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Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Small town paralegal in the city. Once ran a law office, now being run by one. Med mal defense litigation. I think it's growing on me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dreams and Such

The Boss asked me yesterday to try my best not to schedule meetings for today. The schedule was clear, completely free. It had the potential to be a very productive work day. And we needed a work day, believe me. The phone has been ringing nearly constantly with one thing or another, and every new client expects that his case is the only case we have. Of course, everyone who works in a law office knows clients expect this. If I were someone's client, I would expect immediate and direct attention to my situation, too. Unfortunately, that's impractical at a one-lawyer-one-paralegal law firm. So we do our best.

Still, clients drop in unexpectedly to check on the cases they brought us only the day before. It is the nature of the beast that is small town law.

Because of all of the calls and initial consultations lately, the Boss has been stuck in his office for much of each day. When he is not in his office with clients, he can be found in court. And even though I'm only one step down from SuperWoman, I still need for him to be available to approve drafts and sign important documents. As the attorney and business owner (his name's on the shingle), I find that he is a necessary part of the business, even more so than myself (gasp, I know). So when we are clogged with meetings, the work that needs to be done for all the other important clients gets backed up. It's a conundrum. We need the new business to keep the firm running, but the new business creates a system slow-down. What to do?

Well, today our answer was to daydream about what it might be like to work at the other end of the legal spectrum, where clients are multimillion dollar corporations and pages serve you bottled water when you ring a little bell. Actually, the Boss started this daydreaming bit. At the end of our long day, he started reminiscing about the direction his career could have taken had he taken the fancy, travel-heavy, big-money job he was offered out of law school. "I could be a partner now," he sighed whimsically.

As he left for the day, I began to imagine my own life in a mid-to-large-sized firm where I wouldn't have to answer phones or clean the fish tank. In my dream world, I would have a 401(k), catered lunches, and the assistance of multiple other teammates. My dream was ruined by some young fellow with a brand new law degree (and no idea how to use it) trying to treat me like "the help" and a grumpy partner barking orders that made no sense because he should have retired ten years ago. I know these situations aren't status quo at larger firms, but anywhere else would open me up to the possibilities of meeting these nightmares. Apparently even my subconscious thinks I'm better off in my small town law office.

As I prepared to leave (late, too - I was at the office until 5:08 pm!), I made sure to feed the fish, water the plants, and check the phone messages. Then I thanked my lucky stars that I have the hours I have, the Boss I have, the cases I have, and even the clients. Especially the clients, walk-ins and all.

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