Sunday, September 23, 2012

Falling Back In Love With Law

I loved law school. Not the highschool-level drama and insane personalities from the ranks of both professors and students. But I loved the classes. I loved reading caselaw. I loved learning the historical transformation of law as the court's reviewed different factual scenarios and as social norms changed. I loved not just learning the final decision of the courts but the reasoning and policy behind those opinions.

It's been a while since I've read a court case that wasn't part of a legal research project for work. But tonight, as I was catching up on my political news, it dawned on me to look up and read last year's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare (yes, this was my wild Saturday night and, yes, I do have issues). When I discovered that the original opinion is nearly 200 pages long, I decided to just stick with the summary. But I became to engrossed that I kept reading. The first couple pages of the opinion is a REALLY good primer on the roles of the Federal versus State governments and the "enumerated powers" of the Federal government versus the broad "police powers" of the States. It totally re-kindled my love for Constitutional Law.

Oh man, I love it. I love it all! I am a total law geek. This (in addition to insurance coverage issues) is the kind of stuff that gets me hot and bothered. And....the Commerce Clause! Shiver. Reading about enumerated powers and the Commerce Clause has the same affect on me as, I'm imaging, the movie Magic Mike has on *normal* people.

If it weren't for the whole lawyer thing, I would be chomping at the bit to be a Political Science professor, or to have a job in politics.

Speaking of the "lawyer thing," I am also falling back in love with my profession. I think I have the best job in the world. It is seriously awesome. And in making that bold statement, I'm even factoring in an adjustment for the typical "new job" excitement.

The firm I work for is basically a start up firm. It's nine months old. There are only three attorneys and three other staff members. But, we office share with a couple other attorneys and their staff so it seems much bigger. I have a bright office with a window overlooking a cute Seattle neighborhood.

Instead of handling intense, stressfull, complex cases, we pretty much stick to car accident cases. One would think this would get old after a while, but (as I discovered in my last position as an associate attorney) when you handle cases in litigation, law never gets old. You always have new clients to meet. New opposing counsel to deal with. New cases to investigate. New witnesses to interview. And when you handle cases in multiple different counties, keeping up with the local court rules always keeps you on your toes. And the people... oh, the people! Clients are pretty hilarious. Opposing counsel can be either fun or frustrating. And it's a neat thing to build close relationships with insurance adjusters (who, in turn, give you more business).

My work is a fabulous mix of wonderful coworkers and bosses, challenging work (and a lot of it!), and an office space that instills a sense of pride.

My commute sucks. Depending upon whether it's my turn to drop the kids off in the morning, it is either 2 hours or 2.5 hours ONE WAY. But I'm no stranger to long sucky commutes and at least I'm getting 2-4 miles of walking in everyday. And, for the most part, riding a ferry everyday isn't THAT bad. I have plenty of time to get some extra work in, or read a book, or take a nap. Plus, this is only temporary. After the first four weeks, I'll be working from home two days a week (score!).

This is the passenger only ferry that I rode in to work on Friday- looks like a yacht!

And here is my typical morning commute view:

(Did I mention I love Seattle?)

Commute aside, it all boils down to one thing: I love what I do and I look forward to going to the office. I love it so much that I feel like my time away from my children is time well-spent. If I can't be with them, at least I am doing something fulfilling, challenging, and fun. When you love your work, enjoy the people you work with, and earn fair compensation for your effort, that, my friends, is called the Employment Jackpot!

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