Pandemic Parenting & Trying Not To Get Sued

Every now and again I google how many days it has been since March 13, when I took everything I needed from my office and told my boss I'd be back in person when all of this was over. At the time, my daughter wasn't even six months old. She was this tiny little precious blob who was just starting to stand and I would try to move the each itself if it meant keeping her safe.  So here I am. 222 days later. Still working from home. Planning a pandemic first birthday party. I do zoom calls while she has a bottle. I schedule remote commission appointments for when my husband is home and can keep her quiet. I do phone calls during naps and answer emails at what feels like every waking minute.  I have somehow managed to patchwork together something of a survivable legal practice while solo-parenting during the day, which feels like at any moment the house of cards is going to come crashing down upon me. My husband cannot work remotely. My income is tied to collections and is too preca

What Kind of Day Has It Been

I always liked Aaron Sorkin shows. He always asks this question and he always answers it. To watch the Newsroom, you have to believe that in the end, humanity is truly comprised of fundamentally good people who have lost our way but can be guided back to what made us great. I write to you on May 1, 2020, and (for me), it is Day 49 of quarantine. Not true quarantine, mind you. We locked our house down before the spread skyrocketed in Ontario. But quarantine seems a more fitting word that "self imposed distancing from all other human beings out of the fear that we will catch the deadly disease that could kill my husband and/or incapacitate my daughter." So it's been a year and a bit since I had the mental acuity to sit down and write on this particular medium of mine. I set up this blog originally for long-form writing. A break, as you would, from my shit-posting on other corners of the internet, and semi-serious drafting of another novel I had half-written in my head.
Feminism is not just about ‘Leaning In’ and becoming rich and powerful, but also about the women we bring up with us. So my amazing Feminist Legal Theory professor once said this to a classroom full of soon-to-be female lawyers, and it has stuck with me ever since.  I often wonder how feminism and the law intersect and can coexist peacefully. Not just from a justice standpoint but from a professional one as well. How do we remove the barriers that make access to our profession inequitable?  Our firm's hiring panel is small; I am one of three lawyers that sit on it. The other two lawyers hired me, many years ago, and I am the only female. I often feel like it's my role to advocate for the candidates who do not "fit" the model of what my white-male colleagues imagine a lawyer to be. But does this make me a bad lawyer? A bad model of society, because I am picking someone, who I truly believe has great potential, who *I* think needs me in their corner? Am I f

Law School Wanted Me To Be An Asshole For A Reason

Can we talk for a minute about how emotionally draining it can be to be both a good person and a lawyer? My job as a lawyer has, on more than one occasion, conflicted with my moral desire to help people. I am not a saint by any means. I am a tool. People wield me and my skills in the same way they would wield a mechanic building their car. They aren't looking for the mechanic's personal feelings about their choice in engines. They just want a car fixed. I practice in estates law. A lot of the time, that means dealing with families who are using someone else's money to air out decades-old family grievances. Nobody wins in these scenarios. Everybody always walks away a little sadder and with their family a little smaller. My handle has been "Law School Ruined Me" since February of my 1L year. At first it was a bit of a joke - law school had turned my life upside down and was sucking the joy out of reading and writing, two of my favourite activities - but over

Your Summer Was Not Unsuccessful, And Other September Stories

September brings with it the sight of new classmates, the smell of notebooks, and the feeling of fresh school supplies. Or, you're a lawyer who graduated three years ago and September just brings with it the feelings of "well, shit, summer's over and what do I do now?" It can be very different to face this time of year without the traditional "fresh" feeling a new school year brings to fall. Summer used to feel like a break, cushioned between two very productive periods of the year.  Now, the traditional mantra is "where did summer go?" and "what in the world did I do with all that time?" But the reality is that even if summer was about nothing other than reading books in the sun and gardening, it wasn't an unsuccessful summer. It was a time spent recharging batteries. Healing wounds. Reminding yourself why you are in a career that is designed to carry the burden of other's stress. I realized the other day that I have now
I have not felt like a successful lawyer lately. And I haven't felt like a successful wife either. And on top of it all, I have been an absolutely unsuccessful writer.  I started this blog with the intention of writing more fully about some of the questions I get quite regularly as both a lawyer and a lawblr (aka a Law-Based Tumblr). My firm regularly places co-op students and volunteers, and I try to make myself as available to them as I can be. At least as much as I have made myself available to strangers on the internet over the past five years.  Side note: You can continue to submit anonymous questions to me on tumblr if you ever have questions about law school or lawyering.  But sometimes being available to so many people leaves you pulled in too many directions. And it's the people I want to look after who get hurt. The family and friends I'm not making enough time for because I'm working too much after a senior litigator went on leave; my own health

No One Likes To Bitch More Than Law Students

Listen, I have blogged about law school for a long time. And I learned very early on that law school blogging comes with a caveat - No one likes to bitch more than law students. This includes lawyers. Sure, we complain about our jobs a little bit - the hours, the stress, the fact that this career has probably ruined some part of our life along the way - but we have nothing on the law students.  When you are a law student, all you have left is your ability to bitch. You don't really have control over your education - honestly what is the difference between taking a class on commercial transactions and taking a class on commercial law? - and you certainly feel like you have very little control over your sleep, study, and social calendar. Everyone takes the same holiday days, everyone goes to the same social events, and everyone falls into a secluded hibernation pre-finals.  This is met, of course, by the obvious question:  "Why the hell are you in law school if yo