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“Climbing the Ladder” – The Path to a Great Legal Career By W. Perry Brandt


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Like Judge Ortrie Smith before me, I too wish to congratulate the staff and faculty advisors of the UMKC Law Review for establishing and promoting an internet publication. As I will discuss below, staying ahead of the curve and anticipating future developments in the world is essential to charting one’s career path. The Law Review is to be commended for taking this great legal publication into the 21st century.

A first glance at the title of this article likely evokes a cynical response of “Oh, here’s another tome on how to pursue selfish ambition and make a lot of money.” Well, it’s not. If success and money are a by-product of the advice given here, that indeed is an added benefit; however, as you will see, the thrust of this article will be how to develop your career in such a way that you achieve maximum professional growth and maximum professional fulfillment. My metaphor of “climbing the ladder” is simply intended as a description of how to approach the various stages of your career – indeed, it is all about mastering each rung of the ladder while always reaching for the next rung.

My starting premise is that law school does … Read the full text …

Satisfaction in the Law by Ortrie D. Smith


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I begin by congratulating the staff and faculty advisers of the UMKC Law Review. The idea of an internet publication is one whose time has come. Those associated with creating this first edition are commended for their prescience in seeing the future and rushing to greet it. I am pleased to be associated with visionaries.

My assigned topic could be called equanimity and the lawyer. I understand my assignment to be one of recounting personal experiences to the extent those experiences may help others find gratification and happiness in the practice of law. I embrace the opportunity for I have enjoyed a long and rewarding courtship with that jealous mistress.

The flirtation began in 1967. As a fourth-year student at the University of Missouri at Columbia I began to realize that my Bachelor of Arts Degree provided me no marketable skills. My studies centered primarily on history and English. In terms of career preparation, I might as well have remained in the bumper pit at the Leeds Chevrolet factory in Kansas City, Missouri, the last job I held before driving off to Columbia, Missouri in 1964.

As poor as those focus areas were as job qualifiers they were an excellent … Read the full text …