10 Things I wish I knew before I became an attorney

I don't talk about the details of my job or what I do very often on the blog ... except to say that it consumes my bloody life. But the truth is, since I could talk and vocalize my thoughts (and let's be honest I've been a talkative and chatty one from birth ... I probably walked out the womb chatting), I told my parents that I wanted to become an attorney. My mum's brother is an attorney in the UK and meeting him as a child just solidified that. It was done. That was to be my career for life.

And I did it.

And I love it.

But ... there are things that I wish they told me before I became an attorney, or things I wish I knew before taking that oath ... so that I didn't have any Law & Order inspired unrealistic expectations of life.

On being an attorney


1. You will think you are smart until you get that one case/file that makes you feel stupid. Really stupid.

2. The job isn't always as glamorous as people think and countless of boring hours are spent reading and analyzing things. Many attorneys never even see a courtroom.

3. People (friends, family and the like) will ask you for legal advice and expect you to give it to them  ... for free. I dont even mind this so much except ...

4. ... they expect you to know everything about the law at the tip of a hat. You are the walking goddamn law. Know it. Except ... I don't know it off the top of my head folks. Calm the hell down.  they all look at me like ...

5. You will be surrounded by know it alls. ALL. DAY. LONG. Better known as "co-workers" or "colleagues". These know it alls can become your saving grace in an instant so bear with them. They might also be your friends. Heck ... you will be considered a know it all too.

6. "The law is a jealous mistress" which basically translates to ... law demands your time. Your work day never really ends and you probably take your work home with you. And your significant other isn't always going to like your mistress.

7. Sleep is a luxury. Master the cat nap. Or you'll look like this:
8. You probably won't make a lot of money straight out of law school ... or get a job.

9. You will learn that things/cases are not always black and white and there are several shades of grey. That case you swore you would never touch ... won't look so bad

10. Some days you will love your job and other days you will hate it ... but you probably will never regret becoming an attorney.

Totally random rant from a sometimes disgruntled attorney.

Oh and before I forget. As we are on the topic of attorneys, my friend and fellow attorney/writer/book club/ so much in common person, Kari, wrote a short story and shared it on her blog yesterday. I think you should check it out!

Have a great Tuesday guys!!

34 comments:

  1. This is great! I have a family of lawyers! I'm sure they would enjoy reading this!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  2. Girl, I'm not even going to lie. Your job does not sound fun or easy but I give you major props for doing it!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  3. I'm not an attorney but I do work for them so I agree with you 110%! And it is amazing how many trees we kill everyday with all the paperwork!

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  4. I work with lawyers and I too agree with all of this!! What I seriously love is watching shows about lawyers and how they are suddenly knowledgeable about every facet of the law! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  5. Girl, thank you so much for the shout out. Your support means the world but you know that already :)
    Also, this entire freaking list! All of it! Numbers 1, 3 and 4 - OMG for real. I always get "Kari knows about ______. Kari's gonna _______." Umm no Kari will not!
    And #8? Don't even get me started. Heaven help me!

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  6. i had no idea that they didn't see the courtroom. i always thought everyone tried cases. ha!

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  7. We have a friend who's an attorney and he's told us stories of how people ask him for (free) legal advice ALL the time! I can't imagine how annoying that would get! Major props to you, I don't think I could do your job!

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  8. Which is I've refused to go to law school!

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  9. The joys of marrying an attorney.....I haven't won an argument since day one.....even with irrefutable evidence!

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  10. great post! Isn't it funny how people in other industries view certain jobs compared to what they are really like?!

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    1. Oh its certainly not law and order 24/7 ... more like the office haha

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  11. Love your blog layout! This post is hilarious! Props to you for making your way through law school and sticking to your dream! That's awesome!

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  12. hahaha number three is so accurate, and I'm guilty of doing that!!

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  13. So so true. All true. I rarely see the courtroom and when I do, it's all routine. Mostly a clerk stamping things. #4 makes me crazy... I do a lot of divorce, maybe some general stuff. but dude, no, I don't know anything about your taxes or 'secured transactions' because I skipped those classes in school. I can probably find an answer for you faster than you can, but I still don't retain all this crap in my head.

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  14. lol you have the right to remain an attorney - so funny.
    i totally think of your life as legally blonde ;) just kidding.

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  15. I can only imagine all the free advice you are expected to get. It reminds me of psychologists...

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  16. This is hilarious! I work in Gov't Contracts which is a lot of clause references and while I know a lot of them in my head I can't remember every number reference. I think people forget that lawyers have specialties too not just general law.

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  17. I had no idea your career was so life consuming!

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  18. Great post! I especially love number 2. Perception is a tricky little thing. :)

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  19. I love this post! There are definitely a ton of things I wish I had known about teaching…which is why I quit…and now I'm wondering what things I don't know about engineering that one day I'll wish I had?!
    I never realized that there were so many aspects of law or how many different roles lawyers can play (without even seeing a courtroom, like you said), until friends starting going to law school. It definitely doesn't seem like the TV version we all have in our heads ;)

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  20. Required reading for those considering the pursuit of law!

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  21. Great post. This would be a tough job!

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  22. This is such a great post! While I'm obviously not an attorney, my best friend is finishing up law school this spring so I'm forwarding this on to her!

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  23. It's like doctors... everyone wants free advice and there are a ton of pricks haha. Glad you are not the latter. So amazing that you do this for a living!

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  24. Loving the new layout girl. And just like every job, I;m sure you love and hate it the same. Very nice post, I had no idea you were an attorney

    Kay of Pure & Complex
    www.purecomplex.com

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    1. Yup almost 4 years now :) And thanks I love the layout as well!

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  25. I hear you on #3; I get more random texts and emails than I ever thought saying something like, "Hey, quick grammar questions..." or I get people assuming I'll edit or write stuff for them in my spare time (lol what?) for free. Yeah, okay. Also, #4 made me laugh :)

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  26. I mean I need to write a post like this for my career too, good lord if I knew back then what I know now I would have gone and been a friggen doctor!

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  27. The lay out is sooo cool!! Really love it!
    Girl people love freeness. Free photos from their photographer friend; free counselling from their psychologist friend; free tutoring from their teacher friend; free food from their gardener friend. Lol.
    But yes, we've always known you should write and study law!! Very proud of you xxxx

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    1. Muah you guys support is why I did study law and I do write. Love you sisssyyy

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  28. Hahaha I get what you are saying about people think you should know everything about law when you are an attorney the same way people think I should know how much their house is worth just because I am in appraising. Ummm we appraise commercial medical buildings not 3 bedroom single family homes in podunk towns thanks!

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  29. I did a paralegal program for a year and finally had enough of briefs and quit. lol

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  30. Kay I absolutely love this post and it is SPOT ON! As I was getting to your next point I was thinking " and don't forget that" but you had them all in here. Brilliant post!

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