February 25, 2010

Almost There

Finishing up a legal practice at a law firm.

Opening my own practice.

Helping E start his second business.

Networking like crazy.

Managing other life stuff.

Healing from sciatica and not really keeping a steady work-out schedule (which typically helps me stay energized).

I have not been this physically exhausted in years.

Tomorrow is my last day of work at the firm. I realized today when someone asked me that I am actually too tired to feel anything about that reality. Not relief. Not excitement. Nothing. I'm certain I will feel something, someday. But right now? I'm just very happy to go to sleep for the first night in a long time before 1 AM.

February 22, 2010

Nature's Fractals

Check out the latest garden post at Tech Law Garden.

Delicious Mandelbrot sets.

In other news, I got my quote for malpractice insurance back today. I can breathe now. It's painful. But doable. Phew...
Broken Incentives

If you want to talk about the power of incentives and the power of rationalized, terrible behavior: after the Defense Department had had enough experience with cost-plus percentage of cost contracts, the reaction of our republic was to make it a crime for the federal government to write o­ne, and not o­nly a crime, but a felony.

And by the way, the government's right, but a lot of the way the world is run, including most law firms and a lot of other places, they've still got a cost-plus percentage of cost system.

-Charlie Munger The Psychology of Human Misjudgment

February 19, 2010

Spaghetti Squash & Recovery

Tonight, after a long day of work following a long week to boot (the simultaneous winding down and gearing up of a law practice is exhausting!), E and I opted for a simple dinner:

-garlic, spicy pepper infused olive oil (a hand-made gift from S)
-fancy salts (a Christmas gift from E's sister)
-baked spaghetti squash
-balsamic vinegar
-spices (black pepper, paprika, cumin, to the individual taste)

We mixed the various ingredients according to our preferences and enjoyed the simplicity, happy to be home without a work day tomorrow.

Brother, not surprisingly, found this meal a little too bay area for his taste, and opted for a bowl of ramen. In case you didn't know, ramen technology has advanced significantly in the last 10 years. The modern ramen brother prefers involves no less than 3 packets, including something called, "soup booster." I have to assume (and it smells as if) these advances are better than the dry cups of noodles that I preferred to eat without cooking in the bone lab in the mid 1990's, but I haven't yet ventured to confirm my suspicion.

And now, after sending out my last marked up contract for the day, preparing dinner for E, and confirming that the laundry really is just going to wait 'til I get back into town on Sunday, I'm ready to relax -- I've got a couch beckoning me with my book and a People magazine with my name on it (literally).

Tomorrow, I will wake early to run before heading to my hometown to drop off brother for a day with friends while I head to one of sister's many wedding related events.

Did you catch that? After much icing and anti-inflammatories, I can finally run again! Yay! The sciatica is officially on the mend and I've gone for two runs of > 2 miles each, so far, without negative side effects. As badly as I want to bump it up to 3, 4, 5, or even 6 miles, I'm trying to remember that a slow increase is most likely to save me future pain and increase the likelihood that I can continue to run.

And, I'm not going to lie. While there are too many reasons to count that make me feel as if this move is the right one for me, one of the things I'm most looking forward to, with respect to being a solo practitioner, is calendaring and keeping my commitments to exercise every day.

So, I need to exercise enough restraint that I can take advantage of that option once it's available.

Wish me luck!

February 14, 2010

Frustrating Data Points

I'm making my way through the very informative whitepaper from Illuminate Ventures: High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High Tech.

In general, it's full of all sorts of positive information and trends in directions that should make people in favor of gender equality happy. The comparison of the Indian entrepreneur experience in Silicon Valley to the female entrepreneur experience is interesting, in particular.

However, the report acknowledges that the picture is as rosey as it is because it's focused in the U.S. Outside the U.S., the picture is very different. Including in the UK, which surprised me:

In the United Kingdom, for example, majority female-owned businesses pay significantly higher margins on loan terms than male-owned businesses (2.9 percentage points versus 1.9 percentage points)

And, one data point I found interesting, regardless of gender, was on the overhead associated with seeking venture capital versus debt:

Women who succeeded in gaining equity funding reported contacting 25 to 30 potential equity investors, roughly five times the level of contacts required for women to gain debt financing.

It's a good read, if you like this sort of thing.

February 12, 2010

Can't. Stop. Laughing.

The Last Push

I'm up early, busting my butt to finish entirely too much work this week.

Yesterday, I received a call from a client informing me that I'll be needing to finish a project for him over the weekend.

And Monday? The holiday? I'll be working that day too.

All of this is part of my commitment to leave the firm on the best terms I could. Things are busy, which is great for them. And a colleague in my group is out on paternity leave, so there's more work than normal to be divided in his absence.

So, I'm buckling down and being a team player who bills like crazy to get the work done.

But it's very difficult to be working on getting my new firm up and running while managing the transition of my existing firm clients to new associates and to be simultaneously getting the work they need me to do done.

I'll be very excited when I can focus entirely on my new firm. Oh, and my marriage, and family, and friends and health, and all the other little things that I've let fall quite a bit by the wayside lately.

February 7, 2010

Coming up from behind (or underneath)

The Saints Did It.

Who doesn't love the underdog?

And, in keeping with that spirit, I spent the entire game putting seeds under potting soil for this Summer's garden (and our friends).

February 5, 2010


I've decided to start my own law practice.

I've given notice to the firm and have set my last day, but in the meantime, there are a ton of details to manage and things to do and learn. First, there's leaving while preserving as much goodwill with the firm as possible. I've been pleased with how well this has been going, and have been impressed, yet again, with what a great group of attorneys I work with -- they have been very encouraging and supportive. Then, there's transitioning my existing clients to other attorneys at the firm who will replace me in a manner that is professional and leaves them with a good impression of me. And then, in the background, there's all the stuff I need to get in place to actually get my own firm up and running...

Given that I need to have a digital social network in place to help recruit clients once my firm is up and running, this blog has finally ceased to be the main outlet for my written thoughts. These days, I'm adopting a multi-pronged approach with Facebook, Twitter, and a professional blog about legal topics in addition.

So, my life is very full right now. Full of family, friends, work, networking, and preparing for the next big professional move I'll be making.

Also, due to sciatica, I've gone longer without running in the least few weeks than I have since 2003. I miss the runs, but the slow relief I'm feeling in the pain is worth it. I should have stopped running earlier. I do look forward to getting back into my running shoes at some point (and possibly even training for another marathon next year), but for now, I'd just love to be out of pain.

The change in all of these patterns I've known for so long feels very odd to me. And, they explain why I'm being quieter than normal on the blog.