Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Strange Turn of Events

I'm working again.  For a few weeks, anyway.

Last week, a contract attorney/freelance gig kind of fell into my lap.  I hate it when people say that, but it's true.  I didn't seek it out- it came to me.   And when the question was posed to me as to whether or not I was interested, I was shocked at how easy it was for me to exclaim a big fat "Yes!"

I think I have missed working more than I care to admit.  Or maybe it's not working per se, but SOMETHING.  Something other than the tediousness of my daily life these days - the nap times and the school pick ups and the playdates and the meal preparation and the laundry and the Real Housewives episodes.  Don't get me wrong - I love the aforementioned things, but I find myself yearning for something different.  Something to make me appreciate how awesome a mundane lifestyle can be.

A few weeks ago a close friend of mine, who lives in another city and is also a stay at home mom, emailed me to tell me that she was going back to work.  She found a part time job where she can work two days a week in the office, and four hours at home.  When she told me the news, I found that I was jealous.  Not in the way that I didn't want my friend to have the job (I am so happy for her), but in that, "Hey, I could do that too" kind of way.  How perfect would that set-up be?

Here's why:  You know that feeling where you have a hard day at work, and you can't wait to get home and collapse on your couch?  So you can really relax?  Because your home is your haven? Your reprieve?  I don't feel that anymore.  Because I am HOME ALL THE TIME.  It's the place I want to escape from, not escape to.

But two days out of the house (I'm talking 9-5 days, and nothing more)... I think I'd get a bit of that appreciation back for my home as my place of respite. Sure, I'd miss the kids, but not in a painful way.  I'd miss them just enough so that I would appreciate the five days I did have with them a little bit more.  This 2 to 5 ration seems like the perfect balance for me.  A weekend/workweek turned on its head.

This particular gig I got is not the 2 to 5 ratio I am describing.  It's more time intensive, and I am working from home.  But, it is work.  I'm getting paid pretty well.  And I'm using my brain again, which is strangely satisfying.

It's a short term thing - probably only through the end of the year.  But my friend's experience, combined with my own recent turn in employment, makes me realize that it is possible.  Maybe I can work on the side.  Maybe I can earn some money.  Maybe once this gig is up, I should put forth some effort to see if I can find some freelance legal work and create my own 2 to 5 ratio, or something close to it.

Speaking of freelance work, through Twitter I have come across some companies that provide freelance legal services and primarily employ female attorneys with children.  Check out Montage Legal - the company's website states that it is "a network of experienced freelance attorneys who left law firms to achieve a work-life balance."  Um, hello?  You speaking to me?  Sign me up! Unfortunately, this company is based on the west coast, but I have to say that it's mere existence has inspired me.

Anyone know if something like this exists on the east coast?  Because it should.  If not, maybe I should start it.  Who's with me? :)


  1. I work PT, and it is really, really nice, but I don't really like my job and I would love to find something else. There is not a lot of PT lawyer work out there.

  2. I'm with you! I have read about Montage Legal and wondered whether there was an east coast equivalent.

    I left my in-house job 5 months ago to be a stay at home mom and you articulated my feelings exactly in this post! A 2/5 ratio seems it would be the perfect balance of work to help maintain my sanity and home to get plenty of quality time in with my 5 month old daughter. Is it possible?

  3. I left my law firm two years ago and have been a SAHM ever since. I would LOVE to pick up some freelance legal work, and would jump on the opportunity to join a network of lawyer moms. If you start it, I'm with you!

  4. Sounds great! I became a SAHM right after I passed the bar. I was in financial marketing and went to law school at night. Everytime i pay Sallie Mae I wonder if anyone will want to hire a rookie like me when i want to go back to work.

  5. Your blog feature is up today!

  6. Your post articulates what my mother's generation felt in the 1970s and worked so hard for -- that often mothers want SOMETHING. Something else besides the thankless tedium of homelife. Many find it through volunteering but, as much as people may look down on me for saying so, it feels damn good to earn some money -- especially if you haven't done so in a while. I sahm for a few years because I thought I should and my husband's work schedule was crazy at the time. when I went back to work (motivated by breaking the tedium as opposed to earning a buck) I was shocked by how good earning the money felt. Not that I could even have paid our mortgage with what I was earning when I first went back but that wasn't the point. Anyway, good for you. Also, I think there is something called flextime lawyers run by Debbie Epstein out of Philadelphia? I think that is her name at least.

  7. Montage Legal Group just expanded to the East Coast in May !

    I'd love to chat with you!

    - Laurie Rowen

  8. I've worked exclusively as a freelance lawyer since before my two kids (now 14 1/2 and 9 1/2) were born. You're absolutely right about the generally flexible nature of freelance work (especially legal research and writing) being perfect for parents.

    Through Legal Research & Writing Pro (, I teach other lawyers how to start and run successful practices as freelance lawyers. I also blog about issues of interest to freelance lawyers and hiring attorneys at that site. Make sure to check out the article about how to start a freelance practice that I wrote for GP|Solo Magazine; you can find it at


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