Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Going Solo

I've been busy with work the past ten days. I filed two motions, including one for summary judgment, in one of my cases. Early last week, I found myself at Office Max, buying exhibit tabs. After I paid for the exhibit tabs, I waited at the copy center as the copy guy ran three copies of the exhibits with two holes on top. While he was doing that, I sat at a nearby desk and punched holes in the exhibit tabs. When he finished running the copies, I inserted my exhibit tabs and bound them with acco fasteners. When I was ready to file the motions, I first drove over to Fed Ex to serve a copy on the opposing party by overnight mail and then drove over to JAMS, where the arbitration is pending, in order to submit a copy.

This isn't the way I used to practice. There was a time when I used to hand the entire stack of exhibits over to a secretary or a paralegal, and they would be returned (most of the time) in perfect condition. Then, when the motion was ready to be filed, I turned it over to my secretary again who sent it out with the perfect label and dealt with the messenger.

Nowadays, I am lawyer, secretary, paralegal, and messenger in one.

And I don't seem to mind.

In some ways, I find it more efficient to do it all. And since I don't charge my clients for non-substantive work, I save them money as well. Besides, I no longer have a 2000 hour billable requirement per year. I only work when I have work. And the rest of the time, I can do whatever I want -- without any feelings of guilt or anxiety. So yesterday, after I filed my summary judgment motion, I went shopping. For baby clothes. I stopped by Old Nacy, Baby Gap, and Macy's and picked out an assortment of little sleepers, overalls, and polo shirts.

When I returned home with bags full of little man outfits, it was just in time for Jeff and me to drive down to Mountain View to watch the Elvis Costello concert. It was a perfect day. A little work, a little shopping, and a little play. Does it get any better?


  1. Nope, doesn't get any better. Sounds delightful.


  2. I did the same thing as a lawyer and Mom to my now-three year old girl.

    I had two offices before having her with a 60 minute commute between them. When I had her I closed my remote office three months later and built a home office. I had to draw the line when I bought a car adapter for my breast pump to efficiently use my commute time!

    I used minimal daycare, typically when I couldn't schedule around a court hearing/arbitration or that kind of thing. Otherwise she played in her playpen, toddled around and I juggled working during nap time and when she went to bed at night. I would take her with me in a sling to file documents at Court and do other non-court things. She loved it and the Clerks did too, they always fawned all over her. It is a lot of work and it seems that I am running all day but as with you when I have had hearings stacked all day and can take an hour to shop for my girl or run errands afterward it is nice to have that flexibility.

    I enrolled her in preschool for two half days a week when she was potty trained to socialize her as an only child. She loves that.

    Otherwise there is a lot to be said for having the flexibility to handle my daughter, my workload and my private life. I wouldn't have traded the last three years for the world. She has a desk in my office with a little MacBook with a hot pink cover and will happily "work" along with me. Her work entails sprout.com, nickjr.com, disney.com and barbie.com. There are some awesome free things on the Internet for kids and she gets along just fine at her age on the computer.

    She is my joy and the love of my life and the amount of time I have been privileged to spend with her these last three years is a gift.