Balancing the Bar

Happiness and the Practice of Law


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For several years, I have been stuck.  Sometimes I felt mired in quicksand. I guess we all feel stuck from time to time.  Circumstances in my professional and personal life have constricted my freedom and placed me under some financial constraints.  This has been a time of reorganization and rebuilding.   I have moved away from parts of my practice and into more challenging and interesting types of work.  In the last few years, I have been trying to figure out myself, my career and my relationships with others.  I have stumbled along the way.  It is only recently that I have felt my life start to flow like the river I can see out my office window every day.

So what has changed?  Perhaps it is I who changed or at least my focus.   I often wonder what keeps a person going during times of stress, anxiety and rapidly changing tides of life.  Is it that we know nothing better to do than to go to work?  I have managed to make it to the end of another year in the practice of law.  Much has stayed the same, my clients are still my clients, my secretary remains and I am still at the same firm.  In fact, I will mark the end of my fourth year at CTKS at the end of the month.

Despite these consistencies much has happened in the last year.  My personal health has been rocky.  Our firm faced the untimely death of a partner, an elder partner is suffering cancer and the firm moved in October.  A lot of change has gone on around me and some days it feels like I am the center of a spinning top.  In the midst of this all, I have noticed the same themes recurring and the same struggles I faced and continue to face challenging my friends and colleagues.   In light of a suicide by someone so close to us all, it seems that our shared striving toward the future is scarcely worth the cost.

Yet, as I move into 2012 I find myself happy to go to work again.  This didn’t just happen overnight.  It has taken many months to reach the point that I am grateful to have a career where I get to use/exercise my brain and my communication skills.  Part of the reason for my change of mood is simply my finding away to connect with others.  There are many enjoyable people who practice law.  There are of course many people who are not enjoyable.  You name a mental disorder and someone practicing law probably has it.  But, most of us are just trying to make a living, support our families and service our clients while finding some internal balance.

Along with firm challenges and my personal health issues I find myself stepping into a new territory with my work at the Cincinnati Bar Association.  Today I met with the OLAP rep, Pat Garry, Dimity and Julie to discuss my meetings with area professionals and how to proceed within the CBA.  It was a great meeting and there is so much excitement at both levels.  I am very proud and excited to be a part of this whole effort.   The next step is to get an actual permanent committee establish within the association and then to start charting the future.  I have been asked to chair the committee for the first year and I am indeed honored to do this and it has given me a shot of energy and a renewed vigor.  For this, I am especially grateful.


Author: Tabitha M. Hochscheid

Attorney since 1995, interested in Attorney Health and Well Being and related issues for lawyers and the general population. Developer and Committee Chair of the Cincinnati Bar Association Health and Well Being Committee.

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