Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How I became a Lawyer Mom

I fell in love with the law as a senior in high school. I took AP Government taught by an attorney (and long time high school teacher). I loved, LOVED that class. It was taught in the socratic method and assignments were to read books regarding issues touching the government and not boring topics (we covered assisted suicide, religion in government, presidential politics, etc). We would be given one side of a debate to argue (and many times not the side we favored). I loved it! I will say it again, I loved it.

That AP Government course changed my life. I no longer thought of myself as growing up to be an engineer. Nope. I was going to law school.

Through college, my conviction waffled. I changed my undergraduate major several times and with each change, I thought about the future and what I would do. Ultimately, I switched to math as my major, with the understanding that I would still go to law school.

When it came time to take the LSAT or GRE though, I didn't know. I loved math by then. I loved the challenge of research (yes, there is research in math) and figuring out the hard problems (including trying to figure out answers to problems never solved before). It was exciting and challenging to me. But, I knew I was not born a true mathematician and would not likely be truly great at it, at least great enough to do more than teach calculus to college students. I had met people who were meant to do great things in mathematics and my mind just didn't work that way even if it was much better at math than most people, including most engineers. Did I want a career where I could never even work toward attaining greatness?

Law on the other hand, still made me happy and I loved the concept. But working in the law meant being a lawyer.  Being a lawyer meant long, long hours at work, no real social life, lots of work. Is that what I wanted? At that time, I believed that I would never marry (hence never have children), so the hours spent being a good lawyer wouldn't matter.

Still, I didn't know which way to go. I felt like it was a lot to consider for a 21 year old and my parents (bless them) were no help. Not that they wouldn't talk it through with me (we always talked), but they wouldn't tell me what to do or even which way they were leaning. My dad would usually spit back what I told him, structured in a pro and con list.

Obviously, I took the LSAT. I went to law school. I started working at a firm. I started billing crazy, crazy hours (on my first trial team, I was putting in 90+ hour weeks). I rarely did anything besides work. I loved most every minute! I had made the right decision!

Then, I met the Mad Scientist, the man who I thought I would never meet. We fell in love almost immediately and within months (maybe quicker), I knew I wanted to have children with him. And here we are, eight years later, married, two kids, and I am still a lawyer. I am still a litigator. I still love what I do, but I hate the hours. And that is how I become a litigator mom.


  1. Practically speaking, there should be more hours in a day.


  2. I love hearing how people ended up in their chosen (or not-so-chosen) careers. If someone would have told me 20 years ago, I would be doing what I am doing now, I wouldn't have believed it. I was going to major in business, law, maybe psychology. I am in education...


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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