Totally (almost) official!

Today, I became an attorney! (Well, almost… I still need to get the bar number from the bar association. But I completed the last thing I needed to do, so that’s pretty much it!)

The Chief Justice giving opening remarks.

I externed for one of the state supreme court justices during my 2L year and, once I passed the bar, she invited me to go down there to be sworn in. So, I was able to participate in the small state supreme court ceremony, with just 14 other admittees. It was very pretty special because each candidate for admission got introduced by a justice with a bio read and then we all took the oath.

Being introduced to the court.

Out of the 14 people who were admitted this morning with me, two of them were some of my favorite people from all of law school. In fact, one of them was my first friend in law school. It was fun to end the process with the same person with whom I started.

Taking the Oath.

My grandma, mom and boyfriend were all there to support me, which was really special.

It’s nice to have all of the formalities taken care of now so I can actually start my career. It’s also totally bizarre to think that this is actually my career, and not just a temporary job. It’s definitely something I’m having to wrap my head around – I’m used to being in jobs that I know are only for a limited duration. Imagining myself in the same place for years to come is great, but also pretty daunting.

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Finally a working woman.

I’ve finally started my legal career! After taking the bar at the end of July, I had a lot of free time (which I’m sure I didn’t fully appreciate as I’m not very good at resting…). I took that bar trip I mentioned in the last post (which I need to finish writing about), I did a TON of crafts (I will create a post about those, too), cleaned the entire apartment (multiple times), met my older sister for the first time in my life, and read a number of books. Phew. It was a busy couple of months.

But, that break ended a week ago Monday, when I started as an associate(!!) at a law firm. I’m not actually an attorney… yet, because I haven’t been sworn in, but I did get the bar results this past weekend, and I PASSED THE BAR!  WAHOO!!!  So, I’m (almost) all official now! PHEW.

So, life as an associate… it’s interesting. It still hasn’t fully set in that this is MY firm, MY office, MY career. I still keep thinking of myself as a temporary employee, like I was when I worked at the firm last summer as a summer associate. I’m sure it’ll settle in soon.

My biggest struggle right now is staying awake and alert! I’m so exhausted each day by the end of the day. Even though I haven’t yet accomplished all that much work (I have projects I’m working on, but I’m definitely not what I would call busy yet), I’m beat when the day is over. This whole working thing is exhausting! I think I just have to get used to being back at an office and being busy all day. I worked here last summer and was definitely able to get through each day without wanting to go back to bed. I hope my energy levels and stamina come back soon.

The other interesting thing is the billing! I billed as a summer associate, but I wasn’t being held to a goal or anything. Now, I have that number in the back of my head all the time. It’ll definitely be fine, but it’s just a different experience. And, I have to say, it’s a bit depressing to sit at my desk all day and then realized I’ve only billed for a third of the day! I realize it’s just my second week, but still… I’m hoping as I get busier there will be less downtime each day.  I did manage to bill almost 7 hours yesterday, which was a lot better than the previous days!

My firm is awesome – they threw a little party for me on Monday, in honor of me passing the bar, and the HR director gave me flowers and a balloon that morning. Aww.

Congratulatory balloons and flowers!

Also, I have this view from my office to look at each day.

Not too shabby...

This past weekend, after getting the bar results, Isaac and I hit the town with some friends, which was a blast.

Not a bad day to get good news!

Then, on Sunday, I went to tea with my grandma and mom at the Queen Mary Tea Room. It was wonderful!

Yum!

Overall, life is good. Now if I could just find more energy…

I survived!

Okay, so I didn’t blog while studying for the bar (for that I should be thanked), but will try to start blogging again, assuming I do anything of interest! I took the bar last week. It was hard. Seriously hard. I have no idea how that went. Do I feel like I failed? Not really. Do I feel like I aced it? Nope. So, that leaves me somewhere in the middle, hoping desperately that I pass so that I never have to do that again.

Since the bar, I have been trying to figure out how to live a normal life again. My life was so consumed with studying and worrying that I haven’t quite figured out how to go back to my relatively calm and normal self. (Side note – I’m also having trouble typing 2 spaces after each sentence again since I got so used to trying to conserve characters on the bar exam!) Anyway, on Thursday, after the PR portion (WA has a strange bar exam – two days of substantive essays followed by a half day of professional responsibility essays – no MPRE and no multi-state bar exam), I ran some errands with my mom. Holy cow. It was amazing to just run errands again! I haven’t really done that in months. Then, Isaac and I went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Yum!

A much needed celebratory drink!

On Friday, my mom and I went to the Bellevue Arts Fair, which was fun, as always. That evening, Isaac and I went out with some friends and played some pool. Saturday, I spent part of the day relaxing, part of the day peeling wall paper (Ike’s getting his house ready to rent), and the evening at the movies with Danny and Meghan. We saw Horrible Bosses (hilarious), were serenaded by a poet from San Francisco (interesting), and caught up over dessert (which involved minimal bitching about the bar exam – you’re welcome, Isaac).

Sunday involved finally seeing Harry Potter (I can’t believe the series is finally over!), losing a number of heads up games to Isaac (which clearly shows that I haven’t yet recovered from the bar exam because that never happens!), and catching up on some TV shows that I had missed. All in all, it was a wonderful relaxing and recovering weekend.

Now begins 2 months of figuring out what to do with myself before starting work… it’s going to be interesting! I hope the sun sticks around for a while to help me fill my free time.