Neena Rani Speer, Dear Future Lawyer: An Intimate Survival Guide For The Minority Female Law Student

From an early age, Speer’s mother and father encouraged her that she was going to be a CEO. Neena has since served as a YMCA summer camp counselor for over nine years and presently serves as the 2018 YMCA Birmingham’s Give Campaign Face. Neena is a newly licensed attorney, a four time published author for her Howard University honor’s thesis and two University of Alabama School of Law papers, with one being published in the Harvard Journal on African American Public Policy and now her newest publication entitled Dear Future Lawyer: An Intimate Survival Guide For The Minority Female Law Student. Neena is a proud African American and Indian mentor, speaker, and giver. Neena always tells her message with truth and authenticity.

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Ken: Welcome to the Goon Squad Podcast, extraordinary stories by ordinary people. Lock in what it says as we unpack universal principles that’ll catapult you to your next destination. Nina, N E E N A, huh?

Neena: Yeah, spell it right, please.

Ken: Spell it right-

Neena: For the people.

Ken: Homing from Wyoming. What’s your middle name?

Neena: Rani. R A N I.

Ken: Rani. So what’s your social?

Neena: Ooh, see-].

Ken: I’m just saying my listeners like to know everything.

Neena: I mean, some things, we’ve got to keep away from everybody. You know my social isn’t gonna help them understand…

Ken: No doubt. I love it. So we got Neena on the line, guys. Neena Speer, an amazing individual. I only got a brief moment to cross paths with her. Was it Black Wall Street?

Neena: Yeah, it was Black Wall Street. Homecoming.

Ken: It was Black Wall Street.

Neena: The Black Upstart Bootcamp. That’s where we had our humble beginning.

Ken: Exactly. I remember, I think it was y’all was here for a couple of days. Matter of fact, I was here about a week, right?

Neena: Mm-hmm (affirmative), we were.

Ken: That’s what’s up. So, tell the people where did this come from? Where did the desire to become a Black author come from?

Neena: So, funny enough, I have been writing short stories and books and different novels, plays since I was little. If you go through my old USB drive, you’ll find all of these short stories that I was writing. And they were never published, never put anywhere, but I was just a creative child who really loved to write. And something dawned on me in the middle of law school and I was just like, I can not forget these moments of how I felt and what I was going through and I said, do you know what? I’m going to write out how one L year is going, and then I’m just going to send it to of couple people and see what they say.

Neena: And the response I got back from my mentors and a bunch of one Ls that I sent the chapter to was, this is amazing, this is very well written, this is an amazing piece. When I got to law school, I met a professor who told me that I really, really had a skill for writing, and it just took off from there. I said, I want to be an author and I want things that are published. I want to be out there, but I want a book. I want to put something out there that actually helps.

Ken: I love it. So when do you remember first starting your short stories?

Neena: So my early memory was more than likely 5th grade. I was writing little stories to myself. And this is most young girls, we make up stories in our head, but I was writing them out, typing them up on our dinosaur computer, I liked to call it, using the floppy disks. And nobody knows about the floppy disk anymore, but the floppy disks, once you bent that metal piece back and it wouldn’t go back in- [crosstalk 00:03:29].

Ken: It’s a wrap.

Neena: It’s a wrap. So you couldn’t mess up the floppy disk. So I was just writing all sorts of stories up on my computer and I came up with these princess stories, I came up with this capture, these villains. And I didn’t realize as a kid that I was literally trying to become a Black writer, a Black author. I was writing stories. I’m just coming up with things that are on my head, and putting it into a nice little story wrap format to make myself entertained. Who knew you could be a Black author just by coming up with these creative pieces?

Ken: That’s pretty dope. Do you believe you were writing for a reason or was this kind of an outlet for you in the fifth grade, or what?

Neena: Honestly, I believe it was an outlet. There’s very few times in your life when you’re growing up that you get a chance to express yourself fully.

Ken: Wow.

