Monday, May 6, 2013

What's an Attorney?

I’m an attorney.

It seems like everyone has their own definition of what an attorney is.

There’s my mother who believes my job is exactly like all those legal shows she watches on tv.

There’s the “haters” who throw attorney jokes into every conversation.

There’s those who wonder how I can defend insurance companies.

There’s those who think I am the mecca of legal advice, but unfortunately most of the time they want advice on areas of the law I don’t have any experience in.

Being a defense attorney is something I love. I think I am meant to be on the defense side of the v. From a very young age I was always the one who defended everything…whether it was my questionable choice of coloring with red lipstick on the walls, or defending someone on the playground, I am just a person that is meant to defend.

In just a couple of months I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary as an attorney. Almost a third of my life has been spent as an attorney. I love my job because everyday is different. I’ve sat at a bar and turned down shots from witnesses, tiptoed carefully through a molasses factory, been stopped by federal marshals because of matchbox cars in my bag, tried cases with judges who have called me everything from “sharp shooter” to someone “who should have been in a theater”. Yes, the one thing about my job is it’s never dull.

But what is even funnier is how my job is viewed to my children. My children have grown up around my job. They’ve been all around this state traveling with me for work. They know that the best place in the office is the front conference room where they climb on the table, and play the computer or watch a movie on the jumbo-tron. They know my office is a mecca of post it notes of every color of the rainbow. And yes it is common for one of my partners to find toys around the office from time to time (like a blue elephant in the senior partner’s office…yes true story).

So a couple weeks ago while eating dinner with my kids I asked them to tell me about my job. What do I do when I go to work?

So allow me to present what an attorney does in the eyes of my children:

1.     You yell at people.

2.     You play on a computer all day.

3.     You get on a coat and go to the courthouse.

4.     You talk on the phone.

5.     You yell at people. (wow…second time mentioned… guess I better be nicer).

6.     You sit with paper

7.     You put post it notes in files

8.     You write “stories”

9.     You go to "deppersissions". (depositions).

10. You help people in BIG TROUBLE…by yelling at people (wow again!).

Through the midst of my laughter at some of these comments…my son looked at me with his big blue eyes and a full mouth of macaroni and cheese and said…

11. You make money so we can have toys.

BINGO. There you go. I think that about sums up my job. I am the phone-talkin’ post it note carrier, people yeller who makes money so my kids can have toys.
And that my friends is what an attorney truly is.


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