Monday, January 10, 2011

The Journey Begins

Actually, the journey began May 14, 2010 when I resigned my position as administrator of a set of independent dialysis clinics.  I could have stayed and still put my law degree to good use because the healthcare industry is a legal minefield.  But, the overwhelming response from everyone, except those at the clinics, was “why would you do that?”  Money is the first thing that comes to mind! But, life is about creating something that cannot be measured by how much money you make. At least my life, anyway.

The life I want to create will merge who I am, a mom, with who I want to be, a practicing lawyer, on my terms.  On my terms means not limiting myself because I am a mom.  On my terms means an awareness of the inherent limits of being a mom, but pushing the envelope anyway. On my terms means providing service to parents like me, those without enough money to afford a full-service attorney, but too much money to qualify for legal aid, with some pro bono for good measure.

There aren’t many attorneys like that. It’s not a high dollar practice, and I accept that.  And, as a 21st century attorney I must immerse myself in internet technology, I won’t survive if I don’t. For me, a mammoth task that is an almost 90 degree learning curve! But, a necessary task that must be done if I am to create this life I crave, a life that includes an active part in my children’s lives, and a dynamic career in the law. It’s being done, so I know I can do it, too.

(Case in point . . . I just deleted half of my original post, and must go back and recreate!  From this point, I will compose in Word, and cut and paste. Aaaah!!!  So, now I know I have to hire someone to build and maintain my website. I was going to do it myself, to save money, but I see now . . . not a good idea!)

But, as a semi-rural practitioner I must also have some traditional trappings of a law office. Believe it or not, there are still people out there without access to the internet, and no interest in doing so.  A long time social acquaintance still doesn’t own a cell phone! And, I’m told I may need to become a generalist to some degree, for the population I want to serve.  This all has to be parsed (yes, I know what this means, my linguistic friends, but I like the imagery), combined with the process of setting up a business, combined with the process of setting up a law practice; sprinkle in work, church and family time, and the entire project, is by default, long-term. So, I’m settling in and taking it one step at a time.  

This blog is a platform to continue my journey. This personal blog is a safe place for me to learn and make mistakes, rather than my law firm website. Not too many mistakes, because I am, after all, still a lawyer, and being a lawyer governs almost everything you do.  Just one mistake of the wrong type could cost my license. Even here.

Anyway, this is the forum to help me focus.  There is a constant buzz in my head, and I don’t know where to start . . . the mandatory transition program for new lawyers is a must, but after that . . . incorporation, mentors, the business plan, the practice plan, blogging, blogtalkradio, seminars, website, business cards, malpractice insurance, IOLTA accounts . . . the list is endless.  Here, if I have to write about it, I will focus, prioritize and get moving.

I am a mom, but I will lament more about being a mom trying to carve a life for herself rather than the daily goings on of my family, a mom trying to start and build a law firm in the midst of the comings and goings of a family of six.  No soapboxes though, not here. If I do, by chance, get on one, feel free to knock me off! This journey will be difficult, yes, but I’ve been here before . . . law school, job and family . . . and succeeded  . . . and I’ll do it again!

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