First thought: SHE SENT OUT 685 RESUMES??? Are you serious?!
And 40 is too old to be an associate, they said. 40 is too old for a lot of things. Yet here we are, 40 and beyond, still participating in life, fools that we are. One day we might even turn 50. Egads. Who will put us out of our misery then? Little left to do but shoot us at that point.
I wonder what the numbers really are in terms of her career change "paying off". She cashed in her retirement, people. Now she's in solo practice (read: no "retirement plan" other than what she can scrape together from her take-home...can she afford to make consistent/regular contributions to a retirement account?...or will she have to work into her 90's after her hearing has failed her? And health care costs...how will she pay for her hearing aids?). It doesn't mention whether she has a husband or children. Which makes me think she probably doesn't have a husband or children, most especially children. Which makes this less helpful to me than I initially thought it would be. I am, seemingly, grossly aberrant. Comparing apples to apples in my case feels futile.
Anyway, here's the article (from http://blog.technolawyer.com/2005/09/career_change_p.html via Magic Cookie's 2005 archives. Thanks CM!)
Career Change Pays Off for Techie Turned Solo and Author
By Neil Squillante Wednesday, September 21, 2005
TechnoLawyer member Diana Brodman Summers was earning a good living as a database administrator, but yearned for a career change so she used her retirement savings to invest in herself and pursue a law degree at night. A few days before the bar exam, her employer downsized her out of her job.
Fortunately, Diana still managed to pass the bar exam despite this bad news. Unfortunately, she could not find a job as a lawyer. "Out of 685 resumes I got three interviews, two of whom told me to my face I was too old [at 40] to be an associate."
Instead, she started contracting herself out to law firms on a per case or per month basis. Eventually, she earned enough money and developed enough of a reputation to open her own solo practice in Lisle, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. Diana primarily represents employees in employment discrimination matters, and also serves as an arbitrator for Cook County and DuPage County's Mandatory Arbitration Program.
Diana is also a best-selling author. Her current book How to Buy Your First Home has become the top-seller in its category. She recently spoke about the book on her local ABC TV station. Her other books include Illinois Landlord's Legal Guide, How to Write an Illinois Will, and How to File for Divorce in Illinois. Her next book, How to Start a Home Based Business will hit bookshelves in a few months.
As for her favorite technology tools, Diana lists Word and WordPerfect, Adobe Acrobat, Netscape, and especially Stamps.com. "It enables me to print postage whenever I want, and it keeps a records of when I printed the postage and a file of names and addresses."
I found this via a link on Magic Cookie's archives from 2005, which takes you to another 2005 link at Technolawyer.com (full link shown at top of article).
Final thought: I was initially thrilled to stumble upon a site called Technolawyer.com because I thought it would be about the direct application of tech skills to lawyerly/client-related matters (emphasis on "direct application"). Alas, it seems to focus on "practice management" which is the legal profession's term for business administration, it appears. In other words, it's all about "use these tools to track your time" and how to do backups, etc. Blech! I already do that stuff, to the hilt. That's the stuff I'd like quite a bit less of, thank you very much. So my quest for info on how being a techie helps you be the best darn e-discovery lawyer around is still full on.
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