Friday, March 22, 2013

The law office

There I was- waiting for my ten o'clock appointment with a Very Prominent Gainesville attorney to tell him about my Very Important Gainesville project and see if he would be willing to help me with it. He was on the phone, so the receptionist asked me to make myself comfortable in the conference room. For a few minutes, I was by myself looking around. The long table, the cherry wooden bookshelves on every wall. A quite space. A safe place. Just me and my thoughts. It didn't look like much from the outside, we live in a small town after all, just a simple one-story building away from a busy street. But if I closed my eyes, I could have imagine it to be a Manhattan law office. Everything inside screamed tradition and competence. And I thought about what it must be like to practice law for twenty, thirty years, to have that kind f experience and respect. My lawyer friends rarely have physical offices anymore. The  cell phone, the laptop, the Starbucks is our office. And law is something that we do, not something that we are. What it must be like to dedicate yourself to your career, jump both feet in. And I could imagine myself being in an office like that one day. Perhaps in a big city. The books. Nobody uses books to research cases anymore. It's faster, it's easier. But there's a lot to be said for reading things that are printed. Our legal education didn't really go into much detail on how to use an actual library to do the work, that's why back in school I've taken an extra class on advanced legal research. The professor made us work hard, but she taught us something as well. And gave us more respect for them and the profession. I wanted to be better about finding things traditionally   I thought one day I may need it. There is something about a wall full of books that commands respect. It's one of those things you see in movies and TV shows about attorneys. Always reading, always bettering themselves. I was really caught in that moment. I didn't even mind the harsh reality of that law firm. As much as I could imagine myself in that place I could never work there. I was fighting two set of double doors, heavy doors I might add just to get in. Tight squeeze. Then, all through the lobby and throughout the room, my wheels were sinking in a very deep carpet. This wasn't a place I could easily move around in. Everything else about it reminded me about my wheelchair and limited liability. But the conference room reminded me that I'm an attorney. One made me focus on things I can't do, the other on all the things that I can.  And will.

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