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Scott Warmuth – Part 3

Episode 023

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Meaning of Success

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About Scott Warmuth – Part 3

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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Scott Warmuth – Part 3 Quotes

  • “I went (to law school) because I wanted to learn law, but it was also a test of myself. Of discipline. If I could discipline myself for three years.
  • “Family and relationships are the most important of anything.”
  • “That’s the elusive nature of goals, I guess. You can set them, and maybe you achieve them, but you also see that maybe that was not the important thing.
  • “The most precious time of my life was with kids.”
  • “I love examining my life because I do live looking backward. Every day is a treasure to me. I may not like it today, but tomorrow, I will like yesterday.”
  • Scott strives to be the very best and accepts challenges in his life
  • Scott has thrived as a lawyer; however, finds there are additional successes in life he wishes to achieve
  • Scott has worked in Washington, DC, New York City, and Los Angeles
  • Scott is incredibly proud of his children and finds them living out many of his own dreams

DID SCOTT ENJOY LAW SCHOOL?

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.

AFTER LAW SCHOOL, DID SCOTT OPEN HIS OWN FIRM?

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.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

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.

WHAT WERE SOME OF SCOTT’S DREAMS THAT HE WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH?

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.

WHAT ARE MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN THE 36+ YEARS OF THE LAW FIRM?

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.

HOW DID HAVING A FAMILY CHANGE SCOTT’S LIFE?

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.

DOES SCOTT FEEL FULFILLED IN LIFE, AND WHAT IS HE STRIVING FOR?

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.

WHAT IS SCOTT GOING TO CHALLENGE HIMSELF TO ACCOMPLISH GOING FORWARD?

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.

 

SGV III

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.