Believe in yourself, as hard as that sounds, for the next month.[/ul]
One of the problems, I think, is that we junior lawyers simply don’t have the experience that people ten years ahead of us do. We need to get in the habit of doing what they do: project confidence, and absorb information like a sponge.
Lou, I’m rooting for you. I’m hoping that you take this chance to try, that’s all, just try for the next three weeks. I know you can do it. Your friend knows you can. And if you need more encouragement, my email’s in my profile. I’m happy to keep you honest and email you every day to make sure you’re keeping up on things.
*****Stop it. Right now. You did.