I'm in my 15th year of practice. I've walked into courtrooms hundreds of times. I remember thinking after I was admitted to the Bar how great it was that I could "talk in court." I remember telling people how cool it was that the Florida Supreme Court gave me a license to go into court and represent people. I still think that, but I say it much less.
My daily life now is running a private practice. That means interviewing new clients, signing retainer agreements, dealing with office politics, talking on the phone, a lot, running to court for mostly mundane hearings, and occasionally getting a moment, other than at night, to read case law and draft motions.
I still love what I do, and can't imaging doing anything else, but the practice has changed since I left the public defender's office 13 years ago. Back then, I just went to court. No overhead to worry about, no bringing in any business.
And so my practice now is mostly following a calendar, dealing with emergencies, and just making sure that none of the balls in the air, ever hit the ground.
And then there was today. Mostly typical. I had a hearing in the morning in state court, a few client meetings, several phone calls, lunch with a bankruptcy lawyer friend of mine, and a hearing in federal court in the afternoon.
During that hearing in federal court in the afternoon, while the judge was talking. I had one of those moments that you see in the movies - where the person zones out from what is going on around them and begins thinking about something else.
Although I was listening to the judge, I began to look around. I looked at the jury box. I looked at the prosecutor. I looked at the big seal behind the judge. I looked out the window. I thought - how many people right now are doing what I do? How many lawyers are sitting in a federal district courtroom representing a client? How many people have this privilege?
I may bitch and moan on a day to day basis about the mundane aspects of practicing law; I think many lawyers do the same. But today, just for a moment, I had an epiphany.
I am privileged to be a lawyer, doing what I love to do - representing people in a courtroom.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com