During this visit to the States, I have had several people ask me how it feels not to be a lawyer anymore.
Shortly before moving to Ankara, I remember having the same conversation with one of my prior bosses. He is also a good friend and more of a father figure (although he wouldn’t admit the father part.) He told me that I am simply not practicing at the moment. But I will always be a lawyer.
I find that very true. As much as I looked forward to the hiatus, I found I couldn’t get away from it, the law, that is. I live it. Many who worked with me through the years might find that hard to believe. I always had a light-hearted attitude towards the work. But when there was work to be done, you better believe it got done.
I find that I think like a lawyer all of the time now. I am always considering the other side, another point of view. I am the devil’s advocate. I would represent him. Of course, if he hung himself, it wouldn’t be my fault. But I would effectively do my job.
I am constantly weighing arguments, searching for truth. My life as a lawyer comes up in daily situations. Whether I am discussing pros and cons of what needs to be done at the dog shelter in Ankara, or trying to decide which restaurant to enjoy in Philly, I am thinking like a lawyer. Laying out the facts. Gathering the details. Planning my argument. Staying within the lines.
I am also as apprehensive as any lawyer could possibly be. Law school made me afraid of alot of things. It taught me to think about consequences. So now I am afraid to just jump out of my car in the streets of Ankara and battle anyone who gets in my way. I know what can happen, and I choose to honk and throw my hand up instead.
A friend of mine has asked from time to time about what I’m up to, and what I think of not practicing. Every once in a while, we will even discuss antitrust cases we see in the news. He tells me he never hears me so excited as when I talk about price-fixing cases. I know many don’t agree, but I truly believe in saving little businesses from the big bad boys. It just feels good – the right thing to do.
Yep, I’m a lawyer. That’s a fact and I don’t need a shingle to prove it. I can be many things, a teacher, a writer, a cook, an artist, or a musicain. But one thing I know I will always be is a lawyer. I wear it like a well-loved t-shirt every day.