I’ve always been on the outside looking in, an outlier.
Seven years combined of college and law school, and nearly 35 years in practice – all but four years of that time in a Manhattan or Boston law firm – have yet to tilt the balance in any other direction.
At heart, I remain what I always have been: an introvert more comfortable behind a book or in front of a screen. Writing, editing, number crunching, preparing.
But while that alone time has no doubt atrophied several aspects of my social skills, it has also sharpened many thinking, writing, and organizational ones. One of the primary reasons for my early start each workday is for the amount of time freed up in the hours before I have to bear the barrage of phone calls and emails – and sometimes even business-related text messages. Those nearly always drain me. As does, to this day, even the most routine court appearance. I still have to remind myself that I once argued before the two highest Courts in Massachusetts and pretty much held my own both times.
The early morning start helps me to breathe and to focus and to organize for the day ahead.
Most people remain comfortable with the caricature of the New York City lawyer as an arrogant, overbearing, cut-them-off-at-the-knees, loudmouth shark. Well, I can tell you that some caricatures are, in fact, built upon solid foundations of reality so I won’t here try to argue against it. I’ve seen plenty of it first hand.
It’s just that this image doesn’t quite fit most of the lawyers that I actually know. There are many more outliers than one might ever guess. It may even be that we outliers outpace and outnumber the assumed normality. Outliers may well be very much in the mainstream these days.
Maybe we aren’t even outliers. Maybe it’s always been that way.
Well, it’s time for my morning reading. Please be sure to close the door behind you when you leave.
I need the quiet.
Image Credit: Pixabay