Neena: And fifth grade and in sixth grade, I had a lot of emotion and they were very, very hard to understand and articulate to people. And stories, they really allow you to take people through your emotions in a creative way without you having to be like, these are all of my emotions, explain them to me. And people get a sense of what you’re feeling, what you’re going through, but also how you see the world, what values you have. And I just used it. I mean, a lot of people, they won’t write it out, they’ll just try to talk about it and feel their emotions. But for kids, being creative with your emotions really allows you to express more.

Ken: So when you were going through middle school and high school, did these short stories play any role in your education? Did you find yourself writing more? Writing lists, writing different subjects, or what? Tell me about it. Tell me about your writing experiences up through twelfth grade.

Neena: I went through middle school, not really knowing much about writing and trying to put too much to paper because in middle school I was really pursuing basketball and I wasn’t really into the writing thing. I was trying to be a jock, like my dad, but I got to high school and the basketball thing didn’t work out and they told me to focus on academic. So I got into this creative writing class in 10th grade and I just thought I had the best writing ever. Everyone always told me I was the best writer, and I got in my creative writing class and my teacher was like, “Nah, this isn’t good.”

Ken: Wow.

Neena: And I was like, “What? It’s not good? I’ve always been hearing that I’m a great writer. What is going on? This is a creative writing class. I’m good at creative writing.” And we got a chance to write for National Novel Writing Month and it was the first time I actually challenged myself. I said, I’m going to write a book. I’m gonna write the best book that ever is. Mind you y’all, I really only got eight chapters of the book written, but I grow eight chapters of this fantasy short story. You will see it one day when I finish out the last remaining chapters, but it was actually a very well written piece.

Neena: It took you down a lot of different areas of fantasy and different genres of just my life and then just lives I had observed up until that point. and I realized that with my writing I was growing in technique because I hadn’t just done short stories. I had done poetry. I had written haiku, short songs, I’d even written songs, lyrics to stuff. And by the time I finished high school I was writing poetry. I was really into poetry and I didn’t even see the shift because I was so into expressing myself that I just really wanted to get to a point where I wanted to be able to tell people how I felt in short form as opposed to writing it out as long because sometimes there’s a lot of different emotions and you don’t really want to explain all of them at once.

Ken: And so you [inaudible 00:07:34]?

Neena: I broke it up and that was a lot more therapeutic for me. So I switched to poetry once I got to college.

Ken: Alright. So let’s backtrack for just a hair. Let’s talk about this guy, this teacher. I don’t know if it was a guy or girl in the 10th grade. When you received that type of discouragement, I’m sorry, that type of feedback, did you look at it as discouragement or was it fuel to your fire?

Neena: That is a great question. It was really discouragement for me because I went to a predominantly white high school, so I’m in all the smart classes, and I’m in the AP honors courses. Everyone doesn’t make it to these courses or doesn’t enroll in these courses, and when you’re a teacher says, “Hey, your writing’s not at the caliber of you’re going to get an A in my class,” you’re really looking at yourself like, “But this is what I do. This is something that I specialize in.” And for someone to tell me that early on in life, it prepared me later, but it really does discourage you, because as a writer, you’re not looking at it from their perspective of you want their approval. You’re looking at it from the perspective of they’ve done this before and they’re telling me, my writing’s not at the caliber it needs to be. So what can I do to make it better?

Ken: When you got this feedback from him, was this before or after you joined the National Novel Writing Month?

Neena: So this was before, and I think that was a good impetus, as you say, fuel to the fire for me to say, “You know what? I don’t care if you don’t think I can write. I’m gonna write this. This I’m going to write, I’m going to submit it and somebody’s going to think it’s great.”

Ken: Before you go on because we’re going to talk more about this National Novel Writing Month. Now I just want to deal with this, this type of feedback that you got from this teacher, right? Um, because I think this right here defines the goon, right? This is what makes or breaks us from entering the Goon Squad and becoming the best us that we can become. Easily you could have taken that and that have been the end of your creative writing, yeah?

