Today is my first anniversary at the Firm and yesterday three new associates started, so I am now no longer the newest attorney here! My life has changed significantly in this past year, and I have to say that every single day I feel so lucky to have found a job that I absolutely love! So, my highlights from my first year as a baby lawyer are:
Of course, no job is amazing all of the time, and there have definitely been some rough spots as well. For me, the worst part of this year was when the associate I started with decided to take a job offer in a different state to be near his son. Obviously, I was very happy for him to have the opportunity to spend more time with his child, and it was definitely the right choice for him, but I was sad to see such a good friend and confidant leave!
- Participating in my first jury trial! I never expected that a mere 4 months after I started here a partner would ask me to participate in a jury trial. During jury selection, the partner told the jury that I had only recently passed the bar, and the entire group of potential jurors gave me an ovation (which is rather odd in a courtroom). I gave my very first opening statement to a jury of 12, and it was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time! I also directed a witness. All in all, the experience was WONDERFUL and only reaffirmed my desire to be a trial attorney. The best part, however, was listening as the verdict was read and realizing that we had won!
- Having free time! All throughout college and law school, if I ever complained about life being hectic, a common retort to my complaints was, "Just wait until you get into the real world!" I am happy to report that I am now in "the real world" (although I fail to understand how law school is somehow not the real world) and I have more free time than I know what to do with! It is AMAZING! Obviously there are times when I have to put in late hours at the office or come in early. I work the occasional weekend. But on the whole, I have more me time than I remember having at any other point in my life! I read FOR FUN! I watch TV, go to movies, hang out with friends, BAKE, and do all other sorts of fun stuff. Free time is definitely a highlight!
- Taking my first deposition! Just a couple of weeks ago I took my very first deposition. I was very nervous going in, but by the end of the afternoon I was relaxed and comfortable with what I was doing...and I left with a story to tell. My first deposition was such a good experience I will be devoting an entire post to it once I get the transcript!
- The people I work with. Personally, I think that coworkers can make or break a job. I LOVE my coworkers at the Firm! We have attorneys' nights out where we eat greasy hamburgers and drink beer, we play poker, we host baby showers, we have happy hours about once a month, we play practical jokes, and we produce good work. I love the fun atmosphere combined with an opportunity to learn from some very intelligent and highly respected attorneys!
Another difficult part of this job is being so far away from my family and other loved ones! In my perfect world, everyone I love would move here...obviously, that isn't happening anytime soon (other people apparently don't have the same affection for Kansas as I do!)!
So, in the end, I am happy to report that having completed my very first year as a baby lawyer, I am still convinced that I made the right career choice for me and I still go to work every morning excited for my job (well, not every morning...I'm not really a morning person...)! In honor of this milestone, I finally brought my diploma to work and hung it on my wall, thus making it much more difficult for me to make a fast and unnoticed escape! So, here's hoping that year two goes just as well (seriously, I still have a lot of student loans...)!