Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 04/07/2014


Enrique Schaerer, Class of 2008
President, Upswing Law

The summer after graduating from law school, I had a unique experience. As my bar exam approached, I was whisked away from the drudgery of bar prep to a surreal weekend respite in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. As a Student Delegate to the 2008 International Achievement Summit, I rubbed shoulders with remarkable innovators, leaders, visionaries, and artists—folks like Michael Dell, Archbishop Tutu, Mayor Daley, George Lucas, Frank McCourt, and an up-and-coming singer named Taylor Swift.

The Summit was humbling but also deeply inspiring. I may not have realized it at the time, but a seed was planted that weekend. I began to see things as I’ve never quite seen them before. The Summit strengthened my resolve not to follow a safe, well-worn path but to do something truly creative, meaningful and impactful with my life. Someday, I thought.

Well, someday is today. After clerking for two federal judges and practicing law at two big firms, where I learned from extraordinarily accomplished people, I recently decided to strike out on my own—in pursuit of more creativity, greater meaning, and a bigger impact. I’m now a co-founder and president of a legal recruiting startup that uses technology to match lawyers and law firms based on mutual compatibility. I also plan to practice law again soon, this time in a smaller setting and with greater emphasis on the basic legal needs of my local community.

I’m on the road less traveled, and I suspect the Summit played no small part in getting me to this point. For that, I’ll be forever grateful.

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