Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Second Anniversary - the Toddler Years

Today is my second anniversary at the Firm, and it's really hard to believe that I've been a lawyer for TWO YEARS!  In honor of my second anniversary, I went back and read my post from my first anniversary...and I gotta say, I'm funny! 

My second year at the Firm has been another great one, and I feel lucky that, just like last year, I still LOVE my job!  So, here are some highlights (and a couple of lowlights) from the past year:
  1. One of the biggest highlights of the year is that I feel a lot more comfortable in my job.  The first year as a lawyer, you literally know nothing.  I mean, you know basic information about the law, and you know how the research and write...but you don't know how to file something.  You don't know what a motion or a memorandum in support look like.  You've never taken a deposition and you have no idea how to ask questions or treat witnesses (or object, if need be).  The best part about my second year at the firm is the fact that I am finally to a point where I know what I'm doing at least some of the time!  It's wonderful!
  2. This year I argued my first motion in front of a judge.  By myself.  It was both awesome and terrifying.  I lost my place in my argument and I think that I may have stuttered once or twice, but I apparently made my point because I won!  And it was GLORIOUS!  (it was also fun to be told that I have a lovely speaking voice as I was leaving the courthouse.  Gotta love compliments!).
  3. Opposing counsel panted at me.  Like a dog.  I'm not sure whether to call this a highlight or a I'm going to go with an interesting-light.  So here is the story: I was taking the deposition of a younger, single man.  He was represented by...let's say the epitome of a sleazy plaintiff's attorney (think, bars on the windows of his office while he drives a Porsche or something, older guy with a fake tan, plastic surgery lines, half unbuttoned shirt with gray chest hair sticking out...).  Person I'm deposing is very nice to me and gives me lots of answers that are great for my side (but not so great for his own case).  Later in the day, while the sleazy attorney is speaking to my supervisor (on speaker phone with me in the office, which he knows), he describes his client's reaction to me by panting like a dog.  The next day, when he took my client's deposition, he panted at me again.  He is...interesting.
  4. For the first time, I wrote a Court of Appeal Brief.  I didn't get to argue in front of the Court of Appeals, but I did get to help shape what our arguments were.  And we won! 
  5. I had my first experience where I told a client that we were likely going to lose and that we should settle, and they asked me to press ahead to trial anyway.  I appeared for the oral arguments in front of the judge, and we lost.  It was a very good lesson: while I am invested in the case, it isn't "mine."  It is up to the client to determine how we proceed.
  6. For the first time ever, someone called my office and asked me, personally, to represent them after a prior client sent them my way.  And at the end of my representation of my very first personal client . . .
  7. The client called me and genuinely thanked me for all of my work on his case, promising to come back to me with any future legal needs. 
  8. A combination highlight/lowlight is the ever changing group of associates at the firm.  I was very happy this past year when Amelia and Lindsey started and I was no longer the one and only unmarried and childless associate.  But, I'm sad to say that another associate and friend quit the Firm to move on to an opportunity elsewhere (this one is a selfish lowlight...because her new job is wonderful for her and her family!). 
  9. I have not yet been able to convince any of my friends or family from home to move to Kansas.  That's a definite lowlight. 
  10. A random farmer in Middle of Nowhere, Kansas, admonished me that I needed to get some sun while I was sitting outside of a courtroom waiting for a hearing.  Apparently the paleness of my skin in February did not please him.
Clearly, these are just a couple of the things I can think of that have happened in the past year.  Overall, it has been amazing and I'm really looking forward to many more years here! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Apparently I'm a Farm Lawyer...

Currently, I have three cases in my overall case load that are keeping me crazy-pants style busy:
  1. A case involving a dispute over damage to a rented tractor;
  2. A case involving a contract for the sale of hay; and,
  3. A case involving the sale of soil amendments, which are used to increase the root growth and density to improve crop production.
Add to this the fact that I have appeared in front of the Kansas Farm Service Agency state board a couple of times to talk crop insurance, and it appears that I'm becoming a regular farm lawyer...

I wish I had known this was where my life would lead when I was growing up on a farm.  Maybe I would have paid more attention...

In other news, today one of the male associates told me I look tired, which I'm certain actually means, "You look like poop."  (He is Mormon, so I don't think he swears...).

I told my friend and coworker Lindsey about this exchange and her response was, "I'm sorry you look like shit."  THANKS LINDSEY! 

Edit: Lindsey would like you all to know that she immediately followed up her statement with, "But I'm sure [he's] wrong."

I'm not so sure, though.  Not too long after this exchange, a paralegal came in and told me I look like I don't feel well...

Thanks for reading my non-post...I promise a better one some day in the future!