Friday, December 7, 2007

The Joy of Being a Stub...

So, when exactly do I get to start feeling like a real lawyer?
Been a few months now at the new job and haven't had much of anything that a marginally qualified administrative assistant couldn't handle. With a handful of exceptions, projects have either been thin or just lots of tedious detail work. The majority of my assignments have just been tons of proofing. Feels like being on law journal as a 2L all over again... except the copy I'm proofing is a lot more mundane now than those articles were back then.
My firm works on a regular year cycle (January through December) for advancement and pay/bonuses. The billing requirement doesn't really kick in until January, so any time we bill now until January 1st doesn't really "count."
In theory this is a good thing: you can take it easy, only take on projects that you are really interested in, and have nights and weekends free for the life that will be abruptly taken away from you once you have to start scrambling to get hours to keep up with the billing requirements. In practice, however, it becomes sort of an odd high-wire act. Everybody knows what is expected of us come January 1st, but what is expected of us until then is much less clear. Are we really supposed to act like our hours don't matter, or are only those of us who manage to bill like crazy going to be picked for projects come the time it really matters? If we don't have anything, is it really okay to leave at 2:00 to go home and pet your cats?
My firm is actually pretty good about this (as I'm continually finding out it is about most things). Nobody is going around checking your desk at 6:00 p.m. (or 2:00 p.m. for that matter) to see if your there, and, while they of course want you to be willing to help out if you can (gotta be a team player!) they also really seem to want you to go out and enjoy yourself if you really don't have anything to do. Oddly, just about the time that I figured this out, my work schedule filled up and I ended up spending several late nights and one weekend banging away at projects while more senior attorneys shook their head. They "had" to be there, what was my excuse? But now that's done and I'm back to doing next to nothing. Well, at least there is another couple of weeks to enjoy being slow. Once the new year hits, being slow won't be fun anymore.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sunday, October 7, 2007

FYI... the Cubs suck!

Wow. I know they played well enough to at least get them into the playoffs, but the way the Cubs played against Arizona was just pathetic. With the home team stinking up the diamond and old Lou glowering from the dugout as yet another raft of players get stuck out on base in the clutch, if felt just like being back in Seattle during the Mariners bad old days. Wanted the team to do better for Lou. Guess he has got two more seasons to break The Curse. Next season is the 100th anniversary season since the Cubs won a World Series. ...Spooky stuff.

Friday, October 5, 2007

FYI . . . I'm a lawyer!

Well . . . okay . . . I still need to get sworn in. But the results for the Bar Exam were posted today and, wonder of wonders, I passed! Now it's just ceremony. I don't know if anyone who hasn't been through the experience can truly understand what an immense relief getting the news is. Everyone of the new hires at my firm that I work for are intelligent and were dilligent law students. Everybody took the Bar study course and spent the time studying. But when the results came in yesterday, it was like a collective sigh of relief escaped the building. The test is difficult, but the passage rate is high. I don't think that anyone was truly afraid that they had failed, including myself. The consequences of failing, however, to your pride as well as your career can be enormous. Getting those results felt like the real end to my days of being a student. It had as much impact, if not more, than graduating. Good to have that behind me. Feeling much lighter today.

Monday, September 24, 2007

So This Is Me...

Inspired by my little bro and my two oldest nieces (and finding myself with some unexpected free time on my hands), I thought I might put together a personal blog.

Back in 2001 and 2002, prior to heading to law school and during a period when I thought I might want to get a second degree in journalism while I got my J.D., I had a little web site called (now defunct, although I still own the URL). It was a politics and commentary blog that attempted to look at the edges of the political debate and the people and issues that sometimes get pushed to the sides of the mainstream. I interviewed a few of the local oddball politicos and personalities, did a little first hand reporting on a handful of labor and anti-war rallies, and posted some random opinion essays on the Seattle political and social landscape after 9-11 and into the lead up to the Iraq War. I loved doing the site, but underestimated how much time and energy it would take to keep it going and fresh.

For this, my ambitions are much smaller and (hopefully) manageable. What I'm looking for here is a space to post just a personal blog, where family and friends can check in occasionally to see what the heck I'm up to. I will probably post some photography off and on, but I'm not looking for this to be a photoblog. I guess I'm hoping that this might finally be the journal format that I am able to actually maintain on a regular basis (although not daily, or even necessarily weekly). My ambition is to post updates here once or twice a month. I thought about using the Margin's old URL, but Blogger seems much easier to maintain for what I'm looking to do. (And while I can't imagine having the time to restart theMargin at any point in the near future, the idea of one day revitalizing the site and the idea is something that I still am holding on to.)

I find myself at one of those "big transitions" in life. I've just graduated from law school at the fresh, young age of 37. (Hey, some of us take a little while to figure out what we want to be when we grow up.) I did well in school and find myself hired as an associate to a very nice, somewhat large, and not at all unserious law firm. I'll be working in the firm's Chicago office. K and I have got ourselves a little place on the north side of the city and we are looking forward getting ourselves grown up furniture for the first time in either of our lives. We have both been enamored of Chicago since we moved out to the Midwest for school and are very excited to start calling it home.

All this makes me feel like I should be writing down and documenting the experience, marking the moment and the resulting changes somehow.

If you are stopping by, it's probably because I emailed you and invited you to come take a look. Leave a comment if you want, or just e-mail me, I'd love to hear from you. Much love to you all. Talk to you again soon.