October 31, 2007

I'm gonna be a lawyer for halloween

Today, I had a lawyers' lunch of dim sum goodness with 2 other women from law school. After our first year as lawyers, it was pleasant to finally meet up after 6 months of scheduling and hear that we are all doing well in our careers and relatively happy with the decisions we've made.

Anecdotally, I hear that's not the norm for women in their second year of practice in BigLaw. And yet, there we are. We're all happy and we feel lucky.

J travels every other week and lives from 4-star hotels. She travels for pleasure on the weekends between traveling for work. She's taking depositions solo and having a ball. I admire what she's doing but I would be miserable with the demands on my time and the constant time away from home.

T is a completely different story. She never travels. She wishes she did, just a little bit, but other than that, she likes her practice. She loves the control she has over how she gets her job done. She already is being aggressively head-hunted by firms that compete with hers and clearly is on a path for success. But, I think I'd pull out my eyeballs if I had her job because the content she looks at every day just isn't interesting to me.

And then there's me. I do tedious things like review contracts as diligence projects where it's binders upon binders of deals. I look for comma placement. I also advise small start-ups on how to structure their business to increase the value of their IP and avoid the typical pitfalls. Believe it or not, I have fun with the big picture deal structure and client counseling but I also love the tedium of comma placement, liability limitations, warranty disclaimers, and just the general logic puzzle of the world of contracts.

I think the thing we all have in common is that we love the type of law we practice. None of us is thrilled with the lawyer lifestyle. We all wish we could have a little more time and balance. But, we all enjoy the things we do for hours upon hours each week. And, it doesn't hurt that none of us work in environments where assholes run the show. That probably means quite a bit as well.

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