I’m not sure if I want to discuss who I am and how I got here. I’m trying to keep my day-to-day work life separate from this website. I kind of want to avoid letting people know too much about my personal life as I have to work, after all. Plus this is my alternative to therapy and not some chance to talk about how great I am.
Besides, every time I read somebody’s blog or an autobiography they always descend into blathering self-pity about how their parents were mean. That kind of thing is for a therapist to deal with and if you remember, this is my own way of dealing with everything I have been through as a lawyer. I’m not going to sit on a couch with an amateur Freud, I’ll just lay it out and let you decide how I did. As Charles Dickens wrote in David Copperfield, “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anyone else, these pages must show.” What, you think lawyers don’t read the classics?
So at this point, here are the basics. I’ll go into my personal life in much greater detail in the book version but until that comes out, this is what I’ll say about me:
The only thing I’m really proud of is being a dad. Oh, I’m proud of the homebrew I bottle every couple of months and I tie my own trout flies, but when I see our son say “thank you” to somebody at a restaurant I know I’ve been doing something really good. His mom and I take him to run in the sprinklers and we eat ice cream cones but we’re also teaching him how to be a good person. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it has nothing to do with my life as a trial lawyer except in the sense that I see examples all the time of the kind of person I don’t want my son to grow up to be like.
In my book I talk about how I grew up in the country and ran around by myself doing what I wanted. Our son is making friends and learning how to deal with people. I have high hopes for him but oh my God is he frustrating some times.
In college I got invited to go to Alaska and work in the canneries. My uncle said I could get a job, live with him, and make some money. Of course he moved away as soon as I got there but I stayed and ended up working my way through the last couple of years of college as a crew supervisor. The last season I worked up there was after I graduated but before I started law school. Like I say in my book I had applied to law school and gotten in, but I was waiting for financial aid to come through. I left for the summer without knowing where I was going when I came back, or even if I was going to be able to pay for law school. In mid August I heard the financial aid came through and a few weeks later I flew down overnight to Seattle. I got my car and drove straight through to the first day of law school in my clothes from work. I walked onto campus in the middle of a welcome talk by our state Attorney General. His security detail went on full alert.
At the end of my first year I got a summer job as a law clerk with a local attorney. After that summer I was back in school full-time and clerking 20-30 hours a week. It worked for me but I wouldn’t advise it for anyone else. Read my book for a description of my patented ‘brute force method’ of surviving law school. This wasn’t like working at the cannery but I was going non-stop 24 hours a day and I mean it. After graduation the firm I was working at was having problems and didn’t have a spot for me. I opened my own office thinking I wanted to have fun and try cases and I got exactly what I was looking for. I ended up working for a few law firms and moving around the state a little bit looking for a home that I never found until I opened my own firm. I taught some classes and worked my way through the standard starter marriage before getting married again. As for my wife, like Eddie Vedder said – when I walk beside her I am the better man. We have our son and I’m finally getting some balance in my life.
Anthony Bourdain said in his book Kitchen Confidential that he wrote it so that he could tell people what it was like to run a pirate crew. Well, trial lawyers are solitary beasts. What I’m going to tell you about is what it’s like to be a pirate, swinging a sword from the rigging and storming ashore to sack some tropical island. To hell with the crew, anyway. I don’t want to share the loot. Take that, Tony.
Are you still reading this? What else is there to my life that interests you? You already know I’m sitting here typing this up so I don’t go crazy like Steve Dublanica did at that restaurant he wrote about in Waiter Rant. Want to know more? Hey, buy the rights. How bizarre. Now you have that song going through your head the rest of the day. You’re welcome. Go read the rest of my blog.