Monday, November 12, 2012

Things I Love About Being a Lawyer

What's better than waking up on Monday to a beautiful, warm autumn day?  Not having to go to work on a beautiful, warm autumn day, of course!  It's veteran's day here in the U.S. and I am . . .

. . . at work.

We don't actually get many real "holidays" as junior associates at a big law firm.  Regardless of whether the government is closed, there is still work to do and still hours to be billed.  So I figured I'd spend a bit of time reflecting on the reasons why I love my job despite the fact that my three-day weekends are few and far between.

  • My work is usually intellectually challenging.  It took seventeen twenty years of education and one two-day professional examination to reach the point where I was even qualified to take this job.  Because of the caliber of my law firm, we often get the types of cases and legal questions that are complicated, difficult, or downright intractable.  This means that very little of my work is routine.  While this can make my day-to-day tasks difficult, it also provides a great sense of accomplishment once problems are solved.

  • (Some) freedom to follow my whims.  A lot of times, I have some degree of control over my moment-to-moment workload.  Although I don't set many of my own deadlines, I do get to decide how to plan out my day with these deadlines in mind.  If I don't feel like researching something?  I can take a stab at drafting that motion for summary judgment.  Writer's block?  Why not read a few cases or depositions?  Don't feel like reading or writing?  I'll diddle around on powerpoint for a bit and work my creative muscles.  I love being able to jump from task to task, seeking respite from one type of activity by utilizing a different area of my brain.

  • The stakes are high, but it's all just money in the end.  I love the fact that the cases I work on are very important to our clients (and in some cases to the legal community for the value of precedent), but generally boil down to money.  Nobody is dying or going to jail if I have a bad day.

  • My office is wonderful.  I don't know too many people who enjoy the people they work with or their office environment as much as I do.  I feel very lucky to have great coworkers, great bosses, and a lovely space in which to work.

  • I'm fulfilling my childhood dream.  Sure, most kids had more fun childhood career fantasies, but I have wanted to be a lawyer since the third grade.  It feels good to actually be an Esquire!

And, of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the business casual dress code.

In this Outfit:
Madewell Dress (similar on sale at Madewell, 25% off $150+ with code WOOHOO)
Anthropologie Shadowsleeve Cardigan (similar at Old Navy for $17 + 20% off)
Kate Spade Studs (similar in shape, similar in color, similar not by Kate Spade for $16)
Anthropologie Evolution Ball Necklace ($20 here) (it feels as testicular as it looks, I assure you) (also, I had to go through several damaged necklaces in the store before I found a good one, suggesting perhaps that quality and durability is somewhat lacking?)
Ann Taylor Ring from Gold Stacked Ring Set (here)
Jessica Simpson Minna Wedge (9.5 -- went up half a size) (here in other colors or here on sale in limited sizes)
Marc by Marc Jacobs Marci Watch (on sale here for $150 -- only two left)

I "bought" this watch with Amazon credit card rewards points!

So, tell me about your jobs!  What do you do?  Do you like it?  Are you doing what you thought you would be doing at this age?  Bonus points if you have the day off today!

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