Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I had a pretty strange experience yesterday. As a favor to a friend I found myself in a conference room surrounded by a bunch of business guys eager to get legal advice on a number of corporate matters. My adrenaline started pumping as the trickle of legal concepts and strategies I presented became a torrent. I found myself excited, indeed intoxicated, by the magnificent edifice that is the law. And you know what? I enjoyed it.
Or did I? Maybe I've become so averse to opening any door that could let in the Jack of old that what I felt was not joy but relief. The bottom line is that, for the first time in a long time, I found myself enveloped in the exciting machinations of corporate law without all the baggage I felt back in the day. There are several reasons why this happened. It probably helped that the business guys in question run a company that isn't stuffy and that is ethically honest. It's also not lost on me that the progress I have made over the past several years has outfitted me with an impenetrable shield against all the BS I faced every day back at my old law firm.
But probably the most important reason is that I wasn't providing advice as a Big Law attorney. And I think that's why I might have felt relief during the meeting. I had always believed that my problem with Big Law was not Big Law itself but the tendendy of Big Law to encourage a lifestyle that was antithetical to my core beliefs. Suddenly, this belief was transformed into fact and I was free to love the law again, without having to reprise my role as an egocentric asshole lawyer.
Let me be very clear: I have ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO INTENTION of going back to corporate law. That being said, I consider yesterday's realization an unexpected gift.