koppie Sun, 05/20/2012 - 22:52
I've switched careers and am now a full-time web developer. My last legal contract job finished two weeks ago, and I informed the temp agency that I was not interested in doing more. Does this mean I'm no longer an attorney? Not quite.
First of all, I'm still involved in an active criminal case. But even if I wasn't, I'm still an attorney. I have a license to practice law, granted by the California Bar. (As long as I continue to pay my bar association fees and don't violate the rules of professional conduct.) That will last for the rest of my life. I will always be an attorney. But, after I wrap up this current case, I will no longer practice law.
Of course, "never say never." Martin Buber would say you act according to what you think is best, "reach your hands into the fire," but then accept that the rest is out of your hands. That being said, it is my current intention never to practice law again.
Why? Well, that's a long story, best told over drinks. But here are two hints.
The first is a rejection letter I recently received from Chevron Corporation. I applied for a job in their legal department at least half a year ago, and just got the rejection letter. It was addressed to Isaac.
The second is an advertisement I received for a book on legal outsourcing. See, this is a big part of the problem. Law firms are now outsourcing their legal work to other states, like Ohio, where the cost of living is cheap and labor is plentiful. You don't need to pass the Bar in order to do research, just to appear in front of a judge. So there's no reason why an Ohio attorney can't do legal research for a California law firm. While you're at it, why not just outsource to India? Of course it's more complicated than that; there are various legal considerations. So buy this book for $200.
The question, of course, is where does a young attorney like me fit into this picture? The answer: I don't.
It's not like these two emails swayed me. I made my decision months ago. This is just the coda.