Now I finally understand what people mean when they say that formerly foreign phrase, "I don't have time for facebook!" It used to shock me to my core that PEOPLE just didn't have time for FACEBOOK. I mean, Facebook soaked up like hours of my day at a time. It was the only way a lawstudent like myself could socialize- from afar and not in real time.
Well, NOW I know.
This has been a hard, busy and tiring week. And you get to hear all about it.
In some ways coming back feels just like I never left. I get my old office from the summer back. I'm still not quite a lawyer because I'm waiting on bar results so I get to do the same things I did as a summer associate. I know most of the people already so there aren't too many "getting to know the co-workers with small talk" awkward moments. In fact, the social part of work is AWESOME. My first summer I was so nervous and shy. Last summer I was more confident and didn't spend all my time hiding in my office. This year, I feel like quite the social butterflies and am very comfortable in my environment, it feels like an old shoe (except for remembering how to use the dang printer/copier/fax machine). Even annoying guy from the summer is already asking me to buy him coffee and calling me Pooky.
My first day was a little frustrating because my only project was to review and analyze invoices from co-counsel. UGH. It was horrible. The second day was pretty much the same. But today I was assigned three different discovery status reports to go out to our clients. I was also assigned a research project and the task of contacting another client and answering interrogatories. Oh and a Motion to Dismiss! This is more like it! I love working on tangible client deliverables and drafting pleadings! It was great to see the face of the associate who assigned me a status report when just 5 hours later I handed him my first draft- he was shocked and impressed that I had actually completed it the same day! That felt pretty darn good.
I love the partners. They are so friendly, personable, and approachable. I feel like they genuinely care about how I'm doing at the firm. They all have small children at home and they totally understand where the mommy in me is coming from when I show up to work. It feels great to have partners come into my office to give me assignments and end up staying fifteen minutes longer than expected because we are chatting it up about our kids (!).
There are only two frustrating things about work. (1) The famous BILLABLE HOUR. Sheesh. I'm so nervous about meeting my hours. I never had a problem working there over the summer but now that I'm salary I'm worried about slacking on meeting my daily requirements. (2) Learning how to practice law. I mean I feel heads above most first year associates that I know just because I know the very basics of business of insurance law practice already and I have two summers of experience. But there is still a steep learning curve when it comes to learning how to handle a case from start to finish- in that regards, I have MUCH to learn.
Finally, with the return to work comes the return of the Mommy Guilt. I leave the house at 7am and return at 7pm five days a week. That means I have about 1.5 hours each weekday to spend with my fast growing toddler. With Jacob, I'm so conflicted. I enjoy working and using my law degree but I feel guilty for not always being there. I feel like everyone but me is raising him. I worry that I am going to miss out on so much of his life. A heavy weight of guilt hits me each time I walk out the door in the morning. Why is working away from home so hard for mommies and not so hard for daddies (my husband never feels this guilty and conflicted, why do I have to? It's just so unfair)!