Neena: Yeah.

Ken: But you decided to, no, we’re gonna veer right and we’re gonna continue on the path because something in your mind was telling you for all these years, everybody had been saying, “Oh, you’re such a great writer,” and now all of a sudden you get in front of somebody who’s quote unquote educated enough to teach creative writing. And now somebody with these credentials be like, “Nah, you really ain’t got what it takes.” And now comes the National Novel Writing Month. All right, so give me some feedback. Alright, we entered it, all right. We knew at this point in time that this was fuel to the fire. What was the outcomes of this contest or whatever you entered in?

Neena: I did not win. Nobody wins these contracts. You literally are supposed to meet the writing objective of, I think it’s 50,000 words, 50,000 words for the month. And I not only hit 50,000 words, I went over.

Ken: Wow.

Neena: I was just so impressed with myself because I was like, first of all, I didn’t know I could write that much. Second off, who wants to spend 50,000 words worth of writing in high school when you’re really just trying to go home and go to sleep? Because they already give you enough to write about. So I did that on top of my schoolwork and everything that I wrote about, I can go back and read that now and send that to somebody now and they tell me this is a very well written piece. And I was doing it at a high school level. And so imagine when I got more education underneath my belt, how my writing could just transform, but it started in a place where the teacher said, “Your writing’s not that good. Your creative writing’s not that good.” And I’m going back and reading it from like my law school mind, and like impressed with myself.

Ken: From the 10th grade, son. But we ain’t gonna get hung up right there in the 10th grade. So what happens after this, right?

Neena: So it goes to the next level. And the craziest thing in the world happens in college. I start performing at poetry ciphers.

Ken: Wow.
Neena: And I’m not only performing, I’m a hit at these poetry ciphers.

Ken: Say word.

Neena: Me and the poetry cipher leader became tight and they’re like, “Every time you come, you bless my set.”

Ken: Wow.

Neena: And I’m sitting here like, I’ve never performed poetry in my whole life. I’m shaking.

Neena: In here like, I’ve never performed poetry in my whole life. I’m shaking every time I get up there to perform or read my piece to a bunch of people. And it’s like a bunch of black people, black brothers and sisters and I’m talking about love, heartbreak, watching inconsistencies and injustice happen in the world. I’m just talking from my heart. It’s something that I wrote when I was in my room, locked up, thinking that nobody was listening. And these people are vibing with me, these people are listening to me like, “Yo, we can’t wait for you to come back and do a cipher.”

Ken: Where did you start your freshman year?

Neena: The illustrious Howard University, the Wakanda of the world.

Ken: So what were your intentions to study your freshman year?

Neena: I studied psychology and French, double major, because those were my two favorite topics in high school.

Ken: Why French?

Neena: French was my favorite topic in high school, but I didn’t want to not learn a language. Because a lot of people go to high schools, learn languages, and then forget. So one of my professors told me that he had learned German in college at one point, but then he just fell off because he didn’t stay with it. So I said, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to get French down so I’m fluent.

Ken: So you said that was one of your majors.

Neena: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ken: Did you stick with it throughout the rest of your bachelor’s career?

Neena: That was psychology and French all the way through, nobody could make sense of it, but it was probably the most rewarding major I’ve ever been in. Both of the majors got every level of interest, intrigue, because French is just fascinating, but pair it with psychology at Howard and learning the black experience of both French and psychology? Bar none.

Ken: When you started your freshman year what you want to do with psychology and French at the end of your college career?

Neena: At the end of college, I was always focused on one thing. I was going to go be a lawyer. So I knew that psychology was going to help me understand people, minds and mindsets, if I have to go in front of juries, if I have to go talk to criminal defendants, because I wanted to represent them. I would have to understand how people think and why they think the way they think and what’s the process behind getting to what you need to get the answers from. You have to be able to read people. And psychology really helps you understand what the impetus is behind a lot of people.

