My daughter is a big fan of the Peanuts cartoons. She shared one strip with me. She said that reading it made her think of the lawyers we help to leave the law.
Charlie Brown and his sister Sally are waiting at the school bus stop one morning, lunch bags in hand. Sally looks at the cars driving by and asks “Who are all those people driving by in those cars?”
Charlie Brown says “Those are people going to work.”
“Work?” Sally says
Charlie Brown explains “They used to wait for the school bus, like we’re doing … Now they have to go to work every day for the rest of their lives”
Sally says: “Good grief! Whose idea was that?”
Right, whose idea was that?
So many of us did what seems like everything “right” in your life. We did everything we were supposed to do.
We got the grades. We made (or tried very hard to make) our parents proud. We pursued safety and security and avoided the unknown and risk.
We applied to, got accepted by and graduated law school. We might have been on Law Review, or even Am Jured a class or even liked the learning about the law. We prepared for OCI. We got a job and paid our bar dues and worked our way up.
But even with all of this, for us attorneys looking for more, we don’t want to practice any longer. We’re either not happy being an attorney, or we’re burnt out or we don’t connect with the other attorneys and clients around us, or we feel like we aren’t able to be the creative, collaborative, team player we know we are.
For us, pursuing the life of an attorney means we abandon more and more of ourselves.
We just get into our cars and drive to work, without really knowing why, or to only pay the bills, or because we don’t know what else there is to possibly do.
It’s that confusion that hurts so much. We did so much “by the book” throughout our lives, and it was all supposed to work out once we became a lawyer. And while our life may look good and accomplished on paper and to everyone else, for us, we know it just doesn’t feel right.
We can’t logically explain it, but we can we feel it.