That solo practice was challenging, anxiety-provoking, and nerve-racking, but after another 5 years it was starting to gain traction and bear some fruit.
I was lured away from my one-man operation by another large firm, but almost to the day I started (January, 2008), the Great Recession blew into town with gale force winds, dooming whatever was left of my legal practice, and my prospects for a comfortable life with a big firm.
By late 2010, I was back at ground zero – just like I had been in 2003 — only this time there was no traction to be gained, and I spent the next 4 years hanging on by my fingernails. (As I told the Food Gal® at the time: “It’s like having a nervous breakdown once a month.”)
In the summer of 2014, the clouds parted and I became a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Las Vegas — a job full of challenges, but also something I can be proud of, without the pressures private practice.
If I’ve learned one thing from my 40 years of being a lawyer it’s that the only thing you can depend upon is change. Even if you stay in the same place your whole life, you are not the person (or the attorney) you were 10 years ago. Sometimes you progress, and sometimes you regress, but the entire journey makes you a better counselor in late middle age than you ever were when you considered yourself a hot shot litigator.
I’ve also learned that the key to life is continually having something to look forward to. Whether it’s this day, this week, or this year, there should always be a goal, or an activity, or a simple pleasure that motivates you to move ahead — to never be wholly content with where you are, to always be excited about what’s coming up.
By the same token, I’ve learned never to plan too far ahead, because curve balls come at you from all angles in life, and sometimes you throw them at yourself.