Today I started my new job. I'm not an attorney yet. You have to be admitted to practice to be considered an attorney. I'm just a law school grad being paid to work as, basically, a law clerk. Which means conducting research, writing memos, doing grunt and shadowing real-life attorneys.
Of course, I didn't do any of that today. Today was a luxuriously slow-start to what I hope will be a busy career. Today we attended and participated in computer training. Which consisted of reviewing how to access, edit, and send documents which are all housed in a central computer. We ate lunch and listened to the firm's risk management presentation, which was a reminder of our professional responsibilities. Aside from not being able to call myself a lawyer yet, I am also forbidden from giving any legal advice to friends or family. Ever. About anything. Unless they are clients of the firm. So I can't help you with your divorce, write your will, or review your prenuptial. Sorry. But I can refer you to someone who can. I know. It's not the same thing.
Later we attended more computer training. We tried to access the firm's version of Instant Messenger, but alas we have been deactivated, so we were not able to. We were able to access the firm's legal files and figure out how to request case files. We also viewed a Welcome message from the firm's Managing Partner, which was short and to-the-point (he scores big points for brevity!). And we filled out some paperwork, most of which I was unsure of and took home (like my California withholding form suggests that I withhold seven exemptions-- I must have done it wrong, because I always withhold zero and still end up owing something at the end of each year!). Finally, we were sent off with our keycards and parking passes.
The most important decision I'll likely have to make in the next week is which gym to join. I'm already a member of 24 Hour Fitness, but I can't use the Sport clubs. The firm was offering a deal for something like $24/month with no sign-up fees for all clubs. There's one near the downtown office, but it's about 6 blocks away. Across the street from the firm is the Y, which was supposedly renovated in the winter of 2006. It gets mixed reviews, but it's only $38 for membership and a whole lot more convenient. Plus it has a towel service. For $77/month, my whole family can join and we can go to any YMCA, including the one closer to our home. This is tempting for obvious reasons. Finally is Pure Fitness, which is in the building. It's $59/month, but it has clean facilities, classes and exercise equipment outside (the down side of that being that people in higher-up floors can look out their windows and see you exercising), and an amazing locker room with towel service. Plus every treadmill has a personal DVD player (the ones at the Y do have individual TV screens, or so I hear). But the cardio room is cramped and a little musty. So do I go for the least expensive, least convenient option, or the most expensive and most convenient one? I really don't know. For now, I'm doing nothing. I'm going to try running at night or in the morning at home, like I have been, and see how that goes. But as winter fast approaches, I know that will get harder and harder to motivate myself to do.
Today's trainings were in one of our San Diego offices, but my personal office will be downtown, and tomorrow I get to find out exactly where my personal office space will be. There's some down-time in between training sessions tomorrow, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to hit up one of the senior associates or partners for some good old-fashioned work. I know, I know. There's plenty of time for work-- but geez, I'd like to not fall behind in billables my very first week. Plus tomorrow evening is a big wine and cheese shindig for the Lawyer's Club, which I'll be attending. I'm not a great schmoozer, so these social events with the larger legal community are hard for me to feel excited about. . .
Anyway, that's how things went. I was a little homesick my friends at my old job. I wonder what they did today. I bet they sat in a whole heck of a lot of meetings-- not unlike me, actually. But at least they had each other. Which isn't to say I don't have anybody. The other first year associates are actually fun people. But, you know, change is, well . . . different.