Friday, May 27, 2011

Hello to You


I know who you are (kind of).  I have been spying on you via Google Analytics.

There are approximately 2000 of you.  Ninety five percent of you live in the United States, with the remainder coming from Australia, the UK, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore, Russia, France, New Zealand, Israel, the Netherlands, Italy, Qatar, Switzerland, Spain, and the Philippines.  In the U.S., the majority of you come from New York, DC, Maryland, California, Illinois, Texas, and Ohio.


I even know where some of you work.  Google Analytics lists the service providers of people who visit the site.  So a shout out to Gibson Dunn and Columbia University for all the visitors.  I even have a lone visitor from the Executive Office of the President.  I like to think it's Obama killing some time.

When I was a working lawyer, I would obsessively check my blackberry.  I hated doing it, but I couldn't help myself.  I now realize it wasn't the job, it was just me.  Because ever since starting this blog, I obsessively check how many visitors there have been, where they come from, how long they spend on the site, etc.  If I post something and don't get any comments, or people only spend 5 seconds on that particular page, I feel bad about myself for the rest of the day.

Sad, isn't it?

I started this blog on a whim, but it has become a lot more for me, and I find myself constantly seeking validation. Validation about my writing.  Validation about my decision to stay at home.  Validation about whether anyone cares about what I have to say.

You see, with law, and particularly with large law firms, validation does not have to be sought.  It has handed to you.  It goes something like this:

"After a half day of interviews, we have decided that you are smart enough to join our firm.  We will wine and dine you over the summer, just to make sure you come work for us.  We like you that much.  And we will pay for your bar fees and bar prep, and extend you a salary advance to travel or do with what you wish.  Because we really want you to be happy, because you're just that awesome.  Once you come work for us, we'll be sure to review you every few months to ensure that you know that you are still awesome, and if you aren't, we'll be sure to let you know.  And even then, we'll give you a few months to turn things around and continue to pay you a ridiculous salary.  You are just that good."

As a lawyer, your validation comes from the outside world as well.  If you're a lawyer, you have to admit that you feel slightly cool when you are at a barbecue or happy hour and people ask what you do.  Yes, I may be wearing flip flops, drinking a margarita out of a plastic coconut, and sporting blonde highlights, but I am a super important attorney at a big firm.  They pay me lots of money to do really important things.

When you are released from this ego fest, all of a sudden you are a alone in the world with no one to tell you what a good job you are doing.  I may still have a law degree, but I don't have a firm cutting me large paychecks, just because I am worth it.

And so with this "new endeavor" of mine, I find I never quite know where I stand.  My confidence is high after I publish a new post, and by the end of the day I am embarrassed by what I have written and the insecurity comes rushing in.  It doesn't help that my first post, My New Endeavor, was picked up by Above the Law and has been, by far, my most popular post.  It's hard not to feel like I am in competition with myself, and losing.

The truth is, writing this blog is terrifying.  I am really putting myself out there to be judged.  But I tell myself that this blog is not for you (hello, you!), but for me.  It has given me an opportunity to start writing again, which I had neglected for about a decade.  I have also discovered a vast network of other mom lawyer bloggers and websites that I have started to follow and enjoy.  I'm even going to be "guest posting" in some other blogs in the next few months (stay tuned!).  I am starting to feel part of a virtual blogging/publishing community, that two months ago I didn't even know existed.   And one of these days, I'm going to pay some computer geek to come over for a few hours and make my website a bit prettier.  Maybe I'll even start a twitter account, if I can ever figure it out.

In any event, a big thanks to all of "you" out there who have been reading and supporting me.  I plan to keep on writing.  And spying on you.


  1. Since you've already figured out who we are, figured the least I could do is stop reading without commenting. Love the website - and your writing style. Keep up the great work - it's such a pleasure to read your posts. :)

  2. I'm another DC BigLaw reader (not Gibson). I find your perspective interesting, so thanks for writing this blog. I actually like my Biglaw job, but do think about doing something else that would give me more free time. I don't plan to have children, but there are other things in life that I'd like to have time for every once in a while. But honestly, I would miss my work and my colleagues if I left. If there were some way to ratchet down the hours slightly in Biglaw - with correspondingly less pay - I'd do it. But I've never seen anyone successfully make a "part-time" schedule work in Biglaw (and I'm not even sure "part-time" is what I'm thinking of anyway. Just something less than the current "1950+ billable required/2100+ billable preferred/zillions-nonbillable expected" setup).

  3. Hey, thanks for writing! I struggle with the validation thing too. Often I wish I was in biglaw instead of doing contract work while my daughter naps, just for the validation (and the clothes!). But while validation is nice, sometimes I think that - for me - seeking it is a symptom of a problem that validation can't fix. Ultimately, I can't depend on an outside source for my validation, because outside sources are so fickle.

    And you should definitely do twitter. I'd love to read your updates!

  4. Validation = I am reading your blog while on vacation in Belize!

    I am a law school student who is struggling to find a "life path" that includes both work and family. Thank you for your unique perspective.

  5. I hope you keep at it, I really enjoy reading your posts and hearing your perspective on law and life

  6. I am a mom, but have chosen to stay full-time at a big law firm (super-reasonable partners and a very hands-on husband has made this possible). I was concerned when I read your first post that this blog would rapidly become more about the stay-at-home life (to which I can't really relate), and less about the lawyer in you. So far, it hasn't. You continue to be relatable. I also really appreciate that sometimes you confess that staying at home is hard, and sometimes it's awesome. Just as I suspected. Same is true for staying at work.

  7. Love it :) 2,000 is nothing to sneeze at. I've had MM for over two years (although I did relaunch with a different focus recently), and I get my loyal 150 unique visitors per month!

  8. Hey, thanks for commenting. I think I found you a few days ago from atty work product's blog too. I read all posts but didn't have time to comment. Look forward to reading more.

  9. Wow! I am going to call you the stalkerazzi :-) I don't check any of you have me curious :-)


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