Three whales, two sharks, and a Coelacanth walk into my practice…

along with a sea turtle, a small wild kitty, and a few other critters.

Nope, it’s not a bad bar joke, it’s the long list of new cases I agreed to take from my wonderful environmental mentor.

A few days before the interview from hell I emailed my mentor and told him I needed help figuring out how to build a practice in environmental law, as I was fairly certain I didn’t want to work outside the home. I explained I was interviewing for a position with the D.A., and was really excited about what I could learn from her, but was doubtful that it was the right time to leave the kids in so much non parental care, and was feeling incredibly anxious about working that many hours so far away.

I asked him how realistic it was to build a practice that focused on environmental law about 20 hours or so a week. I offered him pie in exchange for advice. (Homemade pie could conquer the world if used correctly). My pie got me a wonderful meal with one of my favorite people, a discussion of the various issues facing an environmental practice, and an action plan, along with 8 or 9 solid cases with different timings, and an offer to create my own work in the future and accept more work as it come down the line.

I will have to do some rainmaking, though not in the traditional sense. I will have to file some petitions (without pay) in order to set in motion some of the actions I will later be filing suit on. However, the work is solid, and my client has too much to handle on their own and few attorneys to take it on such a speculative basis. It appears I will be able to fill my platter with all sort of fun creatures. Even better, these cases have a variety of issues to them, so I will not be focusing on only one thing time and time again. I have some critical habitat issues, some recovery issues, and some listing issues to argue. One case even touches on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which cracks me up every time I see the traffic on Downing stopped for the Canadian Geese. I will even be able to potentially pick up some Clean Water Act permitting work, which would correlate nicely with my Water Law class and open me up to a whole new area of law.

Additionally, I got a call on my private child and family investigator practice. It would appear that I may have a case coming to me that way too!

The wheels are turning and the clients are coming in! It may be possible to do this “work from home” gig after all! I have to say I like the jeans and teva crowd a lot more than the vibe I got from the interview, it’s nice to work from home in my jammies, my favorite coffee really nearby. I am blessed to have a plethora of mentors interested in guiding me and advising me, so I can call on them for issues I face with each aspect of the various legal arena’s I am operating in.

So, now I am off to finish organizing my office space, and getting ready to work in earnest. I am going to be very busy, very soon.

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4 thoughts on “Three whales, two sharks, and a Coelacanth walk into my practice…”

  1. That’s so wonderful for you! It is so hard to leave our young kiddos to go to work and if you can make a work at home arrangement fulfill your needs you will be so happy! I know being home with my boys has made my life quality so improved and I’m grateful to have the chance to do it.

  2. How did you decide on the one mentor you refer to in the beginning as “my mentor” from among the many offering to mentor you? (Or did he choose you?)
    How were you able to court so much interest and willingness from mentors in general? I mean, besides the pie.

  3. Scott,

    I have been very blessed in my life to have great professors who have been interested in guiding me toward a fulfilling career. I have many mentors from different area’s of law, some judges, some attorney’s, all friends. I refer to each of them as my mentor, as I don’t believe anyone should limit themselves to one. Accept the help and support from as many people as you can, and pay it back in spades.

    As to my methods for acquiring them beyond the pie…. I volunteer and I form relationships. Most of my mentors are someone I have volunteered a lot of time and hard work for sometime in the past. Some of them took an interest in me because they like to shape the next generation of attorneys and I am open to advice and wisdom. Some of them became mentors because I sought them out in school, and asked them to mentor me.

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