rambling thoughts

In January, I was complaining about not having enough work to do.  I had lots of free time, so buying a house right then sounded like a fantastic idea.  We found the house, put in the offer, and got the house.  (We’re supposed to close this week!)  So, of course, I’ve been absolutely swamped since the middle of February.  As soon as it’s time to pack and do the necessary renovations on the house (which are quite minor, but I still am determined to complete them before we move in), I have absolutely no time.  I was billing until after midnight last night and expect to be doing the same again today.  I definitely prefer to be busy, but now is one of the few times I’d prefer not to be busy…  It’d be wonderful to relax during my birthday week and have time to paint and pack, but I guess that’s not what is in store for me this year!

So, somehow, this week, I need to pack, clean the apartment, sign all of the closing documents, start painting the house, AND review 23,713 more documents which need to be produced to a government agency as soon as possible. And I’m supposed to run a 4 mile race on Saturday, for which I’m absolutely not in shape…  Oh, and it’d be nice to celebrate my birthday at some point in there, too!  But, at least I won’t be bored!

I’m finally starting to feel like I have a vague notion of what I’m doing as an attorney, so that’s definitely a plus.  I have to say, even having had 40,000 discovery documents to review over the last couple of weeks, I love my job.  I love being an attorney and I’m really glad this is the career path I’ve decided to pursue.  Hopefully, after six years in the profession, I’ll still love it as much as I do at six months.

As I approach my last birthday in my 20s, I realize just how amazing this decade has been, and I eagerly look forward to the next one.  I have never worried about getting older, probably because I’ve always felt older than my age anyway.  Each birthday, I feel like I’m getting closer to the age I’m supposed to be.  In the past year, I’ve lived in France, graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, started work as an attorney, gotten engaged, and purchased a house.  It’s been a wild ride and I can’t wait to see what is to come!  As soon as we get settled in the house, I guess I’ll have to start planning for the next adventure (that wedding date is getting closer and closer!).

Also, it’s snowing.  In Seattle.  In March.  Because moving isn’t hard enough when the weather *is* cooperating…

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Win!

Today, I won my first opposed motion!

I’ve known forever that I wanted to be a litigator.  Maybe it was the Matlock I watched as a kid (or the Perry Mason)*, but I always had dreams of standing up in front of the court room arguing points.  While it’s quite a bit different than I imagined it, winning is pretty much exactly as satisfying as I thought it would be.

I’ve had this case for months now, and it should have been simple.  It’s a simple motion to vacate a default judgment (that’s what the partner who handed me the case told me anyway).  No big deal.  But, because of procedural issues, I’ve been bumped back and forth between superior court and district court four times now.  I’ve now argued the same motion three times without any decision being made because of complications.  But today!  Today I actually got a verdict.  Today I won!  Huzah!  This being a motion to vacate means that there will inevitably be more proceedings where I will actually have to defend against the suit, but it still feels quite good to come out with a win for the day.  And each time I stand in front of the judge, I get a little more comfortable with it, and a little less nervous.  This case has been a pain, and will continue to be one I’m sure, but I can be thankful that this case has at least given me numerous opportunities to stand in front of the judge, bringing me one small step closer to being an actual Litigator.

I am headed to the theatre tonight to see Beauty and the Beast with my mom, which is another point in the win column for today.  I’ll hold on to those wins while I get back to reviewing discovery documents (oh the life of a first year associate) and dreaming of the house I get to start decorating pretty soon.**

___

* I know.  As a kid I watched reruns of Matlock, Perry Mason, the Golden Girls, and even Designing Women.  I’d blame the fact that I lived with my grandparents for part of that time, but I don’t even think that’s it.  I’m just weird.  I’ve accepted it.  On the plus side, I’m fantastic at trivia questions on old shows!  🙂

** My current obsession is backsplashes.  Oh backsplashes!  The possibilities!  I’m thinking subway tile will really brighten up my new kitchen…

Catching up with some big news.

I’ve been woefully lax on the blog updating.  I can’t even claim that it’s because I’ve been so busy at work either.  Well, actually, that was the case in December.  Now, though, I’m super slow.  Like painfully slow.  This was good last week when I was super sick, and now isn’t so great.  Hopefully everything will pick up soon!

