Rally to Restore Sanity.

There is an article in this month’s ABA Journal about loving being a lawyer, with quotes from people about why they love being a lawyer.  I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been doubting my own career choice lately, and occassionally feeling the sudden urge to cancel my lease, sell all of my possessions, and go work at a coffee shop somewhere.  I’m not actually going to do that, but it crosses my mind.   So I flipped open the magazine hoping to find some encouragement, and instead I see this quote from this woman from Idaho, grateful that the law “never sleeps” so she can work from the evening to the wee hours of the morning “tackling esoteric legal issues arising from complex commercial litigation.”  Seriously?!  That is what I HATE about the law.  While I like the theoretical flexibility of being able to chill with my mom and non-existent kids in the afternoon and then work through the night, that’s not the way it actually works for me.  I work all day so that I can work all night because the law doesn’t friggin sleep. 

Lately, I’ve been finding out that other people do not work as hard as I do, and that I do not have to work this hard.  Granted, there will always be busy times and “work/life balance” will always be weighted in the work direction in this job, but it’s possible to have a little more weight on the “life” side.  It’s possible to do good work, work hard, and have a life.  Who knew?!  So I’m now on my own little personal mission to restore some sanity to my life.  Because in some ways the people in the article are right–there are many things to love about being a lawyer.  And lawyer does not have to be synonymous with “no life outside work to speak of.”

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4 thoughts on “Rally to Restore Sanity.

  1. Yeah, IT is the same way. In theory, it’s cool that you can work all night on cool problems, and even cooler that in IT, bosses TEND to be cool about letting you sleep in the next day, after a critical night’s late work.

    But, even when the boss is that cool, or when you get the ultimate cool “I don’t care what your office hours are, as long as you make your meetings and the work gets done” … the flip-side of that is:

    It’s hard to have a normal social life, with real human beings, when you work from 4pm to 4am, and sleep from 4am to noon … especially if you did all of that without leaving your house (or, worse yet, without leaving your bedroom). It’s cool. It’s the night-owl’s dream. Right up until you realize you haven’t directly spoken to anyone, except your dog, in over a week. Then you start to wonder when the straight jacket will arrive.

    (luckily, it never actually got THAT bad for me… but there were times when I wondered how far away from that I was; now I actually value that my boss(es) put _reasonable_ limits on my flexible work schedule)

    • Woo! I dated an IT guy and so I totally see how I can be crazy with the hours like lawyerhood. And it is pretty similar in terms of the difficulty having a life because I never know when I will have free time or when I won’t.. which makes it very hard to commit to anything. But I’m starting to learn to put my foot down when its reasonable to do so, and actually make plans now and then 😉

  2. “I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been doubting my own career choice lately…”

    I hear ya… I liked working for Westlaw because it was flexible and frequently 9-5 hours. But at the same time, I wasn’t using my degree. I needed it for the job (wasn’t required to be admitted anywhere though) but wasn’t using it. I didn’t feel mentally/intellectually stimulated. So while the pay and hours were nice, I was lacking in the work area. Now I have the intellectual part practicing but definitely not the hours… It feels like such a catch 22.

    • Yeah totally! Sometimes I think about quitting and doing something else, but then I think I would miss the intellectual side of it, and I would feel like my law degree was a waste. Catch 22 for sure!

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