Success isn’t what you get, but what you give


Success isn’t what you get, but what you give

President elect of the American Bar Association Judy Perry Martinez, urged the hundreds of Northeastern University School of Law graduates to think about their legacy even before their careers had begun. They way the graduates define the term success in their life will be what takes their careers forward. One of the important things, according to him, to keep in mind is to always have an honest conversation with themselves throughout their lives, to know what they want from life, and what makes them happy. The meaning of success is going to change in the lifespan of their careers;it’s important to keep asking yourself again and again what it means to you.


Martinez, who has served in various leadership positions in the American Bar Association throughout the past 35 years of her career, will take office as the legal organization’s 143rd president in August.

“I urge you to define success not only by how much you get, but how much you give,” she said.

Martinez left a mark on the graduates as she talked to them, that they have responsibility to give back, to do something as they are the members of one of the most noble professions, to protect the law, and provide justice; to use their voice, to be heard, and use it and impactfully influence. James Hackney, dean of the School of Law, praised the graduates as “leaders in a world that is looking for innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.”


The graduates have completed more than 338,000 hours of legal work in 879 places, did co-ops in 29 US states and territories, Washington, D.C., and six countries. The class devoted more than 160,000 hours to public interest co-ops. Hemanth Gundavaram advised the graduates while delivering the faculty address, “You need to realise when you’re doing something you love. If you haven’t found what you love yet, you will. When you do, pay attention to it.” Getting a dream job is not easy, it means putting in extra efforts, tuning out critics, and being persistent.


Siri Nelson, a graduate herself, encouraged her classmates towards humility as they seek to change the world. It is important to be kind and noble. Further Nelson said “Changing the world is incredibly difficult, and it would be arrogant for us to think it should be easy for us just because we’re lawyers.”


Everyone we come leaves an impact on us, and we are going to do the same, but what we need to remember is that we should leave behind something good. We can bring change; we just need to have a little faith.



Soumya Pandey

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