I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately by work, feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing. I think this would be easier if I had fellow first year associates to commiserate with, but I know very few people who went to work at firms. And I’m the only first year associate at my firm. So, I’m on my own. Rationally, it makes sense that I would feel like a fish out of water. I mean, law school does not prepare you to practice law at all. So, each assignment I get is completely new to me. When an attorney says, “draft this motion,” I have to spend a great deal of time figuring out what exactly that type of motion needs to say before I can begin writing it. I feel slow. I’ve always been a quick learner, but this is a whole new ballgame for me. It’s like I’m learning an entirely new language.
On Friday, though, I spoke to a partner who gave me some great advice. She said, “You can’t make a mistake right now.” She meant that it is impossible for me to make a mistake in my practice right now because nothing will be submitted to the court without being supervised by someone else. She said that everyone knows that I’m new, and it’s going to take years before I get an assignment and I can say, “Yep. I’ve done one of those before.” So, that was a relief to hear. I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself to be absolutely perfect, that it’s been wearing me out. I felt a lot better after talking to her. I feel like there should be more support for first year associates, because I can’t imagine I’m alone in feeling this way. So, I’m slowly beginning to accept that I’m learning, and I just have to hope that the partners with which I work understand that.
On the plus side, I’m definitely not bored. I’ve gotten a number of substantive assignments, which are really interesting once I figure out what the heck I’m doing. I’m working on complaints, motions for summary judgment, motion for leave to file other motions, motions for extensions of time to file other motions, etc. Also, I’ve been given an entire case to myself. Scary! But, like I said, I’m definitely not bored.
In other news, Isaac is still in Asia, living it up. I can’t wait to hear about his trip. In the emails he’s sent and the one chat we have had, he seems like he’s having an amazing time.
On Friday, I had happy hour with some friends from law school. It was so wonderful. I need more happy hours in my life.
Tomorrow, I’m headed on a hike, in the mountains (which are covered in snow), to some hot springs, where I will go swimming. Is this plan completely crazy or totally awesome? Only time will tell!