Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Your Turn - Leemore's Story

"Your Turn" is a series of posts where readers share their stories of parenthood, work, the struggle for a balance, or just life generally. If you are interested in contributing a story, please email me at, or click here.

I have been practicing as a litigator for nearly ten years, and I can't even believe it's been a decade. When I was a budding associate at one of the big firms, I thought for sure I would be out after year five. But here I am, ten years later, reevaluating my life and career choice.

I don't have regrets - I received a fantastic legal education that has not only benefitted me career-wise, but has been incredibly useful in life.  My salary paid for a nice house in Los Angeles.  We take nice vacations.  My son goes to my preschool of choice.

I've worked at a big firm, at a small firm; for complete assholes, for lovely mentors. I've pulled countless all nighters.  Most years I made - and far exceeded - my billable hour requirement, and last year, for the first time, I fell short.  I was in trial until the day before my due date (I am probably the only woman relieved that my son came a week late because I needed the rest). I breastfed for a year and pumped in the most interesting of locations, including in a public restroom, during a break while deposing the plaintiff in a multi-million dollar case.

I always thought I would be able to balance it all, but when my son turned three, I realized that I could not be a litigator and the kind of mom that I wanted to be. Those two very full-time jobs simply don't mesh for me. I feel like a cliche in that I constantly feel guilty about my inability to either put in 100% at work or 100% at home.

Mostly, it's the stress of the billable hour requirement that I simply can't deal with. If I take a day or a morning off, I have to make those hours up sometime. But when?  After a full day of work, followed by cooking dinner, bathtime, play time, book time, and bedtime? After all that, I am spent and need to just melt into the couch.

So, inspired by the quote "She took a leap, and grew her wings on her way down," I am giving my notice this week.  And I'm scared.  But extremely excited at the same time.  Financially, it will be a big adjustment and a struggle, but I'm setting myself up with some contract work and other (hopefully) interesting work that I can do from home. I am also exploring the wonderful world of blogging (you can find me at A Tired Working Mommy - unfortunate name but I was clearly tired that day).

I wish I could have made it work, and perhaps this is just a phase in my life and I'll go back to full-time litigation in the future.   But I haven't felt this happy and carefree in a very long time, and I'm looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead.  Wish me luck!

This post was written by Leemore.  You can read her blog at  


  1. Reading how you feel about your decision makes me feel so excited for you. Good luck!

  2. Don't apologize for making a career change! You deserve to be happy and deserve time to be a mom.

  3. Congratulations on making a hard decision but one that is right for you and your family. Wishing you all the best!

  4. Thanks for sharing that lovely quote! Hope you find your wings and soar.

  5. Very exciting, and I love the quote. Best of luck to you!

  6. That is good for you. I think one should just enjoy the present. Life is short and worrying much will only hinder one from living. Good luck!


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