Today is my last day as a big firm lawyer. I went to law school with some high expectations and went the path that most try to: I went to work for a big firm. But after a year and change, I have to admit that I hoped for more than I received. I wonder if everyone thinks the way I did. I thought that after graduation I could just go to work and everything would be fine. Work in the law, what could be better an intellectual pursuit in which you get paid well and have the opportunity to help people. It sounded good, but it wasn't true. I did not get much chance to do any of things I really wanted to do. When I was in court I was happy but otherwise it was insane hours, working weekends and an unhappy family. Additionally, I really wanted to work with veterans groups with legal aid. It was not possible.
So now, I am striking out on my own. I am looking at a general practice, trusts, criminal law, family law, along with some immigration and business law. Most of all I will be able to set my own schedule and have the freedom to do the things I think are important (like working with vets and their families).
Today is a sad day but it is also a happy day. I leave behind some very capable colleagues whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration for. But I bring hope that I may be one of the lucky few who can choose to work in an evironment completely of my own choosing. The only thing in my way is my own motivation. It is a good day. I had always been a proponent of "life is not a destination, it is a path." It seems odd that I ended up in a destination and didn't even know it for a year. So here is to new beginnings, hope for the future, and a little good luck. I only hope to have the wisdom to pay attention more completely in the future.