President’s Message: Dec./Jan. 2013

It is 10 p.m. and I am still working to prepare for trial the next day. It is times like this that I wonder why I do what I do. Most sane people are either in bed or gearing down for the night. I am reviewing income tax returns, therapy records and email exchanges between parents who obviously do not like one another.

It is often said that the practice of law is the “jealous mistress.” We all have experienced those moments when we are forced to choose between our personal and professional lives. I really struggled with that with the birth of my first child nine years ago. But eventually it settled down as I learned that I could not control every little detail of life. I learned there were moments that the bathroom was not going to be (as my husband would say) “Anjie clean,” or that there would be typos in the pleadings – and we would all survive.

And then there are moments that you receive emails like this:

“I became your client, I think, 2002. I can imagine the sacrifices you have made with your husband and birth of your children, maternity leave, figuring out childcare, etc, in deciding to continue your practice. I know they need you. But let me say how grateful I am for your sacrifices because clients like me have needed you too. You made a strong difference in my life by representing me in trial and throughout the course of this mess.  Trial and the judge have given me a backbone and a place from which to deal with my ex-husband. That, in turn, makes me a better mother, which is what this was all about in taking care of my children.”

At that moment you remember why you were still working at 10 p.m. and why reviewing those documents was so important. And the struggle does not seem as bad. I can go to bed and sleep well knowing that tomorrow is another day and the sun will rise again.  While my husband’s view of a clean bathroom is inventive at best, I know there are more important things to focus on and that the work we do as attorneys, for our clients, is what really matters.