Ken: So now that you are gracing the presence and the souls of people who are enjoying your creative writing through spoken word, how did you continue on blessing the people throughout your college career?

Neena: With my interactions, a lot of what happened was I transitioned from writing into service. So there was a lot of service opportunities in DC for me to use some of the skills that I have with writing or developing youths, or anything. And just imparting wisdom in a different form or format, where I was able to help people write papers, or do their homework, I was working with the athletic department at one point, working on helping math and French and teaching French using basketball terms.

Neena: It was a lot of utilizing the creativity that writing really helps people get to, and using it in a way in which people can see the benefits of learning. And that’s what really creative writing is about, is people who really believe that learning as a life-long learner is huge skill to have. Writing takes you there. And being able to impart that to people by showing them, hey look I have this knowledge but I’m only as good as if you are as good as I am. So I’m trying to impart that wisdom to you every step of the way. So I use a lot of my creative writing and my technique for my different job skills, for things that I needed to do to help other people.

Ken: That’s pretty dope. I might need to highlight you off the record on some creative writing, but that’s neither here nor there. So all right, you finished your double major in psychology and French. What’s next?

Neena: I had no plan, Ken, to be honest. I had applied to law schools and I hadn’t gotten in to where I wanted to get in, and so I was taking a year off and I was going to go back and be a summer camp counselor. And I signed up and got with the program and went through the trainings, and my phone rings on the way for me trying to find a second job. Because I was going to save money because I was going to law school. But it was just a matter of money and where.

eena: And I got this phone call, and it was from Alabama Law, and it said, “Hey we wanted to let you know you got into Alabama law school and we’ve accepted you” … I said, “Hold up, hold up, I’m driving. Can I call you back?” And pulled up to like Nuke’s, pulled out my laptop, pulled out my phone, got some food, sat down. Because I had to take all of this in. Because I got into law school, and not just a law school, I got into the law school that’s pretty big here in Alabama.

Neena: And then I just, everything really worked itself out from there. Because I was really gung ho on going to Emery. I was convinced that’s where I was going. And I took a tour of Emery and then Alabama rolled out the red carpet for me. And they made it impossible for me to say no. And I ended up going to law school, having an announcement like my classmates, because everybody else from Howard was going to Emery. So I was just trying to be up there with them so we could have a Howard party. Like I wasn’t even thinking about law school at that point. I was like, I’m going to go up to this job I used to work for, and be like, hey I need to work for you again. And Alabama Law School, the place I finished at, called me and said, “Hey we’re accepting you into our school.”

Neena: Because I had been waiting to hear back from Alabama since I applied in January. And it was end of May, and I was just waiting and waiting. I was like, so you all not going to respond to my application, I mean am I not getting in? So it ended up working out, because I’m from Alabama. It was an hour away from where I lived. And my parents were close by. And they provided a more than substantial scholarship for me to attend. And those were things that factored in to my decision. And it was very valuable to be able to say, look I didn’t have a plan when I was graduating from Howard, I was just happy I was leaving, being able to get out of Howard in one piece.

Ken: That’s a success story in and of itself right there, Dena.

Neena: Oh thank you.

Ken: Absolutely. All right, so when you were in law school … How long is the program by the way?

Neena: The program lasts three years. I went a month early because I got into a special summer class where we got to go a semester, a summer early, and a couple months early and take a crash course contract course, so we had one less in the fall. So I technically did three years and a month.

Ken: During the midst of this program is when you get the unction to go ahead and write this book. But leading up to this book, tell us your thought process leading from the time you started law school to the time you started writing this book.

Neena: Before I started writing this book, I was literally so excited about school for two reasons. One, I said I’m going to learn everything. But I remember sitting and having a real talk with my mom. And I was like, do you want to know why I’m excited about law school? I’m going to really have to learn stuff, I’m really going to have to try. In college, in high school and middle school, I was fortunate enough to not have to work hard because I could memorize and regurgitate information. And teachers, they accepted that because that’s really what I needed to do in order for me to be successful.

