March 09, 2015 Articles

Grit, Growth Mindset, and Being a Great Trial Lawyer

By Katherine M. Larkin-Wong

During the 2014 bar year, the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession completed a massive project aimed at providing women, and lawyers generally, new psychological frameworks to assist in their advancement. Roberta Liebenberg, the 2014 chair of the Commission, explained the project as follows:

One of the signature projects of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 2014 is the Grit Project. “Grit” entails perseverance, dedication and a strong drive and commitment to achieve one’s goals. A “growth mindset” is the belief that our abilities are flexible and adaptable, and can be improved through conscientious effort. Extensive research concerning the traits and characteristics of those who have achieved professional success has repeatedly confirmed that the possession of grit and a growth mindset are better predictors of success than pure intelligence, what school you attended, or how high you graduated in your class. Significantly, through teaching, these traits can be developed and enhanced. Grit and a growth mindset better enable you to adapt to and overcome ever-changing obstacles and barriers in the workplace and to realize your full potential.

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