I have billed 50 hours in last 4 days, including Sunday when I didn't start working until 8 p.m. It has been unpleasant. I went three days without seeing the kids or JP awake because I was coming home so late and then sleeping past the time they leave for work and daycare (and sleeping so deeply, I didn't even hear them). Yesterday I dragged myself into the office at 10 (after leaving at 4:30 a.m. the night/morning before) to find these sitting on my desk:
The note read, "Friday's almost here! love, JP". I love him so. The two nights I came home after 4 a.m. I found a perfectly clean house with sparkling kitchen counters devoid of any lunch boxes, papers, toys and/or food containers. This kitchen-counter-OCD does not come naturally to JP, he did it for me, because he knew that if I walked into our kitchen in my exhausted, shaky, over-caffeinated state to find STUFF on them I would probably cry. Truly, putting in the effort to make the house look as if I had been there to do my nightly sweep of the downstairs meant as much to me as the flowers--and those meant an awful lot!
But my two briefs are in nearly final form, I just need to check the TOA and TOCs that our document support group just added and incorporate a few comments from a partner who has been on vacation but couldn't help chiming in with suggestions from his blackberry (I think this kind of crazy dedication, and the ability to review documents and painstakingly type out 2 pages of comments all on your blackberry, is a partner requirement).
As soon as my two briefs, and the five others we have due today, are filed I am DONE with working and billing in 2011. It has been an interesting year for my career. But one thing is for sure, despite some very low lows with this crazy case, I have learned an enormous amount. Eighteen months ago I'd probably only written 2 substantive briefs from start to finish. I have now written 19. I have doubled the number of depositions I've attended, greatly increased my client contact, and tackled complicated legal issues that still only barely make sense. I may be exhausted and slightly demoralized, but my resume is fantastic, so that's something. And while I don't know if I ever want to be a partner in the legal sense (see above: typing redlines on a blackberry while on a beach in Puerto Rico), I definitely have a great partner in the personal sense and I'm incredibly grateful for that!