Neena: But I knew law school was going to require me to do more than just memorize. They were going to need me to master technique, they were going to need me to master different dialogues, and different ways to write, and different persuasive styles. And I wasn’t going to able to BS anybody. And so a good grade, or a not so bad grade, or can I do some extra credit, this was going to be a very difficult, challenging process.

Ken: So hold on, hold on, hold on. So let me find out. You used to use your skills or creative writing to finagle some things. Did I hear that correctly?

Neena: I just went and talked to professors after hours and asked them what we could do to make this work. Because an undergraduate, it’s a hustle. You don’t just sit with grade, if you don’t like the grade and if there’s something that you did correctly, you got to go talk to them.

Ken: You all better hear it.

Neena: Every single professor was you at one point. So they know how hard it is for you to get into these grad school programs. So you can’t just go and be happy with your 88 when it could be a 90.

Ken: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Neena: You know, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sit there and take a 88 when I knew I had done the work for a 90.

Ken: Sure.

Neena: And so a lot of the times people just missed out on getting their A’s and their B’s instead of their C’s and the D’s because they weren’t there hustling and talking to the professor after class every class, what do I got to do. I looked at the nine weeks grade, I don’t like it. What do I got to do? And that’s really what pushes you forward is you being determined enough to be like, look I got this right. I did this, this is what you asked of me, this is how I studied it and this what it was supposed to be. It might not be the exact wording but is it … There were times when I really did do that and it was successful at law school. You can try that if you want to. You can’t go in nobody’s office and be like, I need you to fix my grade. It don’t work like that. It don’t even work like that for the people who do very, very well.

Neena: So I knew before I even started, before I pressed go that law school was going to be a different breed. I had that foresight beforehand. And it was awesome to know that but it was crazy to experience it. You know how you feel prepared for something? And you’re like I’m prepared, I know it’s going to be rough and I’m ready.

Ken: Right.

Neena: I was not ready, Ken, I was not. I got the first grade I got back in law school, and I was like okay, okay. I didn’t get a C. Cool. And then I got the rest of those grades back from the first semester and I was like okay, okay, I’m not liking this. This ain’t the GPA I’m used to keeping.

Ken: Right.

Neena: I want to change up the GPA scales, this is not how, they’re not supposed to classify a B as a three. What is going on?

Ken: Right, right.

Neena: So law school, and most people don’t know this, but law school breaks down a GPA very differently. Like a A+ is actually a four. And then it goes down from there. So they have A+, A, A-, and the A- is actually like a, closer to a 3.8 than it is, or closer to a 3 than it is to a 3.8. so A- is no longer a 4. You know, 4’s are A+’s. So if you think about that, a 4 is a A+, well nothing else kinda gets better. So When you’re getting into the B’s and the B- land, you’re not really in a good grade place.

Ken: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Neena: And it is very difficult for people who are used to succeeding, because in law school they do pick people who are used to getting A’s and B’s. They’re not used to getting any type of GPA that isn’t a 3.8 or above. And it was very, very eye opening for me because I was not prepared, I was not okay with being in a very, very bad place for a semester. And I don’t mean very bad like, you know I was going crazy but I mean, they damn near drive you crazy with knowing that you can’t do a lot if you don’t know how to make this process work.

Ken: So not only did you, I mean not only did you play the game but you had to know the game before you really played that thing.

Neena: You had to know it

Ken: You play the game, but you had to know the game before you really played that thing.

Neena: Yeah, you had to know it, and it took me a second to learn the game. The first semester and the second semester I was struggling. I was very, very much so struggling, to a point where … And you don’t read this in my book, but I was on that withdraw button, hovering. Like, “This shit right here! I’m making myself sick about these grades, I’m working hard and it’s still not paying off, I don’t understand.” And somebody pulled me aside and said, “Look, it’s not that you don’t know this stuff, it’s that you haven’t mastered it yet.”

