It's the end of the world as we know it...

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27.1.05

I’ve been a lawyer for almost four years. I don’t have a problem with the law part of it most days, the research and writing part of it. I get that. I have problems with interacting with other attorneys (not the ones I work with, but opposing counsel) because I feel completely out of my league, like these people are REAL attorneys and I am just a pretend attorney playing dress up. It’s intimidating. I know I'm good at what I do, or at least decent at what I do, but I know that when it comes to the interaction part, the "appearing" like a lawyer, that I suck. Hardcore.

But I digress. What I mostly have problems with is balancing. Balancing being a lawyer with being a person. Specifically, a person with a personal life. With making time to see family and friends. With taking the time to do things that I want to do. Even my "extra curriculars" are because of work. They are "professional" organizations. Networking events. If I had the time, and didn't have to spend my free time doing that, then I'd take history and philosophy grad college classes, and I'd play soccer. But alas, neither lend themself to networking. So even my personal time is taken for work. And I love to read, but by the time I finish with work, the last thing I want to do is read more. Even read something I’d like to read. (And perhaps I’d even be a better cook if I’d try it more than once a month or so. Ok, now I'm just being ridiculous…)

I’ve been told by other attorneys that after a few years, you begin to learn that balance, that you start to read for fun again and the personal life becomes less-important-than-your-professional-life-but-at-least-not-nonexistent-anymore. Hmm…we’ll see. I’m not exactly holding my breath. (Though to be honest, the reading over the last few months has increased).

My problem is that I spent much of my time NOT concentrating that I have to spend way more time than other attorneys on simple tasks. It’s frustrating. I can work 15 hours, and bill 7 hours. Which means I'm incredibly ineffective and spend more time at work getting less accomplished. Which of course makes it harder for me to have the aforementioned personal life...

What is frustrating is that the only other attorney with ADHD at our office is leaving tomorrow. This attorney is someone who I genuinely liked, who I felt somewhat of a kinship with because of the ADHD. When I asked the attorney was brought about the decision to leave, I was told that it had to do with him feeling that his way of doing law -- focus on minute things, not aways the most efficient -- was not the way the firm marketed itself and he has known that. This worried me. We are similar in a lot of ways, the way our minds work, the way that we work. I'll stay late to make up my time that I'm inefficient. He's got a family; he won't. Will it come to that point for me? I expressed this concern to a partner, but I was pretty much brushed off. I don't know. I'm not making much sense, am I?


(And in related stuff, STILL no review. LAST Tuesday they said it was either last week or this week. It's Friday of this week - almost - and I'm not going to work tomorrow (just don't feel like it). So when are they doing this review stuff??)

3 Comments:

  • At 4:19 PM, Blogger paul said…

    you could embrace the ADHD, take the classes, play the soccer...and end the 4000+ cc habit...why not reinvest and teach/study/publish for a while...you know exist in an environment that might not make you consider your "ADHD" quite so intensely as your own intention and [forlackofbetterword(s)] well-being...

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger Class of 1996 Reunion Committee said…

    I thought I would post to say hi since I am just starting the experience you are describing. I'll be interested to hear how you work through it since I imagine I'll be facing the same problems soon enough. Good luck.

     
  • At 2:16 AM, Blogger CC Baxter said…

    Estephania,

    For what its worth, I've got faith you'll do fine at review.

    Finding a balance between work and personal life is hard, but I've found that eventually you reach a point where you realize "Hey, there's this other thing besides work which is more important to ME." Don't worry you'll hit that wall eventually and find the balance that makes YOU happy. Either that or you'll develop a callous not caring attitude...but somehow the latter doesn't seem like what little I know of you.

    As far as not having any extra curriculars not related to your work, I'm constantly seeing things here in your blog and correspondence which are not related directly to work topics.

    Anyhow, if I'm offbase with any of this, you know how to get ahold of me for a good chewing out. ;)

     

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