I took my last three law school final exams last week (well, one Monday and two the Friday before that). Pretty sure I bombed one. In the weeks leading up to finals, my company announced massive layoffs and fired my boss. The day before my first two finals, I got moved back into the legal department I fled last summer and just about had a nervous breakdown from the stress. Fortunately, for now at least, I get to keep the non-legal title, barely competent staff and higher salary. I took 2 days vacation, took finals in semi-peace and returned to the fray last week a bit more rested and less teary. Tip: Looking up to your left really does stop tears from flowing.
Work-wise, my whole department could be fired and/or outsourced any day or month. The stress level is through the roof. The lack of information and the way they are laying people off is just brutal. One example. “Go talk to person x about your new hire.” Person x: “I just got fired and my last day is tomorrow but, SURE, let me help you with your hiring issue….” Um….
I started law school in mid-2007 part-time. I stopped at the end of 2008, 34 credits in, while incredibly sick and recovering from a bad divorce. I started up again in mid-2011 with a then-8-year-old and 9-month-old. The fact that this incredibly long and bumpy road is almost over still has not sunk in. Grades on my final core bar classes will be arriving in a few weeks. If I passed 2 of 3 (or preferably all 3) and I pass the 3-month bar prep/review course they make us take plus my last elective (patent law), I will earn my JD by Memorial Day and, a few weeks later, get a “you have earned your JD” e-mail. We will fly out to CA in August for my graduation ceremony and my family can watch it streaming live online. I have put the bar off until February 2015 to give myself a little break and plenty of time to study. However, I also question the benefit of even taking the bar if I have no intention of practicing.
Conflicted, particularly as, with base salary and recent manager bonus plan, I now make more than the 50-year-old T1-graduate former BigLaw litigator who sits in the office next to me. My job is JD preferred, not required, and I could do this for life and always make more. Also, my new boss thinks that the LLM we were going to hire to work under me should only make $33/hour because that’s reasonable (FYI – it’s actually less than my admin makes…). People see JD on resumes and presume you are overqualified for the non-attorney job or will always be out looking to join legal (i.e., the non-legal job is just a way to get in-house and then move into legal). Not sure what to do about that.
Home-wise, adding a third kid is such an incredible change… we were seriously unprepared for the little but fundamental extra dynamics that this extra child has added. For example, if I have to work late, the toddler will scream his head off racing around the house while the baby is screaming his head off. Pumpkinhead can help with toddler but baby won’t calm until mom and her boobs come home. That drives Mr. V nuts. Baby just wants to lay on me. And it stresses me out because I need to work but I also hate that the kids are being so hard on him when I am gone. Another dynamic issue is when we are getting the kids out of the car and Baby J decides to run into traffic while we are getting the little baby and his carseat out. Learned quickly to reverse the order on that one! Going to the store with all three is a challenge because Baby J at 3 1/2 still really needs to be in the cart so he doesn’t cause mischief but the infant seat and the toddler aren’t compatible so now one is inside the basket and one is in the seat and there isn’t room for much else. Poor Pumpkinhead often has to push a second cart. But, hey, we asked for it. Still, challenging….
Lots going on but less than there has been. The finish line is close, finally!!!!
P.S. Should also update last post to tell you that, with help of doctor/others, doing better with drinking issues.