Ken: Wow.

Neena: That’s it. “It’s not that you don’t know it, you know it.” I actually had a real talk with the professor, she’s no longer there, but she pulled me aside and said, “It’s not that you didn’t know it. Because there are plenty of people behind y’all.” And I really wanted people to understand, there were plenty of people that scored way lower than I did on these tests. And I’m thinking that my grade is the worst grade to have. It’s not low, it’s just not high.

Ken: Right.

Neena: And she said there are plenty of people who score way lower than me. And that put a lot of things into perspective for me, because I was looking at myself like a victim, I’m suffering, all this low … There are people who had it way worse than I do. And I’m sitting over here thinking, “I don’t understand, I’m gonna flunk out of law school.” She’s like, “You just haven’t mastered it yet. You have to focus on mastery.”
Ken: So when she told you this … I’m pretty sure at the time she told you this, you really couldn’t fathom exactly what she was saying. When did it really click?
Neena: It clicked when I finished my last exam, second semester. And I had been working, I kid you not, we were at IHOP at two, three o’clock in the morning reviewing evidence terms. And I got into the exam, and I had fun. Everybody else was complaining about that exam and nobody got to hear how I felt about it exams after, ’cause I never talked about them. But I had fun.

Ken: You had fun during the exam?

Neena: Exam was fun for me. That’s how I knew what she meant by mastery, because when you love something and you pair and you work hard at it, you have fun. That’s what mastery truly is, you’re just having fun. That’s why I want you to see, Steph Curry and Lebron and Coby, all of them out there on the court, just shooting shots and dancing afterwards, they’re just having fun. I hadn’t got to that point, because I was thinking it just had to be hard. Law school is just supposed to be difficult and rough and terrible, and mind you, there are times when it feels like that. But I got into my evidence exam and I had fun.

Ken: Wow, this is a game changer.

Neena: I could hear her in my head, telling me I knew my stuff, because I had a professor that could talk to me and help me understand some the terms that were a little bit more difficult for me. That explained a different way. And I had not just gotten that professor, there were enough upper class men around, where there were people willing to help me if I asked. And I got over the fact that I needed help. And those people were able to explain evidence to me on a whole nother level. And I started to invest in so much into evidence that I think all my other classes but, you have other classes. That was when my light came on. And so, when your light comes on you have to roll with it, that’s how you’re gonna master something. You can’t turn your light on in the class you’ve been forced to take.

Ken: Wow, big ups to the professor who shed that light on you though. I think that was a game changer right there in the end of your second semester. So at what point did you start to document or start to write your book?

Neena: It was towards the middle of second semester, mainly around the time I gave up, where I was just done. I’m gonna be 100% real with you right now, and I tell people this but they don’t believe me. I stopped reading after February 15, I didn’t read no more, ’cause I was done. I was over it, I was so tired. And I just took copious notes in class, just like I used to do in undergrad, and I switched back to all of my undergrad methods, and I said, “This is all I’m gonna do, and if this don’t stick, I’m done. This it.” And I said, “You know what, I gotta start writing this stuff down.” Because really, as we talked about in my prior young days, I needed an outlet. And this became my outlet, it was a huge outlet for me because I needed to joke about it, I needed to laugh about some of the hard times I had been through, some of the anxiety I had felt, some of the people I had met along the way.

Neena: And to be able to talk about it in a way in which it wasn’t so intimidating. And I just wrote it. I said, “Chapter one is just gonna be about all these people you’re gonna meet, all of the experiences you’re gonna feel. And just to help somebody understand that this is normal.” That’s what I learned and I was like, “You know what? I just need to talk about this in a non … I’m crying all the time, I just need to joke about it and tell my story, tell my truth. The different phases I went through, the different people I met, the different things that were crossing my mind, and different things I wish I had heard as encouragement at those points.”

Ken: Tell us about the book.

Neena: So it is called Dear Future Lawyer – An Intimate Survival Guide For The Female Minority Law Student.

