Saturday, November 14, 2009

At long last

... I found a new job. It's a litigation boutique firm called Edison McDowell & Hetherington (see here). I started on Thursday, and so far am quite happy.

It was quite a whirlwind, but it couldn't have come at a better time, as it plucked me away from a miserable contract job doing an electronic document review. For those who don't know, firms often hire attorneys on a contract basis for weeks at a time to review documents. This firm was, no surprise, up against a deadline and needed a ton of the client's employees' emails reviewed. But the client wanted to staff the project leanly, so there were six of us staring at computer screens 84 hours per week and clicking furiously (e.g. this document we can produce, this one is privileged, this one is irrelevant, this one screws us over, etc.). And it was a patent case involving mechanical parts for downhole oil well operations, so the emails we were reviewing were all written by engineers. No offense, Dad, but you guys write very, um, 'technical' (i.e. soul-crushing) emails. My back and eyes were quite displeased; my eyeballs would quite literally shake in their sockets for the last three or four hours of each day. Plus, almost every day I had an interview or a meeting with a recruiter or something like that, which would take up a few additional hours. Add that to a 45-minute commute, and a newborn who enjoys slowly savoring her bottles in the middle of the night. I've been in a few trials before, where we'd work 22-hour days for a few weeks straight, and even that was more tolerable; at least then the work is interesting and you can let your eyes drift from the computer screen occasionally. We were grateful to have some income, but I deeply resented the invention of email and its unfortunate effect upon the practice of law.

In the midst of this, on Tuesday morning, I got a call from a friend from my old firm. He had been networking and advocating for me, putting me in touch with various people he knew around town. Apparently he had mentioned my name to an old law school friend of his, a partner in a small litigation boutique, and by happy coincidence, he and his partners had just decided the day before that they needed to hire someone new. They wanted me to give them a call, and when I did, they asked if I could come in that afternoon. I didn't even have a suit, since I was downtown slogging away on the document review, but they didn't care. The interview went great; I met with all three of the named partners, and they wanted me to come back the next morning to meet with their fourth partner, who works up in Dallas. On Wednesday morning I met her and a few of the associates, and then they offered me the job right afterwards, saying they would be eager to get me started the next morning, Thursday. After a 3-minute phone call to Shelly (who didn't need any convincing), I accepted and then gleefully skipped off to go quit the contract job.

So far the firm has been great. The partners and everyone else are all extremely nice, friendly, likable people, which for me is by far the most important factor affecting whether or not I enjoy my job. The pay is less, but enough for our needs. The firm is quite busy -- they started with eight attorneys just this past January, most coming from a bigger Texas firm (Bracewell & Guiliani). In the ten months since they have now hired nine more attorneys; all of their clients followed them from Bracewell, and they just keep getting more and more work. The environment is much more collegial and close-knit than at my prior firms; everyone seems very proud of this new enterprise and dedicated to building it up. And so far, they really like my work product. I know it's only been two days, but it looks like I'm really going to like it there.

To yet again restate the obvious, we absolutely recognize and are deeply grateful for the way our path has been so unmistakably guided. It's not even remotely subtle. My last day at my prior job was in July. One week later went to San Francisco and qualified for an extremely rare surgery which so far appears to have been a wild success. It would have been infinitely more difficult for Shelly to have gone through that alone, if work had kept me in Houston. And then, just weeks after returning, I find a new position, one that so far looks like it will be a great fit for me. We've been so incredibly blessed, clearly much more so than we deserve. So again, many many thanks for all your prayers, your faith made it happen.

16 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your new job! What a whirlwind year you've had! Keep thinking positive - God is watching over you & your family. (((HUGS)))

    ReplyDelete
  2. We were SO happy when we found out your news. The new firm sounds great--and they recognized a good lawyer when they saw one--definitely a plus!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We're so very very very happy for you. And you do deserve all your blessings! I'm so glad you'll be sticking around here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations! I love reading your blog! Always so inspiring and faith building. Good luck at the new job!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Isn't it amazing that when you look back on all the trials, you see that they were for a reason and you are greatly blessed because of it! So amazing! I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful church and to have the faith that I have in my Savior, Jesus Christ. They truly know what is best for us. How awesome it is to be watched over and guided in our daily lives. We love you!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Huray! (is that how you spell it?! lol)

    Glad to hear that things fit into place perfectly. It's so amazing how He makes things work out for us!

    Hope the new job goes well and that the whole family is doing great! Keep us posted, I love seeing pics of the kids, they are just too stinkin' cute!
    ~Mery

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's so wonderful to know how much the Lord watches over us, isn't it? When we heard the news, we just felt so incredibly thankful to our Father in Heaven for His blessings. We love you so much and are grateful for your faith and perseverance!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so happy for you guys. Your story has been very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so happy that everything worked out so well! Congrats to all of you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think you deserve every single blessing! It is rare to see a year so guided like the one you have just had, and it has increased my faith as well as yours. We love you and are so very happy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. As you said, "far from subtle", these blessings and their timing have been incredible. We are amazed at the tender mercies shown to our family this year, and can see the Hand of the Lord. We know the challenges will continue, but you are now in a good position to handle the "day to day" events of your life with gratitude, which we truly feel also. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us all, Kendall and Shelly!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news with us!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Apparently sleeplessness has turned me into even more of a crier than usual. :) Gosh, I am just so happy for you guys!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. We are so happy for you! Seriously, being happy at work makes a difference in all around life!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for your blog, Kendall. We are thrilled for you and Shelly and the kids. It has strengthened our faith and secured a stronger, unbreakable bond in our family. We feel so blessed to have been included in a small way in this miracle. We love you and we love all of our extended "Burr" family.

    Love,
    Mom and Dad Ferrin

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hurrah for a new job at just the right time and that your eyeballs didn't fall out of your head. Hurrah that you had the "time off" you needed to take care of your family without anyone harassing you about when you would be back at the office. Hurrah for the significant difference all of this is making to little Kaitlyn's life!

    ReplyDelete