Why I love what I do

I love what I do.

I don’t love practicing law. I really don’t love parsing through a 100-page document to find every instance of a particular phrase that needs to be changed because the client has changed their mind on something, and that change ripples through the entire document (and the other four documents that are related to that one).  So let me rephrase: I really, really don’t love parsing through 250+ pages of several documents to find each instance of a phrase–that is slightly different in each document–that needs to be changed to reflect someone’s change of heart. Things like that are by far the most difficult and unnatural aspect of my job.

I don’t love business development for the sake of business development. Yeah, it’s really fun to put some effort into developing a new client and then watch that effort bear fruit in the form of large or steady fees coming in the door. It makes me feel good to know someone has met me, and is impressed enough to send business my way. But for every hit, there are also misses, and that can be frustrating. Someone once told me, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs…”

I don’t love that moment where I solve a complex issue that I’ve been gnawing on.  Ok, I lied. Yeah, I do love that part. But those moments are few and far between. Most of what I do from a technical perspective is fairly repetitive and draws on the same basic knowledge that I’ve gathered over the years and use day in and day out.

So what keeps me coming back? I love my clients and I love helping them, whether that help comes in legal or non-legal form. I love to connect with people, to listen to their story of what they’re doing or trying to do, and then to do whatever is in my power to move them forward. Part of this process involves meeting many other people who will never become clients of mine, but who may have something else of value to offer.

I am fortunate to have cultivated a collection of clients in whom I truly believe, whether I believe in their business or in them individually, or both. The vast majority of my clients have built or are in the process of building a business.  They have phenomenal vision. I love seeing that vision, and then turning my focus on what I can do to support them and it. Usually it’s something legal–they have some hurdle they need to overcome that I can help with, or they need help dealing with another person in the course of running or forming their business. But many times it’s just putting them in touch with someone else who has the specific knowledge, skill set, connection, or whatever other thing it is that they need to fill a gap or move them forward. And I get such satisfaction out of making that connection for them. Satisfaction is actually a vast understatement–I find it irresistible. When it turns out well, I feel like I’m the one who just made the gain. Sometimes it’s a bust, and one party doesn’t have what the other one needs.  But sometimes it works out in the most amazing ways for everyone.  I live for that moment.  And that’s why I love what I do–I get the opportunity to lift people up in whatever small way that I can.  And that may not involve practicing law at all.

 

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