Scott Warmuth, lawyer and the co-host of the podcast, shares his life story in this 3-part series. In this last part of the series, Scott gives different meanings of what success meant throughout his career and personal life as an adult. From a tough first semester and year in law school to passing the Bar exam on the first try, from teaching in China to coming back losing money, and from a man reaching for career success to a man reaching for personal success. Scott finishes looking at his past and brings forth some of what he wants for his future.
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He did enjoy it; however, looking back, he thinks he may have been a little disappointed in himself, and he should have done better and accomplished more.
Not being number 1 in law school was admittedly a bit of a failure for Scott. At this point, he’s not even sure if he looks back at his life as a success.
He knew in May 1983, when he graduated that he wanted to open his own firm, but he knew he had two stages he had to go through first. He had to pass the BAR and get sworn in as a lawyer.
Based on how long it would take, he knew he wouldn’t be able to open a firm until January of the next year.
He passed the Bar in San Diego on his first attempt, but it’s such an anxious time where you’re in limbo, not knowing whether or not you are going to pass.
In September, Scott moved to Washington, DC, and worked at an agency for a few months.
Once he discovered he had passed the BARs, he made adjustments to head back to Los Angeles, California. He opened an office in downtown LA in a high-rise and also a branch office in Monterey Park.
More than anything, Scott wanted to be successful. Law school helped define success for Scott and what steps to take.
For instance, being number one in his class or making Law review. There are some undefined dreams that Scott remembers writing in his journal, such as making a million dollars, having a particular-sized office, and being independent.
However, he found himself wanting to build a law office without extensively practicing law. He wanted to find the best attorneys that would help his clients. Scott reflects on his solitude and how he may take trips to Las Vegas or New York and go 24 to 48 hours without genuinely interacting with anyone.
Scott acknowledges that even the most difficult times were still good times. Scott looks back fondly and is a very nostalgic person. However, he finds it difficult to stay in the present at times.
In the 1980s, Scott was doing a lot of federal litigation, which is considered the highest level of law. The most demanding attorneys and judges are required for federal litigation.
In 1986, Scott’s law firm won a major settlement, and he naively believed he might never have to work again. He went to China to teach and ended up losing all of his money due to the stock market and not saving.
The most precious time of Scott’s life was when his children were little. He moved to Pasadena in 1993, and his son, Anthony, was the only child at that time and was three years old.
The intention of moving to Pasadena was to provide more of a family environment compared to where they used to live in West Los Angeles.
He found it easier to get around and a slower lifestyle pace. It felt more like a home base, so to speak.
Scott admits he certainly feels satisfied and content looking back on all that he’s done. However, looking forward in life, he does not feel that way.
He’s proud of his children – Anthony, who is living in Wisconsin and engaged to a Ph.D. student that he has been with for about a decade and loves. He is studying law.
Scott’s daughter, Tiffany, lives in New York City, graduated from Columbia University, and works for IBM.
Scott is satisfied that they have found a place in this world and at good places, and Scott takes immense pride in that.
It is ironic because Scott finds himself loving both the idea of being in a midwestern, Big 10 school type of area – such as where his son lives in Madison, WI. However, Scott’s favorite city is NYC, which is where his daughter lives.
So, in a way, his children encapsulate every part of his dream life. He always considered fatherhood the most important thing he could ever do in life.
Scott wants people to understand he is not the lawyer billboard that everyone sees. He is a different person that a lot of people do not have the chance to see.
Scott has so much experience and knowledge that he wants to be able to pass on. It almost feels like Scott is hoarding that information inside of him.
1. Rose Bowl: For instance, the Rose Bowl is impactful to Scott because every day for years, he ran the 3-mile trail around the Rose Bowl.
2. Monterey Park: This is where Scott started his life in San Gabriel Valley and where he started his law practice in 1984.
3. It’s a three-way tie between Old Pasadena, the old trails, and the streets and the neighborhoods of San Gabriel Valley: When he first moved to SGV, he didn’t know the area, but he would just get in his car and drive the streets.