Is your career based on considered choices you planned or has it unfolded as part of a process you didn’t necessarily foresee?
My career has been a combination of considered choices and unexpected developments. In many ways, my career has been a result of turning unexpected developments into considered choices by always seeking out opportunities that are consistent with my passions and interests.
What do you enjoy most (and, if you’re willing, what are the least enjoyable or hardest parts) about your current role?
I enjoy working with law students, lawyers and law professors from all around the world. I love teaching in Lithuania, receiving law students from Thailand, and collaborating with judges from Ireland, for example. It is exciting to explore the different legal traditions that influenced law practice in its various permutations in jurisdictions around the world.
What skills and personality traits lend themselves to success in your field?
Patience, creativity, strong communication skills, dedication, hard work, reliability and integrity. The ability to navigate different cultures and values is also important (and foreign language skills are a big plus!).
What advice do you have for someone who hopes to find a job similar to yours/in your field?
It might not happen right away, and that’s OK. The typical career lasts for decades. Find something you enjoy and that will challenge you, and do it very well. Develop your network, build your reputation for excellence, seek out opportunities that are appealing to you, and be ready to seize them when they come along.
What has been the best surprise in your career?
I enjoyed enormously the private practice of law in the Big Law law firm setting, and that surprised me. For me, what mattered most was having mentors in the firm who took the time to make me a better lawyer. Find mentors; they are critical.
What might you do differently, in hindsight?
Recognize even earlier how little I knew and how much I had to learn.
What do you do outside of work that helps you be successful?
I coach soccer, I travel, I read for pleasure, and I sometimes do nothing much at all, and all of that allows me to maintain a sense of perspective and balance.