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Lead with humility and avoid complacency.

September 6, 2017

 

Caroline Savini is a third year law student at the University of Georgia Law pursuing a career in litigation. She is in the top of her class and during her time in school, she has been a research assistant to the dean of the law school, a published journal author, a recipient of a CALI academic excellence award, a teaching assistant, and a moot court oral advocate.

 

  1. What's your story? What makes you unique?

 

I consider myself to be unique in that I am something of a walking paradox. My friends and family know me to be levelheaded, composed, and methodical. I think rationally, have the ability to emotionally detach myself from situations, and view problems objectively. At the same time, I am also dynamic and eager. I aggressively pursue my goals, and I know when to take a risk or stand up for my beliefs. Where my logical side encourages realism and consistency, my passionate side fuels idealism and enterprise.

 

 

2. What motivates you?

 

Two things in particular. My support system serves as my external motivation. I have spent the better portion of the past few years putting my needs and priorities above everything else. I am so fortunate to have friends and family who have supported and encouraged me every step of the way. My intellectual curiosity serves as my internal motivation. I am a self-starter and nothing motivates me more than being presented with a challenge.  

 

 

 

3. Who is a hero of yours?

 

Aside from the obvious answer of my parents, my hero is my cousin Reid, who lives right down the street from me in Athens. Reid has a form of severe epilepsy that left him with permanent brain damage as a child, and at thirty-one, he still has the brain capacity of a three-year-old. We’ve always had a very special bond - he is one of my best friends and an unconventional role model. I actually chose to attend law school at UGA to have a few more years near him. Reid has taught me how to be kind, patient, and empathetic, and the unconditional trust he has in me inspires me every day.   

 

4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?

I got where I am today thanks to two formative, defining personal moments. In my junior year of high school, my classmates and I had to participate in a mandatory debate for AP US History. I used to be painfully shy and I had resigned myself to speak only when asked/forced to by the teacher. I ended up loving the debate and it served as the starting point of my path to law school. Skip ahead about six years to my 1L year and a relatively similar scenario. I had started law school after a summer of difficult changes, the hardest of which was staying in Athens while so many people I loved moved away and moved on. That first semester, I retreated into myself. I acted uncharacteristically timid and managed to convince myself that I was not cut out for law school. That spring, my classmates and I participated in a mandatory oral argument. I dreaded the prospect of competing in front of a crowd, but as I soon discovered, I loved everything about arguing for a cause and making my voice heard. That reassurance and newfound confidence came around at such a critical juncture in my law school career, and they kept me on the path that led me here.

 

5. What's your future plan? Your goals?

 

For right now, I’m focused on the short-term goals of graduating and passing the bar, and those goals will basically be all encompassing for the next year. While I’m currently most interested in pursuing a successful legal career as a trial attorney, I hope to eventually have kids, make my way back to Athens, and complete a PhD. I have always wanted to be a professor at a large university, and I would really love to see that goal come to fruition.

 

6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

 

Lead with humility and avoid complacency at all costs. I think these two points are interconnected to a degree. Natural intelligence is a gift, but so many people use it as an excuse to coast, rather than put in extra effort where it counts. Meanwhile, humble leaders recognize that self-improvement transcends self-importance, and they capitalize on opportunities for growth. There is a palpable difference between a proactive person and a reactive one - it’s no coincidence that the most successful people I know all have this exceptional initiative and humility.

 

 

7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?

 

I am particularly invested in improving the children’s healthcare system. It’s a tall order, but I would really like to see a day where we as a collective society can better prevent and cure childhood illnesses. My dad is on the board for CURE childhood cancer, which is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through targeted research and support. Even as a kid, I can remember participating in Lauren’s Run and other community events that benefited the fight against childhood cancer. As a result, the majority of volunteer work I do, including working with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and running half marathons for Rally Foundation against Childhood Cancer, is aimed toward reforming healthcare.

 

 

8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?

 

I think it’s a tie. I went cage diving with bull sharks a few years back. That was before I knew that the cages could break, so no telling if I’ll ever do that again. Other than that, I lived and worked in Barcelona a few years ago. While I was there, I hiked Montserrat, which is a mountain on the outskirt of the city (as well as Spain’s first National Park and the sight of a world famous monastery). The view was incredible!

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