Sunday, December 18, 2011

Belated return!

Well, it's been wayyyyyyyy too long since I updated. I've gone back and forth about whether to keep blogging here, open up a new blog or just let the whole online blogging thing die a slow and painful death. I've decided to stick with either 1 or 3. I guess we'll see in another couple of months.

It's fitting that my last blog posts were about starting my new job and passing the bar, and now, several months later I've been working myself to exhaustion and hardly had time to think about blogging, much less actually wanting to sit down and write. But T is out of town for work tonight, I've got time on my hands, and I'm kind of tired of watching old re-runs of Malcolm In The Middle and 30 Rock on Netflix. So here's a quick recap on what's been happening since I finished the bar:

I finished the bar at the end of July, and then a week later I had to take the MPREs because I'd never actually gotten around to signing up for them during law school. Let me tell you: that sucked. Don't do that, if you can avoid it. It seemed like everyone else was relaxing and enjoying the fleeting period of time between finishing the bar and starting work/freaking out about not having a job. I didn't get even that fleeting second. Because I took the bar on one week, and had to immediately cram for the MPRE the following Friday, and then started work on Monday. My head was spinning.

But then I went to work, and I pretty much have hardly caught my breath since. I go in most days around 9 a.m. and leave anywhere between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. That's probably a cakewalk for most first year associates, so I feel bad feeling bad about this. Working with The Gang isn't the typical, "big firm" experience. Still -- did it never occur to me that by going to law school, I was headed toward being an actual lawyer? With lawyer responsibilities and lawyer hours? I was commiserating with a friend who is in a terrible first post-JD job working for an emotionally abusive jerk boss who alternates between screaming at her and confiding his marital problems to her. (She has it worse.) We both agreed that we've learned more in the pair of months that we've been baby attorneys than we did during all of law school, and it's definitely more exhausting and difficult. Yet...

This is exactly the job I wanted. I am working with immigrants who are facing removal proceedings, and I am being given the space and support to come up with creative solutions for defending their right to be/stay here in the United States. I'm helping victims of crimes and their surviving family members navigate through the bureaucracy of state prosecutors' offices. I've attended marriage interviews and asylum hearings and gone to court. I have my first court date here in Big City (my first one was out of town) this week! Really, truly, I love it.

And our apartment is great. We no longer live in Tiny Firetrap Apartment, but have moved exactly one block down the street, to a new third floor walk-up with bigger rooms, hardwood floors, a small porch and roof access. We actually have space to invite friends over, and have been able to host a halloween party, pancake dinner, several game nights and other festivities. When I come home now, after work, I look forward to eating dinner with T, watching a tape or hanging out with him in the office while he works and I surf the internet, and then having quiet cozy time before doing it all over the next day. Most nights now, I'm too tired to go out. But on the weekends, our friends from the neighborhood are all around - we were so lucky to not have to sacrifice our awesome location for an apartment upgrade. We get together, or we walk downtown to go window shopping. Sometimes on Saturdays I have to go to the office for a bit in the early afternoon, but the minute I walk out of the building my mind switches off of work and on to the rest of life. So, life's pretty good. I can honestly say that finishing law school was like stepping outside into a bright sunny day after endless days of being shut up in a dark library. That was one long, difficult stretch, and I don't regret it for a second, even if our paychecks are being devoured by student loan bills. But it sure feels NICE out here in the real world again.