Virtual Office NYC Attorney, Vivian Sobers, shares how the success of her solo practice contributed to the failure of her marriage.
There has been something that I’ve been holding back for a while. Something that I have been alluding to over the past few weeks. Here it goes:
This Summer my husband and I separated and we are working towards unwinding our marriage.
In a lot of ways, my solo law practice played a big part in this.
There. I said it. Band-Aid ripped off.
I hate failure. This was a big fail.
This is not something I am proud of. I hate failure. That is why I strive so hard to be successful in my career, even with odds stacked so high against me.
This was one of the biggest failures of my life.
My husband and I had been together since college. He played an integral role in my decision to pursue law school, and was supportive of me through the hardships of school and the beginning of my post-graduation career.
Yet when I started to see some success in my practice, the dynamic of our relationship had changed, and for the worse.
Like a first year associate, we had unrealistic expectations about the demands of the practice.
Much like the young law school grad who gets her first associate job and after six months of 60 hours weeks doing doc review thinks: “is this really what I signed up for?”, I think we, too, were naive about the real life demands of a solo law practice.
But unlike the young associate, whose work time is dictated by (and also tempered by) the needs of the partners in charge, in my solo practice, I am the partner in charge.
There was no one to tell me not to work. Not to take calls on weekends. Not to answer texts on date night. Not to be up all night thinking about strategies to win my next oral argument.
And being someone who hates failure, someone who over-prepares, someone who dives in head first to a problem, my pursuit of professional success took its toll on my personal life.
How things broke down (from my perspective).
I had expected that my husband would be supportive and he was, but he didn’t feel great about sharing me with the law, my practice or my clients. As I gained professional success, my husband felt like he lost his wife. What I didn’t realize was that my marriage was failing.My husband didn't feel great about sharing me with my #solo practice, and my marriage ended. Click To Tweet
Like many other marriages that end, there were a million other things that led to the demise, but the demands of solo practice and the changes it made in me as a person, finally ended it. We both became unhappy and started to withdraw and fight.
Then it was over.
Just like that.
For better or worse, I have poured myself into my paramour: my solo law practice. That at least was the one constant that I had in my life.
Now, my new boyfriend is the laptop I almost always seem to fall asleep with. I’m still processing this, and hope I gain more insight about it as time passes. Right now it just sucks.
Not sure there is much else to say.
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.