I’ve been an attorney since 1990, was a partner in an international law firm for many years, and have been teaching law since 1999.  I now teach full time.

Over those years, I’ve come to believe that people usually take too few risks, rather than too many.  Furthermore, most of us do not get basic instruction in school about what works — and what doesn’t — in building a successful and meaningful career or a fulfilling life.

What qualifies me to write about life’s best practices? I have been interested in human development for 25 years, and I’ve studied the subject as something more than an avocation for at least that long.  After beginning to teach, I found that my students’ questions were only sometimes related to the subject-matter in class.  As often, my students wanted to learn how someone like me, who had pursued a similar educational path to theirs, had ended up where I was. Through a process of trial and error, with plenty of error, I answered.

As I answered students’ questions, though, I forced myself to reflect on what in fact had worked and what had not — and why.  This fed my desire for answers, and that has led to more ongoing research.

In 2008, after nearly a decade of teaching, I decided to build a series of lectures that could be given to law students or others interested in rounding out their formal education.  These lectures, I figured, could not be self-help happy-talk, because young lawyers are extraordinarily skeptical:  they are being taught to “think like lawyers,” which involves questioning every statement and looking for, and skeptically examining, underlying data.  Thus, any advice must be grounded upon sound theoretical and empirical bases. That has led me to turn a lawyer’s rather skeptical eye on lots of research into psychology, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, and other areas.

This blog is an outgrowth of that project:  a place to post and test ongoing findings and receive feedback from both searchers and experts. One of my core theories is that many people living “success-track” lives construct artificial boundaries to their potential by refusing to risk failure.  I’ve lived this in my own life at times, and I have determined to take more risks.  This does not mean running in front of cars, but instead stretching myself to try things that I would not ordinarily try.  Again, this blog, which will display my thoughts sometimes in raw form, is one of those risks.

Does that mean I have all the answers, or even some of them?  C’mon. It means that I know some of the relevant questions, I can convey some of what I’ve learned (from books and from life’s blackboard), and I can explore these issues with others who visit this blog, interested as I am in human potential.

Deeper Background About Me. After graduating from Wake Forest University and Harvard Law School, I practiced law in the Washington, DC office of Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, for many years. In 1999, I began teaching as an adjunct at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2011, I began teaching there full time.

In 2000 I co-authored the first edition of a leading law school casebook, Class Actions and Other Multi-Party Litigation.  That text is now in its second edition, with a third edition slated for publication in 2011.  Class actions, complex litigation, civil procedure, and dispute resolution are my areas of professional and academic expertise. This blog captures an area of deep academic and personal interest.

I have had a varied career in community service, including current appointments to the Arlington County Economic Development Commission, the Board of Regents of Leadership Arlington, and the Alumni Council of Wake Forest University, as well as prior service with the Latino Student Fund, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, the Washington Humane Society, and other organizations.  I am a lifetime member of Leadership Arlington, an excellent leadership and community-building group in Northern Virginia. In 2009, I co-founded Creative Arlington, a group designed to bring together creative and innovative people from the arts, business, government, and elsewhere to make Arlington, Virginia a better place to live, work, and play.

I in Arlington, Virginia. I can be found on Twitter as @TBilich, and you can also contact me through this website at any time.