The Universe Is Trying to Tell Me…What?

The last few weeks have been interesting. I think the universe is trying to tell me something, but I’m not yet sure what.


When I was in Big Law, one of my core tenets for survival (especially as an associate) was to never, ever ask for work. This goes against a lot of advice given to young lawyers to be proactive and seek out interesting assignments, etc. But I learned to hide behind the protective shield of my existing case work, however small, in order to maintain a semblance of work/life balance. Beyond that, I found that for the two or three times I actually asked for work, I would get instantly overwhelmed. Either my dormant cases would instantly spring to life, or everyone I approached would try to drop huge projects on me. It gave meaning to the phrase, “when it rains, it pours” as if the universe was chiding me for taking an action against my own interest. So I did not ask for work for at least six or seven years, not even including the past two years I have been sans job.


What I look like when I get slammed with work

The deadline to pay my bar dues was at the end of January. For the last two years, I’ve forked over $800 for the privilege to practice law, yet I have not done a shred of legal work in that time. I might as well have flushed that money down the toilet. I also haven’t done much giving back (either time or money). So a few weeks ago, I reached out to a local legal services organization and asked if I could volunteer (i.e., asked for work). I think the universe heard me.

I went over on a Tuesday and met with a former BigLaw attorney who had jumped to the public interest sector about 10 years ago. We talked about our respective experiences and we knew a lot of the same attorneys from her old firm. The meeting went well and I even did about 3 hours of work for them before going home.

I get home after lunch and see that I have a voicemail message. It’s from one of the attorneys we were talking about earlier who used to work at the public interest attorney’s firm! He was wondering if I wanted to work on two cases with his new firm (Firm #1). I would get a pretty good hourly rate and could work wherever and whenever I liked as long as I kept up with the ebbs and flows of litigation. I said I would think about it.

Not two days later, I get an e-mail from a former partner (now at Firm #2) saying they have a big new case and needed help. He is local to me. I told him I might have a thing going with Firm #1, but I would see how much of a time commitment they needed.

As I was responding to the guy from Firm #2, I was heading out the door to play a round of golf. Not kidding, but I’m on the third hole when I get a call from yet another former partner (now at Firm #3). He’s indirectly asking about what I’m doing these days, etc. and then says they’re really busy and want me to consult with them.

That’s three people in three days! And all because I asked for some pro bono work…

I thought it was weird so I looked at my horoscope for fun. This is what it said:

As you begin February, you may be thinking of making a move to a new city (or just across town) or figuring out how you will stage a renovation or repair project for your home.

OK that’s off by a month. But pretty good!

Eclipses always come in pairs, so the second eclipse, February 15, will bring changes too, for this one will hit the very pinnacle of your chart called the mid-heaven, ruling your prestigious career sector. This important point in the chart (it is where the 12 is found on the face of a round clock) hints at the ultimate contribution you will make to the world. As you see, this will be a critical point in your timeline – something important seems to be cooking up!

Wow, that’s pretty close…although please don’t tell me litigation is “the ultimate contribution [I] will make to the world.” That’s a little depressing.

More to come, but maybe something is “cooking up” after all! Whether this ends up being a step in the right direction is another matter entirely.

4 thoughts on “The Universe Is Trying to Tell Me…What?

  1. I can see how that would be really tempting–it’s flattering, you know you can do the work well, and if you have any unease about your finances, this will alleviate them.
    If I were in your position (at 2 years out, I’m sure your perspective/state of mind is different from mine (still in BigLaw)), I would be asking myself: (1) If you didn’t like litigating as your full-time job, will you enjoy it as a part-time job (with more control over your hours)? (2) Will the time/attention you would need to devote to this leave you enough time/mental energy to think about what else you want to do with your life? And (3) Are you considering this because being a lawyer is important to your identity, and if so, is that a good enough reason for you to do it?
    I don’t know how I would answer 1 or 2, but I think I would have the most trouble figuring out 3.

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