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I’m fascinated with my practice area, but the last time I attended a CLE in the subject I couldn’t help nodding off. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one having trouble staying awake. A quick glance around the room revealed many other drooping eyelids and fellow students lurching face-forwards towards their pastries. But then one of the speakers suddenly said something that startled me out of my semi-conscious state and made me want to laugh out loud. She was, facetiously I presume (I didn’t hear the intro to the topic), talking about a top ten list of things clients like about their lawyers. I found the idea of such a thing so absurd that it pulled me straight out of my coma. It, as opposed to information on my topic area, caused my cognitive functioning to come roaring back to life. The top ten things clients like about their lawyers. Clients like us? I didn’t think anyone liked us, even to our clients we’re a necessary evil. The topic seemed so absurd to me that I quit paying attention to the speaker and let my mind wander off to a different, but related, category: What are the top ten things I like about being a lawyer? I started writing them down, but befittingly what started to appear on the paper in front of me were the top 10 things I hate about being a lawyer. The first one was easy- CLEs. I started writing “stress” for number two, but then I caught myself. This was supposed to be a positive list, not a negative list. So I regrouped my ever-wandering mind and tried again to focus, not on the CLE presentation but on the things I liked most about being a lawyer. Even in my newly awakened state this was indeed a taxing issue to think about. Many people have asked me why I went to law school and I still don’t really know the answer to that question. It was just one of those things that I always knew since a young age I was going to do and nothing in the intervening years between middle school and law school changed my mind. I guess I was more focused back then. I checked the clock. There were only two more hours of CLE torture left and, listening to the speaker drone on, I realized that figuring out ten things while I pretended to pay attention seemed a little too ambitious, so I lowered it to the top five things I like about being a lawyer. After much pondering I came up with the following, starting with the most obvious things I like about being a lawyer: 1. The pay. This is an easy one. While many lawyers complain about the hours and the stress, we must admit we’re compensated well. Even though I’ve heard (and spoken) the occasional “they don’t pay me enough for this,” at the office at 3:00 a.m. or on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I know that for the most part lawyers are well-compensated for their work and sacrifices they make for it. 2. The perks. The baseball, football, basketball and concert tickets and dinners are nice. When else in your life did you ever have access (or ability to beg) for such good tickets? Client development is a hard job and thankfully we are required to it. It’s definitely a fun part of being a lawyer. 3. The people. Yes, shockingly, I, as well as many of you I hope, like the people I work with. See prior article on Associate Association. 4. The work. I do indeed enjoy the work I do as well as the analytical thinking and hard work that comes with it. There’s nothing better than closing a deal or winning a motion. The payoff from all those hours spent is so rewarding, I get a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I see a happy client. Call me a geek but I do love the law. So that my friends and family members who happen to get a hold of this article don’t call me a liar, I should note that I hate the stress and anxiety associated with being a lawyer. And unfortunately many times those two negative aspects outweigh any joy I get from being a lawyer. But again, I digress, positive thoughts, not negatives! 5.Hmm- well, I never came up with a number 5 that afternoon. I gave up and started begging the hands on the clock to move faster. It’s not that I couldn’t think of a number 5, I am sure I could’ve eventually, but four was good enough for me that day and looking over them now, I’m pretty satisfied. The fifth one would be a stretch and if I learned anything in my CLE it was to quit talking before your audience was actually snoring, sleeping is one thing but to actually cause your listeners, or in this case readers to snore, that’s another story. However, random confusion for tenuously tied together topics is completely acceptable. I learned that during my continuing legal education, so it must be acceptable.

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