In other news, I’m in the midst of wedding planning!  Ike and I got engaged on Christmas Eve.  🙂  We’re excited about embarking on married life together.  We’re taking our time to plan this thing, though, and won’t actually get married until some time in 2013.  Good thing, too, because it turns out wedding planning is kind of a lot of work.  So far, my favorite part has been the registering!  It’s so much fun to walk around the stores and use the scan gun.  Isaac and I are arguing about which things to include, so there will be many adjustments over the course of the next few months, but…

The Ring. I kind of hate pictures of hands, but I really do love the ring.

Also, we’re beginning a house hunt.  We’re looking for houses in our favorite parts of the city – Isaac has one part in particular in which he wants to live, while I’m a bit more flexible.  We’ll see how this goes.  Ike’s supposed to call the bank today to get the pre-qualification stuff in order.  I’m really excited about embarking on this part of our life.  In fact, and I’m sure this is totally wrong to admit, I’m more excited about the house hunting than the wedding planning.  That’s terrible of me, isn’t it?  When I was in college and law school, I had friends who would dream of having babies.  I, on the other hand, would dream of home ownership.  Weird, right?  Hopefully, though, in the next six months or so, that dream will become a reality.  I can’t wait!

Work overall is going really well.  I was quite busy in December doing a ton of different projects.  I’ve, mostly, gotten past feeling overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge and am just embracing each project that comes by way as a new learning experience.  I’ve been lucky enough to do so many projects over the first three months or so of being an attorney, including writing motions, arguing motions, writing briefs (even an appellate brief), writing memos on various topics, writing mediation letters…  it’s been really varied.  The month of January has been so darn slow, though.  I’ve only billed about 40 hours for the entire month.  Eeeks.  That’s bad news.  I know a ton of other people have been really slow, too, though, so at least it’s not just me.

It’s supposed to be snowy here today and tomorrow – I hope they’re right!  I am looking forward to some wonderful heavy snow falling around the city. So far, there’s no snow at all, but here’s hoping!

The view from my apartment window on Sunday.

Lawyering is hard.

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!

Life’s Ups and Downs

Sometimes, life feels like a roller-coaster.  Peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys.  Generally, though, I wouldn’t trade where I am for anything.  Though, a nice trip to Europe would be nice right about now…

Last week, I worked and worked and worked.  On Thursday night, I had some friends over (who, of course didn’t have to go to work on Friday).  It was a blast, until Friday morning, when I had to go to work and no one else did.  Ah well.  It was still worth it.  We watched ANTM, the drinking version, and a movie.

On Friday night, I took Isaac to the airport for his two week vacation to Southeast Asia.  I’m incredibly jealous.  He’s having a blast gallivanting between Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam while I’m stuck here, working.  Darn him!  He flew to Taiwan first, which made me miss Taipei so much.  I spent a couple of months there back in 2005 and 2006, when my mom was working over there.  Such a wonderful place.  I need to figure out how to include more travel in my life.  Yes, I was in Europe from January to April, but that was 8 months ago!  Time for another trip out of the country…

On Saturday, I had brunch with some friends, which was delightful.  I do love brunch.  What’s not to love about an excuse to drink mimosas?  On Sunday, thanks to LivingSocial Adventures, I took my mom to a sushi making/sake drinking class.  It was fantastic.  For just $55 per person, we got four glasses of sake and made five rounds of sushi.  So much fun!

The menus.

First round of sushi in progress - an inside out roll.

Spicy Tuna roll.

Yum!

I'm now a pro - especially at the eating part.

I’ve made sushi a number of times before, but I learned how to make some different types on Sunday.  I can’t wait to try out the new techniques at home.

That night, Carrie and I went to trivia night at a local bar.  We ended up being joined by the bartender, the trivia host’s girlfriend, a friend of the girlfriend, and one of Carrie’s friends.  We had a big team, which helped us secure the win!  Wahoo!  It was certainly a much better showing than the last time we played trivia there…

Yesterday, I got my bar number!  So, I guess that means I’m now completely, officially a lawyer.  Crazy.  I keep thinking someone is going to call me and say, “Whoops!  Just kidding.  You didn’t actually qualify to be a lawyer.”  Or they are going to call me and tell me that I failed the bar or something.  But, once the number is posted, it must be true.  Right?  They can’t take it back now!

Overall, things are going well.  But of course, there are the lows – missing Isaac (I’ve never been the girl who misses people.  What has he done to me?!), being sick with a massive cold, being completely swamped at work, and going a bit stir crazy from lack of travel.  I think I’ll try to plan a weekend trip for sometime soon… that should help.

Also, ski season is starting soon.  That’s bound to make me feel better.  Let it snow!  Let it snow!

Fall in Seattle.

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.