Tuesday, April 27, 2010

For Love Of Law

I love my job. Lots. Actually, I think it's crazy how much I love my job. I love my job. I love my own office. I love my co-workers. I love my bosses. I love my clients- from all walks of life and ends of the spectrum. I mean, I REALLY love my job. That's not normal right?

I still am amazed at how my quixotic, wandering and spontaneous soul ended up in a professional career with an admirable education and a legitimate job. I remember the tortures and the worries and the hauntings I felt about becoming a lawyer. I thought it wouldn't be for me. I thought I'd never be smart enough to succeed in the legal profession. I thought my chances were slim for landing a job, especially next to my impressive law review peers. And yet, here I am. I have an associate position in a successful (although smaller) law firm with some pretty impressive (ok not like majorly impressive, but impressive to me) clients. I receive praises for my work (most of the time) and the other associates and partners show their appreciation for all the projects I help out with.

I would never have believed in all my law school life that I would end up here. Happy, productive and on the top floor of a downtown Seattle skyrise. I thought I'd eventually graduate lawschool with misgivings. I swore I would end up lost among the legal profession, unsure of where I really belonged. I thought law school would lead me down a non-legal career path into governance or social administration. I wasn't logical or practical enough for a stuffy, paper-pushing office job. And yet. Here I am, soaking it up and loving it.

And now it all makes sense. Litigation is the perfect career path for me. I am super nerdy. I love to research. I love to learn things and be intellectual. I love to write papers. BUT I also like to be productive and see end results. Every time I get to write a motion, I satisy both of those parts of me. I get to write an argument for why something should happen and then I get to see that argument actually result in a Judge's Order and report back the end resuls to the client. It's PERFECT.

Also, litigation is awesome because, no matter how many years you practice law, you will ALWAYS come across a new issue that you've never seen before. Of course at this early stage in my career, everything is new. But it's refreshing to see that the experienced associates and partners don't know all the answers and it's kind of cool when they rely on your research and recommendations. Yesterday an associate asked me to write an opposition for a motion for expert deposition fees. Apparently, under discovery rules, if you request to take the deposition of opposing counsel's expert witness, you have to pay them for the time they spend "responding to discovery." But it's unclear whether this includes time they spend preparing for the deposition. At first, I thought this issue would be really boring- ew, fees and costs. YUK. But, it ended up being like a caselaw scavenger hunt to track down helpful cases from other jurisdictions and apply them to my case. Then applying that knowledge to a written final product that a JUDGE will read- it can't get any better for my nerdy self.

While I do love my job, it's not all 100% skittles and butterflies. I do find that my love for my job starts to dwindle by the time 5pm rolls around. And the nights that I am up until 1:30am finishing a "last minute, high priority" motion, I often rethink my career choice. But then I always wake up refreshed (or with a sleep deprivation hang-over, completely jacked up on caffeine) with a renewed sense of love.

And then there are paydays. Totally. Worth. Every. Late. Night.


Anonymous said...

It's finals. I remain shell-shocked. I am, thus, glad to have read this post.

I'm very happy for you :)

Anonymous said...

As a 2L in your city who will be working as a summer associate at a mid-size firm this summer, I'm so glad to see this. If I can find the job that will make as happy as you seem to be, I'll be so glad I suffered through law school.

Thanks for posting this!

John Rice said...

Passion, interests and hard work are the pilers of not only law careers but also any career option you choose..

Anonymous said...

Dear Wild (North) West litigator! I am really happy for you and your choice to become a lawyer. I feel exactly the sames as you for this job. Actually I think it is more than a job, it is some kind of passion. I have 27, 3 years of practice and of course some bad experiencie (not everithing is ever so great) BUT I still love my job and I hope that with my work and efforts I will make the goodwill to this proffesion.

Goodluck to you

Barbara from Slovakia

Taysa (Water, Butter and Wine) said...

Hello! I just found your blog today and have been reading through all the entries. I took the LSAT last month and am now seriously considering applying, but having a lot of doubts. Reading through this blog makes me hopeful and you are such an entertaining writer. I look forward to reading much more!