Okay, I won’t sing. But I will link, willy nilly!

The Times printed an editorial on April Fool’s Day (natch) about how the legal profession needs an overhaul. For your reading pleasure. Anyway, point well taken about not letting a crisis go to waste and all that, but for fack’s sake. I’m going to take a poor me minute and whine WHY? I worked my ass off to become a lawyer. It was pretty much all I ever wanted to do. And now they’re going to go and change all the rules up on me now. I can’t deny there’s mucho room for improvement in the profession, broadly speaking…and who knows, perhaps it will rise phoenix-like from the ashes in a brand new and vastly better incarnation. But the growing pains still sting. 

The layoff rumors are flying, and I suppose it’s silly to quasi-feign surprise at this. But a little part of me did think that it wouldn’t come to my firm. We’d never laid people off before, ever…people were discreetly weeded out as they moved up the ranks and couldn’t justify their salaries anymore, but man oh man, there are some total bozos who have been able to coast for years and years. A handful of people a few pay grades above mine I swear couldn’t write their names in the ground with a stick and yet they’ve been collecting $200K+++ a year for the better part of the last decade. I want that too! Heh. *weakly*

Is it kind of sick though that the thought of a layoff doesn’t necessarily send me into a panic? Part of me wonders if it could maybe ultimately be the best thing for me because it would force me to take stock and do something that I feel is really worthwhile. I know, this is a high class problem, please don’t get the pitchforks out yet. I’ve been suffering from career inertia pretty much since the beginning and this is really just what you get when you aren’t particularly invested in your job or even your profession for the long-term.

In the short-term though, it does give me a bit of anxiety. So far I’ve found it exceedingly difficult to be even close to as productive as I used to be on this flex-time schedule…and I don’t like it. No one is pressuring me to produce more, but I feel it. The “need” to justify my position and salary is greater than ever, but at the same time walking back into a full-time position could literally throw our lives into a tailspin. There are no limits when you’re full time. None. One of my girlfriends (a corporate lawyer at another firm) was woken up from a deep sleep at 2:30am last night…she was called back into the office at 2:30am, people! That should be far more shocking than it actually is. How can I do that to my little family? But at the same time, what am I doing at [prestigious white-shoe law firm] if I’m going to be doing the piddly, non-time-sensitive, low-control tasks? What a pathetic waste. 

Four-day schedules, just FYI, are not all they’re cracked up to be, especially not in the legal profession. Since I’m home on Fridays, I feel compelled to justify it by cleaning the bathroom and kitchen at least. Since I make less money now, we couldn’t possibly justify a house cleaner. I feel guilty that I work less than Josh – like I need to make up for it somehow.  I feel like I’m setting myself back professionally in a huge way, because I’m not getting the “best” work anymore. And guess what else? The hours I bill to professional development and the like are no longer counted towards my minimum targets. That’s a huge disincentive to keep up with my training and learning new skills. Yesterday there was a one and a half hour training on Bankruptcy and Reorganization and I sucked it up and went, even though now technically I have to make up that time somewhere else. On Monday, I have to be trained on a new computer system for an hour and a half as well – also time down the drain that I don’t get to “claim.” So…worth it!? I can’t even decide that for myself.

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