I have again started the return journey to the practice of law. Here’s how far I am, officially, in that journey, for the sake of reference: I have registered for the August sitting of the MPRE. Unofficially, I have also made relevant inquiries to the bar authorities of my current state and my former state regarding technicalities related to admission and status.
This is my third official attempt at this. I passed the bar in 2011 and practiced at a nonprofit for several years, until I was fired. I opened my own firm, which collapsed along with my life after less than a year (opening a business during a divorce is a bad idea). I left the practice, and my home state, for a couple of years, only to return in 2017 and get back into practicing. I did that for a friend’s firm for a few months, and then worked outside of law while seeking another law job. I worked at a government law firm in 2018…until I was fired from there, too.
I could go on a rant of considerable length about my own deficiencies, as a person and as a lawyer, but I will spare you for now; suffice it to say that I consider myself deficient on both fronts, but especially the latter. Which raises the question: Why am I going back to it?
If we largely set aside the failure of my own law firm, all of my prior practice experience had to do with one or another aspect of family law. To put that in other words, what I did for 60-100 hours a week for many years was to bury myself in other people’s worst miseries. I absorbed their miseries, and I suffered for it. I am, I can reasonably conclude, incapable of the professional detachment that people in my former positions require to do their jobs without going mad; I can conclude this because I did, in fact, go mad.
This return to that enormous label, “the practice of law,” is accompanied by a promise, both to myself and to my loved ones - I will not remain in a job that makes me miserable, that aggravates my suicidal depression and anxiety, that saps my will to live and drains all color from the world. They need me, happy and healthy, and that is what I intend to be for them.
I am frightened of failing again. Not so much the MPRE (for which I have a more than adequate amount of inexpensive but thorough study material), and not even so much the bar exam (for which I will assiduously prepare); I am frightened of failing in the practice itself, and of failing my own health needs again. I have promised not to do the latter, but I am frightened nonetheless.
I didn’t go to church this past Sunday, despite it being the first Sunday in which I was fully vaccinated, for a few reasons; but one of the reasons I didn’t go was that I didn’t feel, at that time, a pressing need to go. I do feel that need now, so I will go this Sunday morning. I am in need of all the help I get.
And you, dear reader…if you have thoughts and prayers to offer, please do so.