When I decided to start a blog, one of the things that I resolved to write about is the state of my profession. Yet, when I started writing, I found it easier to write almost exclusively about running. I love running and it is a great source of inspiration for me. In fact, there is no doubt that you will continue to read a whole lot about running on this site. However, I would be remiss by any failure to admit that my feelings about the practice of law, and my practice of law in particular, are a great part of what led me back to writing.
This being Halloween, I have decided to share five things that scare me about my career as a lawyer:
1. When I was in law school, it was regularly noted by the media that for the first time in history, there were more aspiring lawyers in law school than there were actually lawyers practicing.
2. In the summer of 2007, I took a job at a small law firm that I thought of as a “stepping-stone position.” I still work there.
3. My fifth anniversary with the firm went entirely unacknowledged.
4. I have received only one raise and one review in my entire time with the firm. As distressing as the former is, it is the latter that truly concerns me about my future. Law practice was traditionally a profession where training was by apprenticeship. When I work in an environment where I have no educators, no mentors, and no feedback, how can I be sure that I am advancing myself as an attorney?
5. From time to time, LinkedIn lists people who have actually gotten the jobs I have applied for as “People You May Know”. Seven out of ten of them went to Yale.
That said, I would like to thank Hurricane Sandy for giving me three fully paid days off from work. Because of that, I was able to dress up as a writer this year, instead of a disappointed lawyer. The writer costume is so much cuter!