Had I been able to choose what I did, which cases I would take, I might have loved the practice of law much more. There is a vast ocean of practice areas open to an attorney to use his or her honed skills of critical reasoning and legal knowledge from court room performer/litigator to public sector or non-profit donor to pure researcher/writer mole. I would have loved to have remained that last one.
When I first started earning money in law, I was a law clerk attending law school. At the first law office to hire me, I performed menial tasks like putting files together and collating large swaths of information for big cases into color coordinated indexes. My first case to organize was a personal injury case involving a young man, a big electric company worker, who fell into a transformer encasement and got electrocuted losing a foot, a hand and his penis.
The medical records, depositions of experts and parties, as well as the research was an enormous mass of paper that needed parsing, indexing and cross-referencing. That was my first job, and it was terribly trying as I only knew lovely painful struggles with the word before that as a literature student. This was dry, boring and taxing for the medical and legal terminology so foreign to me. Moreover, procedure is so much of the law. Knowing procedures that change daily everywhere from office to office, inside an office, among the various court clerk’s offices, courtrooms, and other attorney’s offices is an ongoing re-training: one of the reasons the practice of law is a practice. There is no way to ever get it nailed once and for all.