So do you spend a lot of time and energy on explaining to yourself (and others) why law firm management is so screwed up and wrong? God knows I used to, along with many other associates and occasionally some partners. I was angry, deeply angry, at how stupid the whole system was.
Not that I was mistaken about what was wrong with the system, because it’s the same stuff the ABA talks about now. But as insightful as I was then, it didn’t help change anything. Partly, because in the mid-1990s, blogs were barely a gleam in Jon Postel’s eye and office rants didn’t make it far. Partly, because it was the mental equivalent of using a spoon to dig a hole through a mountain.
And it’s one helluva lot easier to rage against an unjust system than to focus on what really has to change: you. More specifically, how you channel your energy. I expect a lot of folks who briefly stop by this blog think, I can’t make the changes this crazy woman suggests! She doesn’t understand that I have no other experience, or that document review is not a transferable skill, or that I’m a litigator and no companies hire litigators to be in-house counsel for corporate work, or that there is no way I could sell my house at a loss and move to a less expensive town, or — you fill in the blank.
Maybe I don’t understand. I don’t understand a vast amount of things in this world. But I do know that if you take all the energy you put into telling me and others why you can’t make a change, and use half of that energy to figure out how you could make some small move in a direction you like, you’ll be making a better investment of your time. Aspire to be like Apollo 13, and make a small degree of change that will change your trajectory and correct a potential tragedy. Ignore the John Mayer’s of the world, just waiting for the world to change.