Friday, April 27, 2012

Would Have Been Me

One of the cases I worked on at one of my prior jobs is finally going to trial.  Years of discovery and research and depositions and settlement starts and stops and motions back and forth and Judge reassignments - my life for a long time - are finally coming to a head.  

And I'm not there.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm pining to be there.  The trial is in another state, and is going to last weeks.  The preparation is brutal.  The nights are brutal.  Life, outside of the trial itself, screeches to a halt.  You live and breathe transcripts and documents and witness prep sessions.

How could I have done that?  Left my children and put my life on hold for months in preparation, and weeks in court?  I couldn't have.

But I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a small part of me wanting to be there.

Wanting the rush of going to a courtroom and watching testimony and slipping notes to the first chair attorney with questions they should ask on cross.

Wanting the satisfaction of those "look what I got that witness to say" moments.

Wanting the camaraderie that comes with being on a trial team.

Wanting the pride of finishing something I started.

Wanting to feel like a real lawyer.

Biglaw was crazy and tedious and stressful.  But there were moments - rare moments - where I felt excited about what I was doing.  Where I felt a rush of adrenaline that it was all worth it.

And this morning, I'm cognizant of the fact that I'm missing out on what would have been some of those moments for me.

So while I am thanking my lucky stars that I am avoiding the late nights and the stress and the craziness of it all, it still makes me a little sad.

It probably would have been kind of cool.


  1. Me too. Sometimes I have visions of myself being that gung-ho corporate attorney signing deals left and right, but that's not to be with my part-time schedule. I always tell myself...someday, when the kid is grown...maybe... There is a time for everything under the sun.

  2. I have tried and won jury trials in the 10 years since becoming a mom. There is nothing in life that I have experienced so far that can come close to winning a jury trial. Nothing. I love my child more than my own life and I left a terrible job to work for myself so that I could spend more time with my child and my husband. I used to work big firm hours and now I work 20-30 hours per week (unless I am in trial mode) and then it's more, but I control the hours because I work for myself. It is hard to explain, but there is nothing about motherhood (so far) that approaches the feeling hearing the words, "not guilty," in a major trial.

  3. I am a mom and it is the most important thing in my life -- my reason for living in fact. I am also a trial attorney. I have had three jury trials this year, all successful and one of which resulted in a verdict worth tens of millions of dollars for our very deserving client. I am like poster above in that I work abour 35 horus per week (except in trial). I will tell you that the trials this year that I have had, the press they received, being part of a winning trial team, have been among those things that I am the most proud of in my life. And honestly, a great feeling of accomplishment and happiness that I can draw on even now. Professional success like this (hard earned and well-deserved) makes you feel like a rock star. The surprising thing is how this confidence carries over into your personal life. I am confident, liberated and feel up to the challenge. Rewarding work is important, critical even, for smart acieving people. You are one of those people so of course you feel a loss at not being a part of the trial.


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