Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The time I was a high flying lawyer

When I was fresh out of law school, I landed myself a graduate position at a big Aussie law firm. We'll call it F. For "firm".


I worked there for 3 years in total. (More like 6 years worth of work, squished into 3 years.)

Anyway. One of the big client's of the firm, X, for reasons I cannot disclose changed their legal panel and the work we did for them majorly dwindled. We had a few residual matters that a few of us were working on but by and large we didn't get any new work. It was a big blow to F (I found that out later).

I had a good ongoing working relationship with one of the commercial reps of the client company X, and he continued to give me some miscellaneous smaller matters. I would meet with him and some others, from X, occasionally to discuss the outstanding work.

One end of month my supervising partner called me into his office.

He was looking at me, half suspiciously, half in awe.

It had been his client, you see.

There I was. Junior lawyer me, dressed my navy pinafore, at the big firm, F, meeting with the commercial reps for our old big client company X, and usually on my own (the matters weren't really that big a deal).

My supervising partner said, "ummm it says here on your bill you met with Mr and Mr So-and-So of client company X" [paraphrased for obvious reasons].

"Umm, yeeaaahhhh....?" *I looked at him, slightly worried. It hadn't occurred to me to include him since I could handle the matters I was given - and he was always encouraging me to make decisions on my own.

"You know they've stopped giving us work, right?"

"Yeah, I'm just doing a few of their smaller matters that come up from time to time. I get a senior to check my work, sorry I can give it to you if you want..."

His eyebrows went up, "that's great!", he said. "I don't need to see the work...it's just that....welllll, I was kinda hoping if you're going to meet with them again...maybe next time you could invite me along?"

He gave me a faux stern look. (Although he was very senior he was a gentle man, you see. Lovely to work for.)


I copped so much crap over that from the other junior lawyers. When the story was retold (lots) by the other juniors they added in a slightly embellished part about me meeting with the Board of client company X bringing in all their new work without consulting my supervising partner.


So me.

(I'm so oblivious.)

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