My assistant recently put in her notice (she's off to pursue her dream career). After I found out, I came home and told Todd I was about to embark on the process I hate: interviewing and finding another perfect assistant. My practice is chaotic. I travel all the time, have a large caseload, and with my lifestyle I have to stay completely organized. So finding a perfect assistant who can help me manage everything is hard.
As Todd and I were talking, J came up to me and said “But Mommy, I’m your Assistant”. H soon piped in, “Me too Momma”. I looked over at L in his saucer who smiled back at me as if to mimic his brother and sister. I smiled and hugged them. They were right…they are truly my assistants. . .
J is my main assistant, the one you most often see if you visit my firm. J loves coming to visit me at work and is well known by my co-workers. She has even set up her own desk next to my assistant. If I have no choice but to work at night J will pull up a chair and “work” with me. She is also chief decorator of my office. She has littered my office with her works of art and discovered that Post-It notes provide needed color for my file cabinets. She loves “answering” my phone and has found our office’s supply closet so she loves to get legal pads and write me “Memos”. She is also my stylist and every morning when I leave for work will tell me what she thinks of my outfits. Most often she disapproves, telling me I need higher heels, sparkly shirts, and darker lipstick. And she still can’t understand why I don’t wear skirts everyday!
Then there is H, my “assistant behind the scenes”. You don’t see him working, but trust me he’s there. My sneaky assistant’s main job is to make sure my briefcase is “stocked” before I go to depositions or trials. This means I will pull out my file to find Thomas the Tank Engine stickers on top. My pens will all be missing from my briefcase and replaced with yellow crayons (a darker color would be too easy and H loves to keep me on my toes). I will pull out a legal pad at trial to find his scribbling on the top page. Occasionally he will place in my briefcase some “backup” to help me, usually Spiderman or his favorite Matchbox car. He also as you know from my previous post, enjoys calling another attorneys in the middle of the night on my Blackberry, so he is known to work late hours.
Now L is my newest assistant and at just 4 months old, I have yet to discover his true potential as my assistant. But as of now, he serves as my legal editor. When he is up during the night and I’m working, his bedtime stories back to sleep are usually my briefs and motions. He loves hearing my briefs! He’ll smile and kick his feet when I read to him such riveting subjects as the “Commerce Clause” or “Personal Jurisdiction”. And he’s actually a good editor. If I read it to him an argument and he stays awake that usually tells me I’m doing good…but if he falls asleep it always reminds me to check to see if I was being too wordy. And often surprisingly it is too wordy and I edit out that part!
I’d be lost without my three assistants, they each help in their own way to brighten my day and keep me on my toes! So, I guess in my interviews with potential new assistants I better warn them that they have some big shoes to fill…umm I mean SMALL shoes!