"Think Like a (Blonde) Lawyer" -- A former attorney's quest to HAVE MORE FUN after being laid off from BigLaw.
My road to the law has not been a straight or easy path, to say the least. It all started out normally enough when I took the LSAT on a whim in my early twenties and was astounded to learn that my score in the 99th percentile won admission to Harvard and pretty much every other law school I applied to. Around the same time, however, I suddenly went blind in one eye and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Back in the early 90's there was no treatment for MS, and I panicked at the prospect of perhaps wasting what was left of my non-disabled life in a law office. Instead, I took off on what was meant to be a six-month safari across Africa that somehow turned into an eight-year detour in Australia.
While there, I became qualified as a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) and operated a chain of integrative medicine clinics for several years. During this period I was blessed to learn a great deal about healing and remained very healthy. Although I loved my practice, the question of studying the law remained unfinished business that I just could not forget. When my marriage fell apart in 2001 and I came back to the States just in time for 9/11, I realized it was time to retake the LSAT. Although my results were not as stellar this time around, I was thankfully still admitted to the University of California, Berkeley ("Boalt Hall") where I finally obtained my law degree at the cougar-esque age of 37.
During law school I clerked at a successful personal injury firm in San Francisco as well as at a large defense firm in Los Angeles. During my final semester, I also had the honor of working with Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena as a judicial extern. But the best part about law school, by far, was meeting and marrying my husband, Scott, who (thankfully) is NOT an attorney.
When I first started practicing law as a litigator it was natural for me to represent employers because I had (and still have) a great deal of empathy for anyone trying to manage the performance of others. Employment law was also attractive because it allowed me to work with real people, not just contracts and paper clients. I also loved the all emotional drama of workplace disputes, as most of my cases involved claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and/or wrongful termination.
At least I loved all the drama until I faced my own layoff in August of 2009 -- I just didn't see it coming. This blog is meant to be a forum for sharing ideas about law, work, health, healing and transitions. I look forward to exploring with you ...