Virtual Office NYC Attorney, Vivian Sobers, is reminded by Lady Gaga why having passion for her solo law practice is more important than the money.
Happy New Year!
I’m a little relieved to be back to a full work schedule after what seemed like six weeks of indulgence.
My inspiration for this article comes from two unusual sources: Howard Stern and Lady Gaga. Over the holidays I happened to be listening to Stern’s Best of 2014 programming and heard an interview he did with Gaga.
Stern had asked Gaga if she ever does private shows for corporations (or dictators). You know, the ones where an artist gets paid seven figures to perform a short set.
Gaga acknowledged that she gets offers like those, but routinely declines them. She explained to the incredulous Stern that for her, musicianship is not about the money but about the art and the love of performance. She felt that if you pursue music for the money alone, you’ll never make it.
Said Gaga (and this is an approximate quote from memory), “you can spend a lot of money for the best writers, producers, musicians and dancers, but without the talent and the passion, you’re just a turkey surrounded by a bunch of gobble gobbles.”
Seeing myself in Gaga’s story.
I related to Lady Gaga’s story. In my solo law practice I sometimes feel like an artist who isn’t doing it for the money.
I recently had a conversation with another attorney that was similar to the Stern-Gaga interview.
We were talking about the trials I do in night court. I was explaining to him that whether I represent a client on $100 claim or a $1 million claim, I prepare the same way.
The other lawyer couldn’t understand how I could (economically) justify the prep time for such small cases. But I don’t care, because I love it – even if it’s to my financial detriment.
Doing what I love even if I do not see financial gains.
Taking into the account the finances of every case isn’t important to me. Ultimately, I’m still doing what I love.
There are few things worse in life than working in a job that you are not passionate about. This is especially true for attorneys.
Just stating the obvious – we work more hours than the average professional. The work is intellectually demanding and adversarial in nature, which in and of itself creates a lot of stress.
Then, factor in that the quality of our work is backed up by the risk of losing our personal assets, and you could easily deduce that there are far easier ways to earn a living.
Being fortunate enough to be able to practice my passion.
I feel fortunate in this way, I love practicing law.
I have been pretty open about some of the challenges that I faced the second half of last year. 2014 was a certainly year of growing pains, both personally and professionally.
But it was the passion for what I do that helped me see the forest from the trees; that made me keep fighting when it would have been much easier to just give up and take a job at a firm.
Here I stand, rejuvenated from a nice break and excited about the possibilities of 2015.
I hope you are too!
Having passion is just one part of being successful as a solo attorney
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.