Saturday, September 29, 2007

all grown up

One of the things that takes getting used to now that I'm back in the full-time working world is that I'm surrounded by adults. Don't get me wrong - this is not an insult to you, the reader. I'm not suggesting I was any more mature than anyone while I was in law school even though I was several years older than most people. I just mean that everyone is so serious at work. And, get this, people actually work all day. For almost two years, I resisted the pull of the Internet during class. Sure, I logged on plenty, but unlike most people, I actually paid attention. But by the last year, especially the final semester, I paid attention maybe half the time. I was online, like every other 3L I know, the other half.

The people I work with all seem nice. They seem relatively friendly. There isn't much Office Space crap going on, or if there is, I don't see it because I sit in my office and do work. (By the way, I noticed that if I crane my neck I actually have a view of the Atlantic Ocean. That's cool. I can also watch the Goodyear Blimp land because its landing spot is outside my window (a few miles away but I can see it clearly). Attorneys work and paralegals do their thing and secretaries do whatever they do. But there is very little actual conversation about anything other than work (except for one guy; there's always one guy in every office who when you see him, you know you're locked into a conversation for 10 minutes). I've never walked into someone's office and seen someone checking ESPN or CNN or myspace or Facebook or IMing. Not once. I'm sure it happens because the IT guy said they don't monitor your usage, although they do block personal e-mail sites for some strange reason, but people in my law firm actually do work.

It's not that I'm surprised at this or that I have a problem with it. It just takes getting used to.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

what I thought

So I wanted to write this a few days ago but, well, I'm a lawyer so I'm really busy. I like saying that. I'm a lawyer. I'm sure the novelty will wear off quickly.

Mostly when I think about passing the bar I feel two things: relief and a sense of accomplishment. I have no reason to think I'll still be a lawyer in five, 10, 20 years, although I might be. But it was a lot of work. As far as an achievement that involved setting goals and attaining them, this is probably the toughest thing I've ever done. I've done other things that mean more and that are more important to who I am (like getting married, having a baby (soon)) but becoming a lawyer was something I specifically set as a goal. Then I spent what seemed like an eternity accomplishing it. There were plenty of times I thought about quitting and wondered whether it was all worth it. Actually I still wonder if it was worth it. But that's not the point. For me at least, it was a lot of work. But I did it. So that's that.

As for the relief, I think about the down side of law school and studying for the bar and am so glad I don't have to deal with that stuff any more. Don't get me wrong - I miss certain things about law school, just as I predicted (I'm way too lazy to find the link but I wrote about this last spring, April or May) -- three-day weekends, wearing shorts every day, taking naps, weekends free, being responsible only to myself (ie. knowing I wouldn't get fired from law school like I could theoretically get fired from my job if I decide to fuck around all day). Basically I miss being a second-semester 3L, not being a law student.

I think of all the things that were so monotonous. Even though studying for the bar was only two and a half months, it felt like two and a half years. Getting up and going to BarBri day after day was excruciating. I remember by the end of June having this feeling of dread that I couldn't shake. Doing practice problems every single day for something like 60 or 70 consecutive days and repeatedly missing too many or missing things that I knew the law but couldn't figure out the convoluted answer choices or knowing with 100 percent certainty that my answer was right and finding out that it was actually the wrong choice, well, that was so demoralizing. I know it's like a right of passage and I'm quite proud of myself for passing it, but I can't really understand why it has to be that way. In any case, that's something I'm relieved about not having to deal with.

The other thing I guess I think, along with the relief, is just about the whole first year and half or so when law school was so intense and so all-consuming and such a part of my identity. All that reading and briefing and sitting there listening to Prof. Contracts mutter about stuff only he could understand and watching Prof. Torts get pissed off at someone who didn't understand the impact rule and listening to Prof. Crim Pro's radical theories about how cops are her mortal enemies and hearing Prof. Con Law tell us that the Supreme Court came out wrong on every single case and then watching Prof. Evidence jump on desks and call everyone by name except me and listening to Prof. Business Associations carry on a two-hour conversation with himself...anyway, I survived all that.

So now I'm a lawyer. Some Guy, Esq.

