Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Dream the Impossible Dream

It's been eighteen years since I've practiced law. That's right. Eighteen years.

Long time, no?

You see, I've always said I wouldn't go back to practice unless I could have just a "disability" practice.

In other words, not unless I could only take cases involving disability-related issues. But considering that most families with a disabled family member can't afford a lawyer and I figure that it will likely take Nova Scotia a good 20 years to get to the point where the government helps subsidize the cost of legal representation for families ... I just wasn't feeling the love.

But for the past year or so, I've been playing around with the idea of doing just that ... going back to the practice of law. No, I hadn't given up on what I really wanted or lowered my standards. Nor was the thought born out of desperation.

But I had finally come to realize (with a little bit of help from some friends) that I could use what I have been doing with the NS Legal Guardianship Kit and the presentations on disability-related topics as a springboard.

What if I went back to practice? Just on a part-time basis?

What if I could offer people the option of either purchasing the Guardianship Kit or hiring me to bring their guardianship application? Not only would my fees be significantly lower than the majority of lawyers' but I had also started to develop a reputation in the disability community. People were already asking if they could hire me to bring guardianship applications and I had to explain that no, I wasn't practicing.

So it was that I've been playing around with this idea for a while now.

Tried to talk myself out of it ... after 18 years of not practicing, just how many hoops would the Barristers' Society make me go through before granting me practicing status again? For a while, that seemed like a good enough reason not to proceed any further.

But eventually I realized that I might just be staring in the face (and yet not seeing) exactly what I have been looking for so hard for quite a while now - having convinced myself that I would never go back to practice because, after all, who could financially survive financially with the type of practice I wanted, I had been thinking that maybe the solution was finding work for a disability organization in a position where I could use my legal background and training. But that opportunity simply was not presenting itself. Although, in all honesty, I had come across what looked like the perfect job a few years ago. There was only one problem ... it was in BC. As in clear across the other side of the country. So, yeah. Not so much.

And yet this has been my passion for so many years now - how long have I been telling people that if I could find a way to marry law and disability (and get paid for it), I would be truly happy? Trust me, a long time. Said to a lot of people.

And so it was that eventually, very slowly, light began to dawn on marblehead (that would be me, in case you were wondering) and I "made the decision" (well, kind of, sort of anyway ... who says I'm not decisive?*) to take the leap and return to practice. 

The only problem was that required applying for a change of status (and forwarding the appropriate application fee) to the Bar Society, who would review my application and then tell me what hoops I would have to go through.

Now, really, that change of application fee would be hardly significant for most people. It shouldn't have been a big deal. And yet once I (kind of, sort of) made the decision to go back to practice, there just wasn't any money to spare to make the application. And then every time I planned on doing it (as in as soon as I get paid for ... whatever), something would happen and the money would be demanded elsewhere.

Oh what a tangled web we weave ....

Anyway, on a different note, guess what I did today? Come on. Guess.

No, I didn't finally *find* the money for the application fee.

No, I didn't finally start the required paperwork.

Give up? Are you sure?

All right, all right. I will tell you.

Listen carefully now.


Today. I. Mailed. The. Application.

(With. The. Cheque. Of. Course).

To. The. Bar. Society.

(more crickets)

Proud of me? I am. 

Proud. And excited. And more than a little nervous.

And so it is that the adventure continues. Wish me luck!

* In my defence, I did have a few good personal reasons for hesitating about taking the plunge. One being my health. But, hey, why let a little thing like that stop me, right? I figure if I don't try, I'll never know.


doorkeeper said...

Hurrah! eh? I'd bet it will be a wild ride at times, and sometimes you'll wonder why in the H you ever decided this...and at others you'll fall asleep at night with a full, satisfied heart. Knowing that you've helped those who truly needed you.
God bless!

tam said...


Pogue said...


MMC said...

Thanks guys. Good times ahead!