Today apparently is #loveyourlawyerday. I didn’t always know I wanted to be a lawyer. In my younger years, I said I wanted to be an author (I loved writing poems and short stories, particularly in elementary and middle school). I always instinctively knew I wanted to be a mom though; that was without a doubt from day one. It’s interesting how our lives end up–where life takes us, and how our passions ultimately guide us through life. There was no part of me that said to myself at any point that I would choose between family and career– I was going to have it all.
Writing is such a big part of lawyering, so naturally my profession ended up being a good fit. I started college as a business major but was not 100% certain about it. I took a political science course as one of my first general education courses, and fell in love with it. I immediately switched my major to political science. I LOVED my political science major; I remember brimming with excitement to go to class and I even shared that enthusiasm when writing my 30-40 page long poli-sci papers, as crazy as that sounds.
By the time I hit my junior year of college, I was like wait, what now? What the hell does one do with a political science degree? I thought about working for the Department of State, but the thought of having to spend a few years in a third world country was scary. It seemed that law school was the logical next step unless I wanted to be a teacher or work for the government overseas, and so I went to law school.
During law school, I envisioned I would end up doing products liability or wills and trusts. But, after the recession in 2008 which just happens to be when I graduated law school, jobs were majorly slim pickins’. I ended up finding a corporate counsel job doing Medicare compliance in Bradenton, FL. So I packed up my chihuahua and my tiny 500 square feet apartment from law school in Miami and made the move. It was scary- I moved from a big city to a small town where I did not know a soul. But it all worked out in the end.
I really had no idea what I had got myself into but really needed a job, and knew that being a corporate counsel would be a good gig with normal hours. Nine years later, I absolutely love what I do. I love that I get to be creative, help people, and my field is anything but stagnant. It’s constantly growing and changing, and keeps me on my toes. I love that a huge part of my job involves relationships with people and clients. It is rewarding and a lot of fun.
Enough about how I got here and now onto why you should care about #loveyourlawyerday. It’s not always peaches and roses for us. The job market is flooded with attorneys and I still know many people I graduated with or that went to law school that are struggling to make decent money or find a good job. I also know many that literally in a heartbeat would trade in their $200,000 debt and return their law degree if they could. We also suffer the scrutiny of people making comments that they hate attorneys and making jokes about us, that is until they need us and then all of a sudden we are lifesavers.
I have been criticized several times throughout my career- literally- for thinking too much like a lawyer. And here is me thinking, WTF, is that not what you hired me to do? Or for being too “black and white.” As I think to myself, OK fucker….you will thank me when that attention to detail pays off.
My first boss out of law school literally bought me a pair of thong underwear, that creepy sucker. And then a later boss basically assumed once I had a baby that I would not be coming back to work, because ya know…chauvinism took over. I came back to work from maternity leave brimming with enthusiasm more than ever, because I now had not only a husband to make proud, but also a son. I really want my son to grow up knowing that women can have it all. I will show him that. We can be lawyers. And moms. And we can do it with finesse.
So lastly, do love your lawyer. Because no one is easy on us and the job is not as glamorous as many people think it is, particularly for us lady lawyers that also have even more important “clients” at home. We work our asses off, but it is ever rewarding.