Lunch with my MP (managing partner, not Member of Parliament) went much as planned. I am not on track for the year. The firm is subsidizing me. I need to get my numbers up. I need to get more work.
And I will do that how?
I’m not a domestic or DUI lawyer, so it’s not like I can advertise in the Pennysaver. I could call clients and beg for work, but realistically if they’re not being sued they don’t want to hear from me. Unless Toyota decides that I am their go to products liability gal I think I’m in a heap of trouble. And off we go.
I am making a conscientious effort to stop complaining about how everyone has done me wrong and start thinking about what I can do to get out of this mess. But I am not sure that there is anything. I think that I am at the mercy of the market. I am a commodity. Unfortunately when my firm died I lost access to the people who could have advised me best. (Telling them I hope Hitler butt fucks them in hell didn’t help, either).
At a bar function last night (my “coming out” party as the incoming president), I shook hands and laughed and drank Chardonnay out of a plastic cup. One of my colleagues recently departed his firm and is worried he may have lost some of his clients in the midst of the move. His old firm found out that he was leaving before he had announced and locked him out of everything. My advice to everyone: keep a copy of your calendar, your contacts, whatever you need to practice as a lawyer, in your house at all times. You just never know when the door is going to be locked against you.
I suspect I have about a year to get my career back in order. Is that long enough? The recession has had an unprecedented effect on the legal community, not that anyone wants to admit that. You talk to your colleagues and they tell you they’re pulling their hair out, they’re so busy. But I have friends at several major carriers who tell me their panel counsel are calling looking for work, any work. Lawyers are an insecure bunch. We need everyone to believe that we are up to our eyeballs in work.
And my former partner? The one who put together a deal that didn’t include me? It didn’t work out. I feel bad for her and I left her a message on her cell. She hasn’t called me back and she is avoiding all of her friends and colleagues. The way this business chews people up is unconscionable.
I have been asked to serve as a mentor to a new bar admittee. I think I am a poor choice for that endeavor.