The long wait
After I took the bar exam in July 2005, I experienced the longest four months of my life while waiting for the results. I had a part-time job doing computer programming at a medical imaging practice, and I finally was able to move out of my parents' house. However, because I was only marginally employed and couldn't afford to do anything, including dating, I spent most of my days playing computer games and applying to jobs. My roommate was never there during the day and it was a really depressing time that I will never forget.
The job search
I passed the bar exam on the first try, and that was the happiest day of my life. I did everything I could to become employed after the bar results came out. It took almost six months of effort in searching for a job before my uncle offered me a position at his law firm due to the sudden departure of one of their associates. That really shows that opportunities are ephemeral and uncertain, and random. I wish I had known that I would be working there, because I was on a lease in San Francisco and had to find a replacement tenant in order to move to Santa Rosa.
0 year associate
God bless my uncle Mike, no joke. When I got to Santa Rosa and arrived at his firm in February 2006, I was seriously depressed after more than three years of unrewarded toil. I took it out on my opposing counsel, calling them liars, perjurers, and worse in a series of aggressive correspondences. Although I was absolutely right about my various opposing counsel, guess what? I didn't make any friends and everyone disliked me for it. Looking back, I have to laugh because the practice of law is like "the emperor's new clothes." Everyone knows everyone else is a scumbag, but they choose to be diplomatic about it. I didn't.
1-2 year associate
This was a pretty good period in my life. I learned more and more, gained practical experience, and saw my personal life develop also. I made many friends who were also young lawyers, and those people are in my memory to this day. Work went pretty well.
3-4 year associate
A confluence of factors resulted in me getting run out of town. First, I felt unfulfilled as a lawyer, so I applied for a position with the government thinking that it would be great to make a change. I started that process and was distracted from my legal employment somewhat. Second, I had a trial decision come out from a crazy judge that lambasted me for writing impolite letters to opposing counsel and sanctioned my client hundreds of thousands of dollars. This decision was circulated rapidly via email among the network of sleazeball attorneys who hated me for being too honest about them, or the kind of people who like watching other people get into car accidents. That decision got me kicked out of the Inns of Court, which is full of hypocrites. I was then fired by my law firm for applying to work for the government. The timing of it made it look like I was fired due to the trial decision, which is not the case. I then lost my apartment and had to move back home with the folks temporarily while looking for another job. Then I was non-selected for the government position. I also broke up with my then-girlfriend. So in the space of about three months in Spring 2009, my life and my fortunes quickly changed for the worse. It took eight years to recover from this professionally, personally, and financially.
Last updated: July 6, 2018
© 2018 Andrew G. Watters