Ministering Angels

"They neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those what are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I quit! I'm so happy!

By Melinda

I spent the afternoon going to different offices and bidding various attorneys a fond farewell. This is my third attempt to quit my job, and this time it's actually going to stick.

I made a terrible mistake when I decided to go to law school. Not that I think law school is a mistake in general, but for me it was a mistake. See, I never really wanted to practice law. I was bright enough to go to law school, so I wanted to go so I could say I went. Then I would get married, have kids, never practice law, and people would talk about how noble I was to give up a promising career to care for a family. I was so self-sacrificing that Reader's Digest should have done an article on me in their "Heroes for Today" section. (eyes roll here)

Then life called my bluff. I finished law school, and through a miraculous series of coincidences landed a job at one of the best law firms in town. After about three or four years of billing hours, I looked around my law firm (which is awesome), at the people I worked with (who are ethical lawyers and topnotch people), at the projects on my desk (which were quite interesting), and thought, "I can't do this for the next thirty years." It took me another year and a half to adjust to the idea of changing careers. Lo, and it came to pass that I adjusted to the idea, yea verily, even I did embrace the idea.

Now I'm going to go get a teaching certificate and teach high school English. My advice to you all - don't get a degree for a job you don't want.

In hindsight, I can clearly see the signs that portended my doom as a lawyer. Here are a few:

1. When the firm decided to get polo shirts with the firm logo, everyone, including the kids in the copy room, ordered conservative colors like hunter green, oatmeal, and navy blue. I ordered bright mango.

2. When I heard lawyers brag about billing twenty hours in one day, I did not feel envy. Instead, I felt an urge to introduce them to the 12-Step Program for Workaholics.

3. In the six years I practiced law, I kept my vow to never use the word "indicated".

4. I can't find the courthouse.

5. I was embarrassed by my grossly bloated salary and was even more uncomfortable at getting a raise.

6. When a senior partner encouraged me to do client development by inviting clients to Jazz games, I told him there was no way I was asking a middle-aged married man to a basketball game where I would have to ask him what color our team's jerseys were.

7. I feel entitled to paid vacations.

8. Nate Oman's posts at Times and Seasons go over my head.

9. When potential clients call and ask if I can find slippery tax loopholes for them, I give them a lecture about how they ought to pony up and pay the tax, because it's worth something to be an American and I don't feel one bit bad if that privilege hits them in the wallet once in a while.

10. It weirds me out when people follow my advice.



at 7/01/2005 10:42 AM Blogger Dave said...

This post indicates you're making the right decision, although a couple of years teaching high school English might just have you back on the phone to a legal headhunter. Good luck!

at 7/01/2005 11:27 AM Blogger Cabby said...

It takes great courage to Dare to Dream! Enjoy the journey and remember it is the one you chose! You inspire with your actions, do the same in High School!

at 7/01/2005 11:29 AM Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Awesome post, Janey/Melinda!

I especially identified with #10, but then along the way I realized that everyone else is full of crap too - so I just join in.

Good luck with your new job!

at 7/01/2005 11:30 AM Anonymous Elisabeth said...

P.S. Your resignation from your job very timely coincides with Sandra Day O'Connors' resignation :)

at 7/01/2005 12:57 PM Anonymous JT said...

Good luck to you. It takes courage to switch careers. I did it 8 years ago when I was bored out of my mind at my accounting job. I switched to IT. Now I am married and have 2 kids and would love to switch to something else. But its much harder now because I have 3 other people to think about. I can't afford to be out of work for any period of time and I'm sure I can't get the same salary doing something else. That's the lesson. If you are going to make a change, do it young. Good luck to you!!

at 7/01/2005 5:24 PM Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Melinda - not to freak you out, but I just looked up your info and found out that you and I have led parallel lives. I graduated from Utah State the year you did - except in Economics. And I teach part time at Boston University law school and find teaching much more interesting and rewarding than practicing law.
Anyway, congrats again on leaving the big firm life. It's great for a few years, but it will be nice to get your freedom back and to enjoy life again. Good luck!

at 7/01/2005 9:10 PM Anonymous Barb said...

Silly strings....confetti......balloons....a big cake that says Way to Go!!!

at 7/01/2005 10:14 PM Blogger Dirk said...

Hmm we need graemlins here so we can indicate the proper party atmosphere.

at 7/03/2005 5:20 PM Blogger Melinda said...

Thanks for all the congratulations! The best part is that I get July and August off before I can start doing anything else. Darn, two months of vacation, how sad. HAHA

Elisabeth, I think Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation is MUCH bigger news than mine, but then again, she wouldn't personally thank you for congratulating here! I think I could have liked teaching law, but I didn't have the ambition to write articles. You must be published. Congrats to you!

at 7/06/2005 10:27 PM Blogger john f. said...

What firm were you at?

at 7/07/2005 10:33 AM Blogger Steve said...

Way to go!!

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