Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Practicing Being A Lawyer

This week I really got a taste of what it feels like to be a lawyer. And...Gasp! I LIKE it. I really really do!

This is my third week at the new job. My first week I was pretty much a scared intern. Hiding in my little office. Huddling under the preoccupation of a zillion research projects. Last week I turned in my first legal memo. The scariest moment of my job so far. See, my boss is managing partner. And he has self proclaimed himself the toughest critic of legal writing and the "best damned legal writer in the firm." He also uses 2 inch think red sharpies to edit things- if that's not intimidating, I don't know what is.

I came out with singed eyebrows and minor scorch marks, but no burns. I can handle this! Apparently my legal citations are a little rusty. For legal writing I always avoided citations that required me to look to the Blue Book. Or I simply asked my professor and nodded as she showed me the proper citation, having no idea how she got there. But I'm becoming sharp now- honing my skills.

This week I also had to review my billing with my boss. Ugh, I like keeping track of my hours and trying to beat my own records for billing but I HATE how picky and exact you have to be. If I could only bill for the time it takes me to keep track of my billing.... I also I drafted a Motion to Compel. Is it just me or is drafting pleading the most satisfying thing in the world? I mean, that is really where your work and research pays off. And a Judge (or a clerk) will read every single word (hopefully)! Pleadings are like the official moves a warlord commands when he is in a high-stakes battle. They're part of the final products of your work and they are what you use to get your client what he or she needs.

Other lawyer experiences involved pulled big expandable files for cases and reading them front to end. Also, being included in developing strategies for trial and discovery. But, to top it all off, I worked late tonight! Nothing makes you feel more like a lawyer than staying after 5pm to finish a project with a tight deadline and billing more than eight hours in one day. I'm sure the novelty will eventually wear off, but for now, I am really enoying this profession. IT makes all my effort in law school seem worth every all-nighter.

I think I am already at risk for becoming a work-aholic lawyer.

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