Midnight Pub



I’m sitting here, ostensibly listening to a CLE lecture. CLEs are the continuing education we as lawyers are required to do every year (number of hours varies from state to state) to keep our law licenses current.

Having to do these has evoked a variety of feelings over the years. At first I resented them--I was admitted to the bar during the Great Recession so job prospects were few and far between, and it felt like a little twist of the knife to have to get continuing education on something that I couldn’t get anyone to hire me to do.

Once I found a stable (if dull) civil service job, they became something to have on in the background while I do something else. For awhile, this was fine.

But as I’ve become a little more restless in the last couple of years, it’s back to being frustrating. I’m not convinced that traditional legal work is a good fit for me, but more and more I want to be doing *something* beyond what I am now. I became a lawyer to be a problem-solver for people, not to spend my day explaining decisions made by other people (who may or may not listen to me when I tell them they’re wrong).

To be clear, it could be much worse, and there’s a lot to be said for having a job that pays the bills and largely leaves me alone. My hope for much of my time in this gig has been to be able to find something that’s intellectually (and socially) fulfilling outside of the 9-to-5. This has not been forthcoming, however.

It all touches on a more general feeling of helplessness. Even if I could think of a job that would be a better balance in terms of challenge and demands, I don’t feel particularly confident that I could get it. It’s surprisingly hard to even find volunteer work that I actually have time to do. Meanwhile, I continue to dabble in things, but without much of anything to show for it.

I’ve been asking myself why all of this isn’t enough. For whatever reason, I just don’t feel much pride in what I do (either inside of work or outside), so can’t shake vague feelings of mediocrity, or at least irrelevance. Gifted child syndrome, maybe?