I meant to write a post about the new job over the weekend, but an interesting change has come over me. I obviously can’t be sure of how long it will last, but I can observe it in the moment. Writing had previously been a type of escape, or a way to deal with my anxiety. As I was trying to make tough decisions I had to write to clearly see my own thoughts on the matter.
But I’m not anxious lately. Even though I have moments of realizing that I’m in the real world now, and that sooner or later I’m going to have to stand up in a courtroom and ask questions of a witness on the stand and hope that I don’t ruin anyone’s life, those moments are fleeting. I also think those moments are normal. I think that any lawyer who hasn’t worried about whether they’ll be able to do the thing they’re being paid to do is probably underprepared and not worth the dollars they were paid.
I just don’t feel like I have as much to say right now. I have been having full, normal conversations with other human beings, face to face for ten days. I have seen my parents and other family members more in the past few weeks than I had in a long time, not just for breakfasts to celebrate family accomplishments and camping trips and holidays but also because I have ridden to work with my mom/dad three times in the past ten days. My coworkers have been the absolute nicest people I’ve ever met, too.
The big boss came into my office one day last week and gave me “constructive criticism” instead of just yelling at me like he could have done if I were at another firm. But he knew that I’ve never reviewed discovery from another party before and chose to use it as a teaching moment instead of scaring me off.
Other attorneys come into my office and ask how I’m doing, talk to me about work they need help on, and talk to me about how we can continue working to advance my skills and career. The assistants are super helpful and can always answer my questions.
I have done research on domestic matters, car sales, conversion, and more. I have prepared demand letters and cease and desist letters. I have learned how to input my own time and run conflict of interest searches. I have a few cases coming into the firm that I will be doing most of the work on.
I know that in some places, I would probably be going to court and hearings already. I know that in some places, I probably wouldn’t talk to clients for my entire first year (I made that up; I don’t know that, but it’s possible). But the bottom line is that for the first time in a long time, I truly feel like I am exactly where I need to be. I can see a future ahead of me, and it’s one that I would be proud to have.