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Surprise—You’ve Been Promoted!

As some of you will recall, I went to work for Grayson Maxwell & Sugarman before I knew whether or not I had passed the terrifying Bar Exam. I wish I could say I remember those first months well-but I don’t. I remember I had to get a “professional” wardrobe—after all, my last job was in the USAF and I had green fatigues on every day! So I did. That I recall.

I seem to remember doing some really boring things like updating practice guides. The law changes every time a new case comes down—and sometimes when a legislature changes things. So the handy-dandy guides which tell lawyers what the law is and how the heck to do various things (trust me, we can’t read the statutes either—they are gibberish) change about twice a year.  These are in large ring binders and only some pages have to be replaced and if you mess up and replace the wrong page the books are FUBAR forever. BORING. This is my WORST thing on the planet Earth… Mindless tedium with stress. Thank God now I never need to do this any more.
But at least I got familiar with the darned things—they are very very useful. In any case, I suppose the partners must have given me SOME real work to do…for reasons which will soon become clear. Because what I do remember is the day I got my Bar results. Now this was back when there were two ways to find out—wait for the mail or go down to downtown LA and look at the posted results at the State Bar offices.

Those of us with jobs (and a low desire to suffer crowds of stressed out humans) waited for the mail. So one fine day in late November I was at work when I got a call from Jeff. Remember him? He was my boyfriend at the time and my class mate and fellow results awaiter. (He had sworn, when we were taking the test in 2 different locations, that he blew one of the essays completely…) Seems he had gotten the mail….. The results were in the mail… And HE HAD PASSED!

So I knew for sure MY mail had MY results—we lived not that far apart. And I knew if he had passed I didn’t I would die. So my bosses took pity on me, and let me go home right after that call.

My job was in Glendale (Glassell Park, really) and home was Sierra Madre. It was probably a half hour drive at non rush hour—which (to the best of my recollection) this was. So at, maybe,  3:30 I got home and parked at the top of the long sloping driveway. The mail box was at the bottom. We had been told a fairy tale that if you got a thick envelope it meant you had failed (I guess because they return your essays.) In any case, I went down the hill and opened the mailbox and there was a thick seeming envelope from the State Bar. ALL I REALLY remember is the looking at the contents of the envelope–on the ground–as I tried to see what,exactly, was in there. Then I remember seeing the words “The Committee of Bar Examiners is pleased…”

I read no farther. I think I called Jeff and then work. I felt oddly numb. Relieved the ordeal was over—but not elated as I had expected.

What else I don’t remember is if the partners waited… or if they fired the other associate immediately. Seems they had planned to ditch her if I passed. Bingo—I had a full caseload. I’d been promoted!!! I was an attorney. A real attorney. Clueless me. Oddly depressed me. Clients lives were in my inexperienced hands. Oy vey. (I wonder if the ditched associate still hates me?)

Stay tuned…

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  1. March 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I am sure that was a very hectic and frantic time for you! I was getting anxious just reading about it! hehe Glad you passed though 🙂

  2. March 7, 2012 at 3:23 am

    The oddest part was feeling no elation when I passed! But until I started at the Human Potential Movement (upcoming) I felt depressed and more than a little incompetent! Thanks for commenting!

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