This week in Young, Hungry and Committed, virtual office NYC attorney, Vivian Sobers discusses why solo attorneys cannot ever embrace complacency.
I have always known that I never wanted a “desk job.”
Monotony is the dirtiest of the four letter words. The idea of staring at a computer screen as my eyes develop darker, more permanent hues of red is scarier than the movie Hostel.
I am no stranger to punching a clock. In fact, most of us are not. The notion of adhering to someone else’s schedule and demands is what drives many of us into solo practice in the first place.
So, I would like to take a moment and thank monotony. Without it, I may have found another concept to rebel against, and I may have ended up on a different career path.
And while many adults are perfectly satisfied with the leaving the office at 5:29 PM, 5 days a week, I am not. As a solo practioner, the buck stops with you. As such, the phrase, “That is above my pay grade”, is something you will never hear any of us say.
The problem with being fully responsible for every aspect of your livelihood and success, is that you have to learn to thrive in chaos. In fact, chaos is the solo attorney’s homeostasis.
It is this exact corporeal norm which is why I love being a lawyer.
As an aside, I am trying to set home/work boundaries. But, I have never been great at drawing lines. In my mind, lines are meant to be crossed.
Basically, your Rubicon is my halcyon.
Back to the email I sent: I love being a lawyer. Better stated, I love being a solo attorney. It is not the act of practicing law that really gives me that funny feeling in my stomach, instantaneously bringing me back to my junior high cafeteria.
I love being a solo attorney because every day, every case, every minute is different. Metaphysically, I am a different person every moment. It is this idea of flux, as opposed to monotony, that made me want to get down on one knee and propose to the law.
This sentiment may not be true for all practice areas, but as a commercial litigator, I find it to be axiomatic.
Seriously, this week I was working on three cases. All of these cases are under the umbrella of commercial litigation.
First, I had an administrative hearing concerning restaurant non-compliance. Takeaway: Never get takeaway from a restaurant with a Grade Pending sign in the front window.
Second, I continued work on the case I mentioned last week, regarding third party business intervention.
Third, I started litigating a really complex breach of contract case.
Three different cases, with three totally different needs under one practice area; even better, I get to attack three different theories with three different opponents.
Some may look at this as chaotic. I, on the hand, find it stimulating.
Further, I find it challenging. But even more, I find it comforting.
I take solace in the fact that my eyes are red from lack of sleep rather than from being strained using shortcut keystrokes in an Excel document for 8 hours. It is my opinion, that all solo attorneys take solace in this as well, if we can find a free moment…
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Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.