Discourage isn't the right word for it
i'm not sure exactly what i'm feeling 2 months (well 1 and a
half) into opening my own law firm. really it felt like a
dream come true in a way. i've always wanted to do this.
but now, i get a feeling that no matter how much you want
something, there may be more obstacles than you thought of
in your way.
i'm not really discouraged but just a little bit betroubled
(if that's a word)by the way things have bveen going. let
me put forth my first 3 prospective clients (none of whose
cases i'm taking). mind you i got these off craigslist but
1)& 2) facebook "defamation" - yep, my first "real case"
turned out to be the most asinine. simple fact pattern. x
is friends with y. y has a falling out with x and posts
some derogatory comments about x on her status update. x is
incensed and wants to sue y for defamation. this,
identically were my frist two cases. at first i thought
maybe it was a prank (and for all i know it could very well
have been so) because my FIRST TWO CASES were about the same
first question: "what are your damages?"
answer: hurt feelings (in so many words)
me: that's not compensable, you have to show that there was
damage to your reputation.
so that pretty much knocks them out. but i had to follow up
with another reason why they didn't want to bring this suit.
defamation only applies to statements of facts (i.e. not
opinions) so there really was no defamation. granted there
is a fine line between opinion "I think x is a total d-bag."
and fact "X has herpes don't sleep with him." but these
deifnitely fell in the opinino category.
and then i had to go so far as to give them a third reason.
that is (and for all you kids otu there reading this)
"bringing a lawsuit costs a lot of money, time, and grief."
do not sue unless it is an absolute last resort. EVEN IF
you have a defeamation claim, likely you will be spending
more time money and grief that was likely worth it (unless
of course you are a celebrity).
then came my third inquiry: guy is a landlord, no longer
wants to be landlord has tenants on month-to-month, wants
a respectable inquiry, i aws all jazzed. but turns out, no
case. city (as probably all cities) has an ordinance that
requires "just cause" for an eviction (EVEN IF MONTH-TO-
MONTH!!) this guy had no reason = no case.
now i could forgive him being a bit perturbed by this but
then he started all out screaming at me. he was saying how
i was a shitty lawyer and couldn't seem to find a reason to
evict them. i told him that only a shitty lawyer would tlel
him he had a case just to take his money. now he was part
mexican or something because his screaming at me started to
meld into spanish. so i couldn't understand what he was
yelling at me for.
there's a huge dichotomy between the work i do. there is my
"own law firm" work that i do and there is my "contract
attonrey" work that i do. my "own law firm" day looks like
wake up, go to own office. write emails and letters. go to
any (and i mean ANY) networking event you can find. call
people. leave voicemails. go to more networking events.
field calls from crazy potential clients. go to more
my day as a "contract attorney" goes like this:
manage 8 legal interns all of who are bringing projects to
you for approval. mind you these aren't just little
projects but each is a tens of thousands dollar time bomb
that can explode if you msis one thing. each little bomb
that gets your benediction now bears your scarlett letter.
if you screw up and one explodes you better damn sure
believe it is coming down on you.
these fly by me. i try my absolute best, but once in a
while need to consuult with the other attorney. that
attorney, so relieved that i am there to lighten her
workload puts me on a million dollar project. i am now
juggling millions of dollars while fielding phone calls from
top executives and legal counsel.
the dichotomy is just insane. i am ABSOLUTELY drained after
a "contract attorney" day. i absolutely love the work.
love it love it love it, but man...it is something else.
and i still love, love, lovve opening my own firm. but i am
betroubled. but maybe that's a good thing. maybe only a
truly insane person would be serene right now. so at least
i know i'm not truly insane.