What’s the hardest part of practicing law that nobody talks about?

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I don’t know about you but for this lawyer, the hardest part of practicing law is the enervating weight of responsibility we carry.

We take on all our client’s problems so they don’t have to. We feel for them, work unendingly to make things better for them, and take bullets for them, because that’s what we do.

And that’s on top of our own burdens.

We have employees who depend on us. Overhead to meet. The bar association and the tax man constantly looking over our shoulder.

There are so many balls we have to keep in the air. So many ways things can go wrong.

And so much at stake.

One mistake could cause the client to lose everything. It could do the same for us.

We learn the law. We learn how to build a practice. Over time, we get better at doing the job. The hardest part, the part that never gets easier, the part that nobody talks about, is the feeling that the weight of the world is on our shoulders.

But that’s a good thing. Because the day we stop feeling that burden is the day we stop caring, and the day we know it’s time to do something else.

I had that day, once. I was conducting an arbitration, listening to my client testify, listening to her complain, thinking I would do my best for her but I really didn’t care how much she was awarded, I was tired and wanted to go home.

That’s when I knew it was time to get out. A few months later, I did.

Looking back, I realize that I was probably just going through a tough time (and an insufferable client) and that I still cared about helping people. After a year doing something else, I started practicing again and continued for another ten years.

So yeah, practicing law is hard. Caring is hard. But that’s what we do.

It’s easier when you get the money out of the way

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