Ken: Survival guide?

Neena: Yes. And the awesome thing about my book is it’s not just a book, it’s a book and a journal. So after each chapter, your first year of law school, there’s a journal. After your second year of law school chapter, there’s a journal, after your third, there’s a journal, and even after you finish law school and you’re just a graduate, is a journal for the bar exam. You need something for every step of the way. You need an outlet. And nobody tells you how to make an outlet, they just tell you you need to go find something to do, or you need to write your thoughts out in a journal. But this is a book that you can read along with your own thoughts. You can add your own thoughts and in the margin. There are women out here, just like me, who might be her first time in college, or her first time in law school, it was their first time in college sometimes, and they don’t know how to deal with some of the stress that comes with law school.

Ken: Neena, I swear, that sounds like a goldmine though.

Neena: Well the thing is, when I started the promo, mind you I knew all this … I was like, “Yeah, this is great, this is absolutely exciting.” But then when I saw the promo and then I saw the reaction to the promo, and people are, “I’m buying this for my mentee. I need this.” I had a girl reach out to me and said, “This is literally my experience. I came from an HBCU to a PWI law school and it’s a shock.” And for me to get those responses off of just posting about it, it just made it real for me, because I’m thinking, “A few women might support my book, but I don’t know if they’re all gonna think that I’ve been through what they’ve been through.” But there were so many women that wanted something. Something tangible that said, “Hey, I feel what you’ve been going through.”

Ken: And what better way than put that junk in a survival guide? And you documented every step of the way. So how long did it take you to write it?

Neena: I finished up the book actually in 2017. I was going to finish it up after I had passed the bar, but something told me, “Neena finish that book before you pass. Because you speak in past and into existence in the book, so why not have some faith?”

Ken: Wow.

Neena: The book was finished in 2017. I was legitimately just trying to get it published, and I found an editor for my book, after I left you guys over there in North Carolina. And I found a publisher, and the book is on the way to being published, but had I been waiting for my bar results, I would just be here having passed the bar and no book. No plan, because I wanted to put things on pause until they happen. But a lot of what the book is about, and a lot of what people are gonna feel I believe when they read this book, is having faith is way more powerful than having certainty in law school.

Ken: Man, that’s the closing remarks right there. So where can we pre-order at?

Neena: You can pre-order at, the last brand stands for lawyer, author, speaker, truth. To learn more about the brand, we just talked about that on another podcast, but it is a very … It’s couched all into the same place. Everything that you do is gonna last, so why won’t she just go to

Ken: Man, y’all hear it right here on the Goon Squad podcast, and we are super thrilled to have Neena Speer onboard the Goon Squad. Welcome to the Goon Squad, it’s official. I can’t wait till you get your T-shirt in the mail, so you can put it on and take a picture and send it to your boy. I’m super excited for your future, I’m proud of you. I don’t know you like my homey but I feel like you my homey ’cause you in the Goon Squad, and everybody that’s a part of the Goon Squad is doing big things man. For our listeners out there, we just believe that the principles of success are universal right? It doesn’t matter if you are going to law school, or if you’re trying to own a lawn care business out here, or if you just try and be the best employee at your job. If you believe the principles of success are universal and they can be applied, so that’s why we are super thrilled to feature people like you, as a black author here on the Goon Squad podcast.

Ken: Because there’s folk out there who’re listen and like, “Man I can’t do this.” Or, “I ain’t made to do this.” But your story is definitely gonna help a lot of people, so keep up the good work and we’ll see you at the top.

Neena: Neena out.

Ken: Thanks for tuning in to the Goon Squad podcast. I would love for you guys to stay locked in with me for more extraordinary stories by ordinary people. So definitely join us on Instagram and Facebook at Goon Squad Podcast. Hit us up on Twitter at goonsquadpod, if you know of any goons in a different industry, get in my inbox,, get in my DMs or visit us on the web at So family, until next week, we out.

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