Recently, I started a new job with the Judicial Youth Corps. Although it was originally supposed to be an in-person job in which I would intern at a courthouse in my city, thanks to COVID-19, it got moved entirely onto Zoom (thanks, corona!). However, my wonderful boss was able to adapt and make the online program just as rewarding. It now focuses on case studies of past Supreme Court decisions and conducting mock trials, and to spice it up a little, my boss also decided to bring in guest speakers, such as professors from local law schools and both past and current MA Supreme Court Justices.
The most recent speaker was former Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, who joined the court in 1997 and was sworn in to become the court’s 36th chief justice in 2010. He retired in 2014 after ruling on many monumental cases throughout his career.
My colleagues and I had the opportunity to ask him questions about his experiences and career, and when asked what the best piece of advice he had ever received was, he answered, “Don’t count yourself out.”
He went on to explain that if you want to apply for a job or internship, but don’t think you have the right experience or qualifications, don’t disqualify yourself. Let someone else do that, because everyone has different strengths and backgrounds, and you might just be the perfect person for the job.
This advice resonated with me. I have some pretty big goals for myself, and sometimes I doubt if I’ll be able to achieve them. But Justice Ireland reminded me that I need to have faith in myself and take some risks. Like an old coach of mine used to say, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
So take your shot. You never know what could happen.