I know I have at least a few more posts in me (the one I promised about the faculty and the one calling out my idiot LRW prof), so check back occasionally, OK.

Hey, did I mention I'm a lawyer? (I promise, I swear the novelty will wear off soon).

Friday, September 21, 2007

really real

I got sworn in today. I am a lawyer. Damn, that sounds strange.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I passed. I passed the bar exam!

I'm a lawyer. Actually, not yet, but I got all passes and a yes in the last column. Did you pass?

More later. Heading out to celebrate now...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

welcome to loserville

Yeah, so, at work I got a Treo. I've already turned into one of those people. You know the people - they're always on their Treo/Blackberry/Whatever other smartphone. I can't help it. I know they have a system to monitor Internet usage at work so I don't surf too much while I'm supposed to be working. And for some stupid reason you can pretty much access any site at work but not personal e-mail. They say it's for security, so no one will download a virus, but I don't really believe that. But I can check it on my Treo. Actually I bought the Treo and they're supposed to reimburse me. But I'm seriously thinking of not having them reimburse me just so it can be my Treo, not the firm's Treo. Then I can do whatever I want with it, right? Yeah, dork.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

four more and it's real

So the results come out in four days. Come on, don't tell me you haven't at least checked the Supreme Court web site. I have. Actually I have checked every day this week. What a loser.

Yeah, I should just let it go, but I wanted to see if they would go up early. But as a friend noted, it's kind of strange that the only thing they have is the February results. And if you look on the bar examiners site it says February results will be posted April whatever, 2007. Obviously that's outdated. That's fine, but why don't they have something that says "July results will be up Sept. 17"? The only thing I can think of is that they didn't tell the people during the February exam the exact day and time the results would be up. Right? Hopefully that's it and they are still on track to post them by Monday.

So if the results go up in four days, they have to be all graded by now, right? Even though lawyers are the world's best procrastinators I doubt people are up all night on the Sunday beforehand grading their exams. Right? At least I hope not.

I'm almost as anxious about this as I was before the actual exam...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

the lunch curse

I think I'm cursed or something. Not including the little deli in the basement of my office building, there is exactly one restaurant in walking distance. And yes, it's Subway. I thought after graduating from law school that I'd wait at least three years before eating in Subway again, but after four days of work I've already eaten at Subway once. Actually I probably went to Subway a total of a half dozen times during my last year but I grew to despise the place. I'll start bringing my lunch once I figure out my schedule because I'd be fine if I never ate in Subway again (because for anyone reading who didn't go to my law school, Subway is the only restaurant on the law school campus). At least I don't have to smell that horrific odor of "fresh baked bread" every morning...

Friday, September 07, 2007

it's on

So, I started work. It's fine. It's tough to tell what it will be like. They talked about hours and expectations but I need time to figure it all out. They said to bill every minute of my time on a matter and the partners will later figure out how much can actually be billed to the client. What I wanted to know, but didn't ask, is if what I put down is considered to be the hours I bill (for purposes of meeting my numbers) or is what they send to the client considered to be the hours I bill? Until I hear otherwise I'll assume the former, although I'm guessing it's the latter. We'll see. I'm billing everything for now.

Bar results come out a week from Monday. At work I'm considered an attorney, which is strange to me, since I'm not an attorney. Not yet. I even had a box of business cards waiting on my desk. I just tossed the box into a drawer. Once I pass I'll send one to grandma. But still, even though I'm doing the work of an attorney I don't consider myself a lawyer. Hopefully I'll be one in a week and a half. And I have an office with an actual door and window, which I know is standard for lawyers, but it's the first time I've ever had a job in which I have my own office.

Getting up early the past three days (I started Tuesday but didn't have to be in until 9:30 that day) hasn't been too tough. We'll see if it lasts. I think I miss not having a job, even though my job is fine. I could've used about two or three more weeks of vacation, although if I had those additional two or three weeks I probably would've wanted two or three more weeks...

Hey, am I the only one still getting e-mails from Dean V and Hope and other random events on campus? I'm clearly not getting all student e-mails but I'm obviously still on some lists. You'd think they could figure that out.