Olivia R. McDowell, Attorney
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success changes daily. Some days, success is winning a big dispositive motion or obtaining a favorable result for a client. Other days, it is just checking something minor off a to do list or supporting a colleague. There has been a trend toward only associating success with big wins or accomplishments, but as an attorney, sometimes it is the little successes that truly make you “successful.”
What’s the most unique part about working at LDM?
The collegiality and experiences at LDM are unmatched. I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of a firm where every person, no matter their role, is supportive and truly wants to see you reach your goals, both personally and professionally. I know that I am valued as an individual and my opinion matters, even as a younger attorney. Having partners, fellow associates, and staff that encourage you to be your best and take the next step in your career, whether you think you’re ready or not, is something that LDM does incredibly well. I was in the courtroom a day after being sworn in as an attorney and had the ability to second chair a medical malpractice trial during my first year of practice. LDM gives you the opportunity to try, celebrates your wins, and helps you grow from your losses. But no matter where you are in your career, you have a team of individuals, across diverse practice areas, that are ready and willing to help and want you to be the best you can be.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — you learned in the last month?
Mindset is everything. When strategizing for a case, it can be easy to get caught up in the “end goal” and forget that getting there will take some work. When that work hits a speed bump, it is easy to be discouraged. When I brought this frustration to a co-worker, she reminded me that it’s not always about the end result, it’s about the process. If you tell yourself you are going to do something small to help you reach your goal, like checking your citations before turning in a brief, you feel successful and work toward that end goal. If you tell yourself you have to achieve the end goal and nothing else, like drafting a perfect brief, you can get easily caught up and into your own head. But again, celebrating those small successes is most important. Oh, and it’s really helpful to have people on your team that can remind you of these things!
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who is just starting their career?
Don’t be afraid to give yourself some grace. You are going to make mistakes. We all do. But don’t let that fear of not being perfect stop you. If there is an opportunity, take it. And if you’re still nervous, find another attorney to talk about it with. We have all been in your shoes and likely had the same nerves. Don’t underestimate the power of having a mentor or friend who can guide you along the way.
What are you currently reading, listening to or binge-watching?
I have been binge-watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I am convinced I could be on the show, despite the fact I’ve never made a good batch of chocolate chip cookies in my life.