Friday, February 21, 2014

Digging Out

I've been reading through my blog archives a bit and I realize how severely I've allowed my creating writing skills to languish.  Writing legal letters and contracts and trusts and pleadings all day everyday does not seem to be conducive to good blog writing.  When I first started this blog, and during the period I most actively updated, I was in law school.  Besides writing this blog I kept journals, wrote (bad) poetry and read fiction on a near daily basis.  Now my creative endeavors are most often really clever contractual provisions in favor of my client.

It honestly makes me sad that I can't seem to find the blogging sweet spot anymore.  I'm going to make more of an effort because writing for pleasure is something I have genuinely enjoyed in the past and its something I don't want to lose as a skill, pastime or companion.

Perhaps I've written about this before but when I first started my job, my employer told me that it would take me about five years to really be useful as an attorney.  I've found that to be true in that it takes at least five years to develop any kind of experience, real competence, judgement and, most of all, confidence.  It feels a little like digging out of a hole for five years.

It could have been because of this comment from my boss or perhaps just an arbitrary decision on my part but I told myself I would give this job (and in a larger sense this career) five years when I started.  When I started this job I wasn't at all sure that I wanted to make my career being a practicing lawyer.  I was afraid I wasn't cut out for it and that I wouldn't like it.  Both of which fears have been true from time to time over the past five years.  Overall, however, now that I am developing a little more competence I feel like I could find a way to be good at what I do on my own terms.

Law is an overwhelming proposition for a lot of reasons.  Its an industry that, as a whole, outsiders have a strong viewpoint of which is not based on actual experience.  The Law and Order effect, if you will.  It's a profession seeped in tradition.  Mostly the traditional of rich, middle-aged, white men.  It's  full of strong personalities and personalities of a type to which I don't necessarily relate.  It's full of ego, bravado  and outright aggression.  It's intimidating, it's stressful and, at times, it's very unforgiving.

However, it's challenging and often worthwhile.  Lawyers, in general, are well respected and well compensated.  There are some truly remarkable and intelligent individuals in this industry.  There is always room for growth and learning.  There is room to make your own way once you get the hang of things.

I'm still figuring it out but I feel like, at least, I've started to figure it out.  I have written about this before but my IL Tort's professor once said (or perhaps quoted) that the law is art not science.  Perhaps I feel like these past five years have been a bit more science than art.  I've been trying to figure out the process much more than the art of it all.  However I do believe there is room for creativity and perhaps that is where the next five years are going.  A girl's gotta have some goals after all.