The old gig.

January 23, 2010

Things are about to change.

For the moment, I am a lawyer at a firm doing what they call complex commercial litigation. What this means is I represent big corporations in lawsuits that look large to you and me, but usually aren’t especially important to the corporation.  The work is uninspiring, and involves a lot of mucking through the flotsam and jetsam of failed relationships between big companies. That means reading skeins of emails from 5 and 10 years ago, countless power point presentations full of six-sigma jargon, and fighting with other lawyers about why I should get more of their client’s emails and power points, and why they should get less of ours.  When things get really heated, it goes to court. But I’m too junior to have any part of going to court unless it’s to watch.

Ironically, my firm is one of the good ones. People are professional and have few hang-ups. Partners don’t usually yell or act boorish. There are exceptions, however. For instance, when a family member of mine was ill with an acutely life-threatening disease during a big case, I couldn’t make a deposition because of a key doctor’s appointment (the one where you hold your loved one’s hand while they ask “doc, have I got a chance?”).  Though the deposition was of minor import and another attorney could easily cover it, the partner told me I should have missed the appointment or rescheduled  it.

True story.  Also, an unexceptional one in the legal profession.

Whatever the circumstances, there are those who enjoy and excel at this work. Many of them are wonderful people. I don’t judge. For me however, the job is a soul-sucking horror. I am compensated unreasonably well for it, but the extra money is worthless when it comes to happiness.

But things are about to change.  I have just accepted a job working for the government. It’s not a cushy government job, and the drop in pay is steep. We won’t have a dime to spare, and I may need to find some pick-up work to make ends meet. But we both think it’s worth it. This blog will primarily be about that transition, and with a particular emphasis on the experience of intentionally transitioning from more-than-enough-money to not-quite-enough.  Everything is fair game: the economics, the relationships, the bagged lunches, and the highs and lows of moving from a job I know I hate to one I hope I love.


2 Responses to “The old gig.”

  1. Aimee Says:

    This sounds exciting & rewarding. Good luck! 🙂

    My t-shirt motto says, “Do what you like, like what you do.”

  2. i676 Says:

    Thanks Aimee!

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