One day not too long ago I had the most fantastic day. In the law firm world that is a lot to say for a Wednesday or any day really. Because on any given day law firm life can be as enjoyable as brushing your teeth with a chain saw. And in general, in my world that too is a lot to say for a Wednesday. But I was given an opportunity that made me realize a number of things and made me feel pretty freaking good. They say that revenge is the best medicine. Well they may not technically say that but I certainly do think it. And I was able to execute on that well. Let me tell you it was terrific and fabulous. It was not sneaky and it was not underhanded, it was business, as I was able to recruit away a secretary from my old firm and bring her here. She rocked and that was all I needed to convince others here that she would work.
Personally though it was with great satisfaction to know that she was swooped away from a partner and a firm that never appreciated her, or me for that matter. How awesome. How freaking wonderfully awesome. Now she is here and I get to enjoy her goodness, knowing her talents, but also knowing they lost her to me.
More so, it spoke volumes about where I am now. I had a day that showed me that I am a lawyer. SURPRISE! I know that the framed degree, the card, and the esquire seem to indicate that - but I was never allowed to be one. Not until yesterday. And NEVER at my old firm. I was given the power to make those decisions. To help out. My opinion was heard and listened to. It was valued and not criticized. I interviewed, discussed salary, and was made a part of a team. I was placed in a position, and told the same, that this was what was expected of me now and in the future, as a lawyer. This was a mother fucking light bulb to me. It was true and it was meant to be real. Not only that, but it made me realize that I had not been given these opportunities in the past. I was a worker and a disposable one at that. I was never more than a billable number. So no matter what shit will stink, at least I have that. At least I now know that I am lawyer and can be treated like one. Something that, in reality, I have been working toward for a long time. Which felt pretty freaking fantastic.
Exiting the elevator this morning I felt a small skip in my step. This was a big break. Not just in my legal world, but it was what finally made me feel like I fit in here. The new kid on the block syndrome was over and I was a part of this team. It has been a month and I was still in the I-Hate-This-So-Very-Much phase. But I cautioned myself as I walked down the hall, be careful. Knowing what law firms are like. Even this one. Yesterday's joy will most certainly be tomorrow's sorrow. That is how it works. It's the Facts of Life 101. You can't have too much and you certainly cannot have it for too long. Along with how to negotiate and take depositions, that is a lesson I have learned over the past three years. With that predication in mind fast forward eight hours. I had been asked to research and think. Referenced for my knowledge base on a specialized area of law that I knew from my previous job. I took time out from my assigned tasks to help out. I answered questions, did research, scoured the Internet and thought of questions. Only to be left out. I sat there staring at a closed door, realizing that the meeting started without me. I was not invited. Insert giant bubble burst. All the excitement from yesterday combined with all the work I had just done was quickly undone. My supposed self esteem was now in the garbage next to the three diet coke cans. My prediction was sad but true. I no longer felt lawyerly or even a part of a team.
But really this is what law firm life is like. It is days filled with bone crushing ideas like this. I knew it and I also knew to caution myself. A sad but true testament. It is teeny tiny baby steps in this world and a gigantic ton of perspective and strength. That is something you HAVE to learn, even if you don't pick up other litigation skills. So while I may now be a lawyer and I may get to act like a lawyer, there ain't nothing I can do about working in a law firm, it can suck any which way you slice it. That is unless you have some super special excellent staff people who kick butt and are as sweet as saccharine and who you secretly and covertly stole away from the dark side. Knowing that helps just a little bit. Revenge really does feel fantastically wonderful.
This whole post is way too cute.
Glad you're happy!
I'm glad you were able to get her!
I guess all we can do is try and remind ourselves, on the shitty, really sucky days, that they too will pass, and again, there will hopefully be some good ones around the corner, not too far away.
great post. ha! i suppose the old firm, knows you got her?? nice.
Yeah for you liking this job better and for getting someone else a better job too. That's wonderful.
At a minimum, being an associate requires a lot of humility. It's interesting how many of my peers say that they feel undervalued and are looking for validation and encouragement. It's also telling that most of my classmates have had at least two jobs since we graduated three years ago.
Good on you for being happy for one thing but also embracing the ups and downs of it all. It'll make your time at work easier, and probably life in general easier, too. :)
Sweet move. I'm sure she is so grateful to you for making her life better. Hopefully there will be less crappy days and more happy days for you both at this firm.
People I have not into detail about what happened over there - though it is normal law firm stuff. This makes it almost better. Almost.
Yes! Score one for you!