Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fun on the real job......

One thing you realize quickly in your first un-intern job (I know not a real word) is that even after you are finished with law school, you really know nothing.  You have no idea how to do anything practical....  Sure, you know what a pleading looks like, but you actually have no idea how to draft one.  The language that goes into it.  You can figure out the court rules (like font, pleading lines, headings) from reading the rule book -- but you have NO IDEA what really goes in one.  And you look at an example -- but it still is like reading greek....literally.

So school is not out when you are out.  Really the school of reality is just starting.  But it's fun.  There is something new every morning.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Worker's Compensation

There are about 12,000 lawyers in the state of Oregon.  Only 30 practice Worker's Compensation (hereafter "WC") law.  This area of the law in Oregon is a BEAST.  I kid you not.  I do not know whether I love it, hate it, fear it, or respect it.  The one thing I understand clearly is that it is often not fair.  The payouts on serious injuries are hard to get, the insurance companies are hostile to workers (most think the worker is faking it), and a host of other issues.

What boggles my mind the most is this:  WC is a carved out section of Torts law.  For instance, with both intentional torts and negligence, the defendant takes the plaintiff as they find him.  So if you injure someone, but they had a pre-existing injury, or some condition that made them more fragile -- that did not matter.  You are liable and you pay.  Not so with WC.  Not so at all.  I see the policy reasons why you would not want a system where every injury is a large payout.... Employers need to be able to afford WC insurance.

The other thing that bothers me is that people do not understand that the worker, if injured, should retain a lawyer.  There is no retainer fee -- lawyers fees are dictated by statute.  And they only pay out if the worker wins.  If you are unrepresented, you run the risk of the insurer running right over you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grateful Heart

Maybe it's just the week I am having.  Let's think about it:  seven days ago I was freaking out.  I was trusting in my God to pull me through, but the worry and stress was grinding on me.  I had to go through the motions of when the worry would come, to remind myself out loud and in my head to let it go--- trust --- let go of the wheel even though I have NO IDEA where He is taking me.  One thing I know is this:  as a highly educated person, one that is to rely on logic, rational things, facts that we can see, tangible things, and evidence -- well faith can be a hard principal to grasp.  And faith is a hard thing to do -- I am not talking about faith in a higher power, as in does He exist -- but unshakeable faith from Hebrews -- the faith in the things that are unseen.  But there I stood.

Contrast that with today -- I can look back and see the steps that led me today.  Monday was a possibility that at a turn of a gut decision of a man, my life changed -- I had a job, a way to pay my bills the week my unemployment payments ran out.... the major stress factor in my life solved.

But it is more than that.  I am so grateful to many of you who have been reading.  And who have taken time out of your days to comment, or to email me and share with me how my trials, tribulations, and struggles have encouraged YOU!  Or to just tell me that you were thinking of me, or praying for me.

The purpose of this blog has been, and will continue to be to encourage single parents to reach for their dreams.  And the best part of blogging, besides therapy for me :), is to know that somehow the struggles I am going through are things that you, the reader, can identify with.  That somehow the words that I write encourage or move  you in some way.  What that tells me is that lemons really can be made into lemonade.

Next time, I hope to write about the Sacred Trust.... this has nothing to do with God in general, but the trust that you as future lawyers will hold once the degree is conferred upon you.  I think this is a trust that lawyers lose sight of in a quest for money or power-- ultimate greed for one or the both drives them to forget about the responsibility that was entrusted to them when they first entered through the doors of that law school.  This is something I have been thinking deeply about the last few days.  A thought that is rattling around in my head, but reaching into my heart this one will be "to be continued."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Day on the Job......

Totally cool day!  Loved it.  I was thrown right into the job, in the deep end.... It was fantastic.  I was talking to clients, learning the system and trying to just gel with the office staff... There are so many pluses to this job and I am excited.

This is a field of work that I would have never thought of entering.  Who thinks of doing worker's comp?  No one really.  But as something that is extremely statutory driven, the rules are clear.  I will try to give more detail as I go along...... but right now, it's late and I just wanted to let my loyal readers know how fantastic today was! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right my wonderful loyal readers!  I got the job I interviewed for today.  Hired right on the spot after an hour interview and chat session with the partner of the firm.  I am so excited I cannot even explain to you.
I look at what has happened and see how wonderful God is to me.  I am in a very, very prestigious firm that has been around my state since 1909.  I will be training with a very respected man who has practiced for years.

One more thing:  I never thought I would be doing the kind of law I am which will be worker's compensation injury and personal injuries..........  Both are highly litigated fields --- I have known since I was a child that I was made for trial work.  How cool is that??????

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More interviews....

In my quest to get out of my pit, I met up with a friend today. I was getting ready when the phone rang..... let it go to voicemail because frankly I was running late.

Last night, before I went to bed, I did another search for jobs on the internet. I found one for a legal assistant.... not want I want to do long term, but hey, it would keep my fingers in the business and my options are limited.  Seems that with a law degree you are over-qualified for 99% of the jobs out there, and underqualified as an attorney if you are not admitted to the bar.

So imagine my surprise when I listened to my voicemail and it was a Partner of this well respected firm. He is an alumni from my school. He asked me why I was applying for a legal assistant position. I asked him if I could be candid. He said, "Yes, of course." I told him I failed the bar, I wanted to stay in the legal field, and I had bills to pay while I took the bar a 2nd time in February.

Anyway, what happened was a 20 minute impromptu phone interview. He asked me all kinds of questions and it seems that we know some of the same people in town. He said, "So, here's what I am thinking, you come in, we meet on Monday and see how we like each other. Let's do our homework and check out our mutual acquaintances."

Then I met with my friend Rick who knows the partner I will be interviewing with. He said this is a stellar firm, and one of the only firms he would consider stepping off the bench to work for. Rick has been telling me to use his name if I need. In the conversation with the partner, I asked him if he knew Rick and told him that he could call him about me. So Rick said he is waiting that he will give a GLOWING recommendation. Rick said a few months ago he mentioned me to the partner, but they were not hiring at the time. So Rick said he would remind the partner.

Wow! Just wow if this works out. I don't even know what to say if this works out!

Oh, and then to top it off. Awhile back a friend of mine was charged with sex abuse. Let me just say that this friend is well-respected and NEVER would he risk his future, job or wife for this.  He was accused by his troubled foster child who has accused others of the same thing in the past.  If you know anything about rape shield laws, then you would know that past accusations will not come in -- not at all.  The jury will never hear the information.  Well, I stumbled across a decision last week that was brand new.  Basically the law that my friend was charged under was overruled as overbroad for first amendment reasons.  I wrote a memo on it, and emailed it to my friend telling him, "Give this to your attorney." He did. Landed me an offer to intern on the case. Holy Cow!!!! I could not believe it. Amazing, just amazing.  I didn't do it for any reason but to try and help my friend.  And because the decision was so new, the attorney, nor the DA knew anything about it.  The attorney would like me to draft a motion to dismiss based upon this decision.

Things just might be looking up!!!!!