Thursday, October 09, 2008

Practicing Law?

My friend Chasie likes to say that I'm "doing law;" I guess because she figures that after three years of "practicing law" I should have the hang of it by now and be ready to actually do it. I'm not so sure. I've forgotten so much and am practicing in some areas that are new to me, and since my office uses Westlaw (instead of Lexis) and has no directory search system I feel much less efficient in actually finding what I don't know. But I'm learning to extend grace to myself and set mental boundaries, not allowing myself to think about work at home. I'm trying to apply some of the lessons I've learned in the last year, constantly reminding myself that my identity and worth are not tied to my work product or ability to churn out documents. And fortunately I'm not feeling judged, which is great.

Part of being the low man on the totem pole at a firm is that you're constantly writing briefs, memos, and whatnot for other attorneys' cases, and they revise your work. It's like a test every day, and it's rare to make a perfect score as everyone's style is different. But somehow it's different now, probably in part because of my perspective and in part because I'm working at a place that ordered pizza for everyone (and we all ate together--no staff/attorney segregation) yesterday for lunch.

Now my fingers are crossed that (1) I really do get to completely take Friday off so that I can enjoy my three day weekend in Nashville (and celebrate Isabella's birthday) and (2) our case doesn't settle, so that in 7 days I really will fly to Austin for this huge trial. Every case I work on seems to settle, so I never get to go to trial. I won't be trying any of the case, but it'll still be fun to go and watch and learn.

Scene from Will & Grace:

Jack hits on a random gay guy at a coffeehouse and ends up meeting him in "Jack's office" which is really Will's law office

Random gay guy: So I wouldn't have guessed that you were a lawyer.

Jack (sitting behind Will's desk): Probably because I look so young.

Random gay guy: So what kind of law do you practice?

Jack: I don't practice, I just do.

I guess great minds (or at least Jack and Chasie's) think alike.

p.s. I'm grateful for energy and health--the ability to sprint, the desire to play, and all that goes with feeling young.

11 comments:

DEb said...

Your coming to Nashville this weekend? Will you be at CPCC?? I come to the 8:30am service...just in case....I'd love to meet you!!

Sara Jane said...

Some days I feel like I'm practicing just about everything. Job, dating, etc. I hope one day I will feel like I'm doing!

TC said...

I was told once at an old job that if you don't have at least one question every single day that you don't know the answer to off the top of your head, then you've been somewhere too long. You aren't growing if you know everything. And growth in life is a good thing.

:)

Fingers crossed that you'll get to go to trial!!! You'll be blogging about the experience, right? I mean, I understand you can't blog what it's ABOUT, but you can still tell us what it's LIKE :)

cdp said...

We tried a week-long case in Fulton State in May and it was the most exhausting experience of my life. Of course, there were only two of us, and no staff/associates to help, but still. It's definitely an experience. And we have another one on the calendar in November, but thankfully it's in Bibb.

Low man on the totem pole sucks. I totally relate. But it's always nice to get a gold star for a job well done, right? And I'm sure you get glowing reviews.

Ally said...

TC: If anything fun happens, I'll definitely blog it. I'll have my laptop but not sure how much free time. The case isn't too exciting, but you never know!

Lib said...

oh yeah...if i go back to nursing after this year (which is highly unlikely anyway) i'll be strugglin' for sure!

it's hard to adjust to change, to taking time off, and i'm glad that you're extending yourself some grace in the process!

Austin...my favorite city BY FAR in Texas...the only place I'd live in TX if we ever have to move there again. I hope you get to go!

As for being thankful for our youth...yes, i had a similar thought last night! As i was removing my eye makeup with a Q-tip and vaseline, i was thankful that the skin around my eyes still has some elasticity to it and that it actually bounces back...it won't be like that forever. Then i'll need Chris to inject me with some Botox.

ella said...

Not to mention your firm still uses Word Perfect!

Jenn said...

Whoa whoa - you'ryou might be coming to Austin? That's a hop, skip and a jump away from San Antonio! (o: If you're not too busy working I could always come up and meet you there.

Will and Grace - I always did love that show. Jack kept me coming back for more.

Ys said...

Ha I'm exactly the same with work: always feels like I'm being judged, even though I'm actually probably the only one judging!

I hope you get to go to Austin! Enjoy your weekend :)

Flat Coke and Flies said...

I left a comment a few days ago but it's not here? I wonder where it went? Hmmmm...

Anywho...if you're in town tonight and happen to be at the hockey game look me up...Section 114.

brandy said...

Oh Will & Grace, I miss you so much! And I'm with Sara- I feel like I practice a lot in areas of my life, but when it come to teaching... that's something that I feel like I just do. I guess that means I've found the right job for me!