Wednesday, May 26, 2010

loving the new clerks, esp. the one who (intentionally? or not? can't tell, but either way it's awesome) threw in a "my cousi vinny" reference in memo

I'm wondering if my office is benefitting this summer from the economic downslide our country's been in the past few years, especially as it affects the market for hiring new lawyers. Because this summer we seem to have lucked into hiring some really, truly awesome law clerks, who probably could've gotten jobs in big, high-paying firms for the summer if only those firms were hiring, and I am just loving them.

The work product has been very, very good so far. I almost hadn't even realized just how much work I've got on my shoulders these days, until I was able to hand off some assignments and then get back very helpful research/analysis/memos/end results. Saves me time. And damn, on top of just saving time, these kids do research above and beyond what I would have done in trying to just make deadlines and address what has to be addressed and shit. It's not always right on point, but there's so much of it that there's bound to be helpful stuff there that I wouldn't have taken the time to find myself. Awesome for me, right? I mean especially since I'm currently dealing not just with my new promotion, but also doing the jobs of two attorneys, since we still haven't hired someone to take my old position yet. It's a fuckload of work, I tell you.

Best of all, it's just so damn nice to have fresh new people, personalities, in the office. I love it. They're so nice, and it's fun to watch them interact with each other too.

Tomorrow I have to leave town at 7:45 am to drive two hours to another town for a hearing, the kind of thing I have to do often but usually do by myself, but this time I'll have a very personable, talkative female clerk going with me, who I already like a lot. It's going to be soooo much better spending 4 hours in the car round-trip with company - - that is, company who is very easy and fun to talk to. It's going to make a day that I would normally dread having to go through the motions on much easier to stand, and probably enjoyable in the end.

And tonight I'm still going on my damn workday, at 10 o'clock at night, just at home now instead of the office, working on an appellate brief that is due Friday. (Shit, Friday? As in day after tomorrow? Fuck. Fuck!) I'm tired, I'm annoyed, and I'm stressed. But I was just reading over a memo that one of the other new clerks prepared for me, analyzing the cases cited by the appellants in their brief, and offering his own opinion on the appellant's arguments. And about halfway through his memo, he starts off a new paragraph by stating that the appellant's assertion that blah-da-blah-da-blah does not hold water.

Maybe I'm letting the late hour and long day get to me, maybe I'm starting to get a little giddy and silly or something, but all I can think about right now is this image I now have in my head of this law clerk's words - the words of this very nice, very unassuming, very polite, I mean super super polite, (he calls me ma'am constantly, automatically and deferentially and almost shyly, and I've teased him about it and tried to break him of calling me that but he can't seem to help it), young law clerk - coming out of Vinny Gambini's mouth. And I'm just imaging this scene in my head, this back and forth between an imaginary attorney arguing this brief and an imaginary judge up on the appellate bench, that goes something like this:

Attorney: Does the appellant's case hold water? Does it? PLEASE! ANSWER THE QUESTION! DOES IT HOLD WATER!?!?!?

Appellate Judge: NO!!! It DOESN'T!!! It DOES NOT HOLD WATER!!!!!!

I know I took the long way around in getting there, but I just love any chance to bring up that movie. So after reading that memo tonight, and having that exact imaginary scene run through my head, I just had to take a few minutes to write this post, mostly just so that I could then post a clip of Vinny Gambini and Mona Lisa Vito:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2:00 am Wednesday: to sleep, or not to sleep?

Ok seriously, have we only gotten through two days so far this work-week? Because I swear it should be Friday already.

Apparently, along with a big promotion comes expectations that you work harder. Who knew? Sheesh. I've been staying later each day since my promotion, and sooooo not because I feel like I have to put in face time; b/c I soooooo don't ever feel that need. No, it's because there's just seriously more shit to do than I can get done.

And all this extra work is totally cutting into my goofing off time at work, too. I hardly ever have time to catch up on the latest issue of People or US Weekly online anymore. It's a crying shame, is what it is.

For real though, I actually don't mind the extra busy-ness at work; mostly because I've realized that the hours are passing more quickly in the office nowadays than they used to. There's plenty to do, to the point that by the time I have a few minutes to just sit down and chill and not think about anything for a moment, I realize I'm already halfway through my day, and I'm always surprised. That's good. It also means, though, that there's always something more still to do when quitting time rolls around ... which has me thinking about and doing more work stuff at home in the evenings.

I'm never going to be a slave to work again, though. (The way I was back in the days of my old law firm - where they owned my soul; so not worth it.) So tonight I spent a couple hours working on a painting and watching Dancing with the Stars (what? Pamela Anderson is gone? what fun is it going to be to watch now?). But, of course, thoughts of all the shit that I have to do tomorrow, evidenced by my bulging briefcase sitting atop my coffee table, led me back to work stuff before hitting the sack.

And once I was finally determined to quit that work stuff for the night, shit, it was after midnight already. And I was so not tired. Now here it is, almost 2 a.m., and I feel wired - wired about work stuff, actually, thinking about how I can resolve a few things that are going on - and I have an 8 a.m. meeting in the morning. So now I can't decide: is it better to take advantage of being so wired and having all these thoughts about how to resolve work things, by staying up and taking care of some more stuff? Or would I be better off trying to force myself to get rid of those thoughts and focus instead on the darkness and stillness of the night, and make myself get some sleep? If I go the first way, I might actually take care of some shit that I need to take care of, (might as well do it while you're thinking about it), but that means I'll probably end up either staying up all night, b/c it'll be so close to time to get up in the morning that I'll figure the amount of sleep I might get wouldn't be worth the risk of oversleeping my alarm clock out of exhaustion once I did fall asleep; or, the second way, well, like I said, I'd probably, by the time I actually fell asleep, end up getting only just a little bit of sleep - not enough to be restful, just enough to make me oversleep my alarm and run late for my meeting and still feel grumpy for having a deep sleep interrupted.

Did that make sense? This late at night, it's hard to tell anymore if anything I write makes sense. The bed does beckon ... but the mind will not stop thinking ... about the four meetings I have tomorrow, all of which I'll be leading, or the motion I have to file tomorrow, which is mostly done but still needs to be edited, or the hearing I have on Thursday, for which I am mostly prepped but still will need to spend some time focusing on beforehand to freshen up and be ready for, or the two appellate briefs I have to write within the next month, or the three week trial that starts in mid-June that keeps getting closer and closer and that I have to keep preparing for, or the law clerks that will start next week that I'm co-in-chair-of, (yeah that made no sense, but you know what I mean), or the interviews I need to help schedule in order to find a new attorney to come on board and actually help me out with all this shit ....

.... yeah, ok, now that I've written all that, I'm so, so, so, so totally not going to go to sleep tonight, I've decided. Meeting prep, at the very least, for those four meetings, it will be for the rest of the night I believe ... hey, it's a three day weekend coming up, I can always catch up on sleep then anyway.