The Home Stretch

Well, this is the home stretch.  My wife gave notice to her employer this week.  It was well received probably because she gave them a little more notice than is typical.  It will be my turn next week.

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The stars are aligning a little bit for me as it looks like a major case may get resolved very shortly.  Continue reading

Making the Most of Our Time Off — Our Travel Philosophy

We have less than a month before we plan on giving notice to our employers.  This is the calm before the storm.  Eerie and exciting.  I constantly replay in my mind what I expect the meetings to be like.  What will be the reaction?  Disappointment, surprise, anger, or mockery?  Maybe even a little jealousy?

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At the same time, we continue to plan for our trip next year.  I appreciate all of the support I’ve gotten from readers.  It’s always amazed me that, even flying under the radar as I try to do, how many people view this site.  So thanks for that.

I’ve gotten a few comments suggesting that we just buy a one-way ticket and see where it takes us.  I suppose these readers are suggesting that we just be like leaves in the wind.  This is a highly romanticized view of travel (I get it and appreciate it), but it doesn’t fit well with our personalities. Continue reading

Imagining the Future and My Best Exit Scenario

I’m generally not an all-or-nothing person.  As a lawyer, I like to manage and hedge risk.  The thought of giving notice seems so…final.  I view it as the exchange of a stable and financially rewarding career for a dream of freedom, exploration, and fulfillment.  Need more money later?  Well tough luck.  With the financial markets suffering a bit of turmoil lately, I haven’t been feeling as confident about making the leap.

Compounding the issue was a series of interactions I had while traveling last week.  Continue reading

Summer Update

It’s been about a month since we first decided to start planning our exit from work.  The stars aligned a bit because since then an enormously time-consuming matter was resolved, making my life a whole lot easier.  This matter was set to go to trial in the spring, which would have meant I would be burning a bridge by leaving in February.  While we have other projects for this client, there are now more than enough people to handle the existing work.  That work is also starting to wind down.  As a result, I have had more time to pursue other interests.

CDtEY2mWAAAaPqAWe’re also planning a week-long trip to the Pacific Northwest in a few weeks.  Continue reading

As the Leaves Change, So Does My Sentiment

Just venting a little.  As “seasoned” as I am as a big firm attorney, it really does not take much for me to want to head for the hills and escape it all.  Even a few months ago, I was still enjoying the calm breeze of summer litigation.  Things have only ratcheted up so-oh-little, and I’m already wanting to quit.  The stock market is not helping much, as our net worth has been falling day-to-day instead of creeping upwards towards a yet-to-be-defined target.  Anyways, I’ve been kind of a wimp lately.

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A Timely Reminder

Lately, I’ve been getting comfortable — too comfortable — with where I am in my life.  My net worth has been zooming upwards (well except for the market turmoil in the past week) and I haven’t even been working that hard.  That led me to think about staying at my firm longer and attaining a $5M, or even $10M net worth.  I could live the kind of high life that I experience when I travel internationally with other partners, like buying $7K business class tickets and staying in $700/night rooms at five-star hotels.  I could probably even afford to buy an average house in my area (~$2-3M).

Only after I started getting comfortable, nature decided it was time to send me a reminder about why I need to keep my eye on the ball and why seeking excess under these circumstances was a fool’s errand.  One of my partners and I had a huge blowout, which I will not detail here, and it reminded me exactly why I did not enjoy the practice of law.  We patched things up a few days later, but I appreciated getting the reminder.  Maybe it’s my way of making lemonade out of lemons.  But certainly, I feel more motivated to not get comfortable and to really get on with my life.

Holiday Cheer for Frugality

Happy holidays!  Many law firms are now paying out bonuses to its hard working associates.  It’s an interesting time right now.  BigLaw had a pretty good year, but many firms saw signs of weakening in Q4.  As a result, associates expect bigger bonuses yet managing partners are afraid of a further slow down in business.  That means firms like Cravath will keep paying the same bonuses we’ve seen for a few years now ($10K-$60K depending on class year) and most everyone else will fall in line.

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Malaise

Work feels like the pits these days.  It’s really been quite a busy stretch for the past few months.  As good as I usually am at avoiding work, I’ve been putting up almost 300 hour months since December.  I got through one trial — and got good experience — and have another one looming.  We’re so behind.

But I’ve found it quite hard to concentrate.  My eye is definitely not on the ball.  I find every excuse to pop up my head and do other things.  Lately, I’ve been doing more research to plan out the specific activities on our honeymoon.  We’re visiting quite a few countries and want to make the most out of our trip.

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