Friday, July 1, 2011


As I contemplate my career options this afternoon, I am keenly aware that civil litigation is not the best career option in the world for me.  I have spent the better part of a week dividing my time between two collections cases for contractors, three research projects for one client, an obscure defense strategy in a utility easement case and an ongoing search for a point of law in a case of contract fraud.  In short, I'm bored.

While recognizing that the foreign service is a distant possibility, I retook the Foreign Service Officer Test this past month to begin a political candidacy.  I found out that I passed the day before yesterday, and did not hesitate in sending my biographical questions in for the QEP the very next day.  So now I will wait 6-8 weeks for a response.  Maybe more.  In the meantime, I've begun hunting for my next attorney position since this firm is not working out.  This is a common trend among young attorneys, to be passed around by firms like the fungible assets we are.  You see, there is an indisputable oversupply of young law graduates at the moment, which makes job hunting extremely difficult for lawyers with some experience, and almost impossible for fresh graduates with none.  As it has always been in the American legal system, the very best and brightest will always have places in firms.  However, many of them are working under conditions most normal human beings would find unacceptable, i.e. 100 hour work weeks and impossible standards set by the partnership.  The best and the brightest of my class have with few exceptions found themselves washed out of their large firm jobs just shy of three years since passing the bar. 

One can still make a good living practicing law if one lucks upon a sustainable position.  The problem is that I have not found a sustainable position yet.  I'm having lunch with a partner at an IP boutique next Thursday, but I'm genuinely on the fence about whether I am going to continue hunting for civil/business/IP litigation work, or whether I would prefer to get my ass back into the courtroom and do criminal work until the foreign service comes a-calling.  In pursuit of the latter, I left a message with the head of the Public Defender's Office here in town this afternoon, so maybe I'll entertain a position there.  Either way, it's emotionally taxing to be in flux. 

My outlook on life is somewhat enhanced, not just by the thought of coming home early to see my beautiful wife this holiday Friday, but also because my best friend from law school is coming to visit this weekend.  He's been out of the country for almost four months now, but came home to visit his family and friends for a month.  He's planning on emigrating to that foreign land, so I invited him to stay with my wife and I for a last hurrah.  On that note, I'm leaving the office for the weekend.  Happy birthday weekend, America.

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