Time For A Change

In 2008, I wrote a post about needing new challenges.

At about age 50, something strange happens.  No matter what our goals were when young, no matter how exciting life appeared when everything was still before us, we reach a point where we grow weary.  We tire out.  The thrill is gone.

Everyone needs a challenge, a goal, to push them forward.  We want to scale higher mountains, to overcome new challenges.  But we find that the things that excited us long ago have become pedestrian.  It becomes a grind rather than a thrill.

Almost ten years have gone by since then, yet here I am. It’s time to do what I should have done nearly a decade ago. I will be looking for a new mountain to climb. I don’t have any particular mountain in mind, and I’m open to all possibilities, but I need a new mountain.

If anybody thinks they have a need for an old-time lawyer, whose skillset is grounded in hard work and getting things done, let me know. Maybe you’ve got that new mountain. This is the time for new ideas and challenges, wherever they appear. But it’s time.

105 thoughts on “Time For A Change

  1. Bill St. Clair

    I’ve hit slumps, but a nice thing about writing computer code for a living is that there are always new systems, languages, and libraries to explore. Or you can roll your own. Been having more fun recently than ever before, and I’m about to turn 61.

    Meditation helps, too. A practical way to prepare for physical death.

    Good luck with your search.

  2. PDB


    1) Best of luck in finding your new endeavors.
    2) If this means that you are retiring from blogging, thanks for all the posts!

    Take care.

    1. Billy Bob

      Retirement is not what it’s cracked up to be. Don’t do it! You could study quantum physics. That’s an exciting field. Or you could try your hand at a little psychiatry. So many patients in need of therapy, and so few therapists. You could help Dr. SJ in the kitchen! And there’s always lawns to be mowed, leaves to be raked, cars to be washed and snow to be shoveled.

      How much lawyering can one do in a lifetime?!? It’s D-r-u-d-g-e-r-y.

  3. Brad Salai

    When I was about 54, after practicing for 30 years or so, i decided to learn to fly. I’ve never regretted it. There were intellectual and physical challenges, you don’t do it in a few weeks, and it is FUN!!
    Not for everyone, but you might like it.

    1. SHG Post author

      I’ve got hobbies. I’m one of those people who needs to achieve something. It’s not about killing time.

      1. Nick Lidakis

        Stand up comedy?

        “How many cops does it take to throw a perp down the stairs? None. He fell!”

        “Thank you. Please, please, no more bacon maple donuts…

  4. PaulaMarie Susi

    I hear you, my friend. I’m planning to retire in 2 years when I hit my MRA (min retire age) and have 30+ years in. Time for something new, possibly jury consulting part-time. Please do continue the blawg, many are in need of your insights.

    1. SHG Post author

      Are there enough juries to consult anymore? It would be interesting, given all the psychologists who pretend they have a clue what other people are thinking. You’ve probably seen as many trials as anyone around, and know things they never will. But the idea of listening to more voir dire droning makes me want to stick a needle in my eye.

      Now, if there was a gig where I could do only freelance cross, that might be fun.

  5. Ross

    Random thoughts on possible paths:
    Working at a non-profit that needs help to fulfill a mission you support
    Buy some machine tools and learn to build parts from scratch for old cars or other machinery
    Develop nefarious scheme for world domination (do not hire anyone named Pinky as your henchman)
    Write a book, not necessarily on law. (Fiction has much more profit potential than non-fiction)
    Climb an actual mountain, or, like a retired colleague of mine, take 3 or 4 week treks in Nepal, India, or Bhutan.
    Walk the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails

    In any case, good luck with the search. And, even though it wasn’t your intent, and you could not have known, thanks for helping me maintain a good attitude during cancer treatment in 2015. Coming here every day helped me stay positive and exercise my brain instead of whining about how bad I felt.

    1. SHG Post author

      I’m not a sentimental guy, but damn, Ross. Now I have to blow my nose.

      I’ve thought about writing books (I kinda like to write), but now that every asshole is writing a book, I don’t want to be like every asshole. If I had a book inside me burning to get out, I would. I don’t.

      I thought about non-profit, but “cause” people tend to give me hives. I’m not a good team player in that respect, as I can’t shake off reason when it comes to the feelz of believing in the cause.

      I would go for world domination with my good buddy, pointer, but one I dominated it, what would I do with it?

      I’ve always wanted some media outlet to ask me to write commentary, but they haven’t. I think about think tanks, but they haven’t reached out to me either. So, I guess that’s nature’s way of telling me they have no use for me. I’ll keep looking. And seriously, it touched me that I was able to make your treatment a little easier. Thank you for telling me that.

  6. Jill A.

    Attend some local school board meetings. Go to your local council (city, town, county) and listen for a few months. Monthly meetings can be boring as all get out, but they also cover what is going on. Maybe something will catch your interest. Maybe you will find something that can challenge your heart and your talents.

    You are starting this well, Scott. You are looking. Usually when you look, you find an answer. I wish you joy in the search.

    1. SHG Post author

      Not at all what I have in mind. I’m not looking for things to kill time. I might want to have a position in government, not that I expect anyone to ask me, but to watch meetings would be death. I’ve been to more meeting than anyone should have to endure in a lifetime. It’s brutal to watch.

  7. Rick Horowitz

    Whatever you do, don’t stop blogging.

    As you know, there’s a lot of stupid in the world, you’re one of the few who work to fix it—or at least slow down its spread.

    I’m thick-headed, it seems, but your blog still works its incremental magic on my thinking. I need it. My clients need it.

    It’s a pity you aren’t West Coast, so you could take a more hands-on approach to beating sense into me, and shaping me into a better defense attorney.

    Thank you for doing such important work.

    Your blog software, however, isn’t as forgiving: I keep being told I suck at math because I think seven minus 3 equals 4.

    1. SHG Post author

      But tech can’t be wrong. Or so they keep telling me. Have I thanked you enough for all you’ve done for me? I don’t believe I have. No one else may ever know it, but please know I do, and how much I appreciate it.

  8. Mark M.

    Teach those in law school how to think like a lawyer. There are still youngsters who, like us, think the current snowflake-friendly environment is ridiculous and does a disservice to society while utterly failing to turn out people who are prepared to stand in the well and fight. There are seminars, clinics, and the like, where the future gunslingers gravitate to soak up the wisdom from someone who’s been there and done that. With your chops you can likely find a scene where you will have almost total autonomy from the “administration.”

    1. SHG Post author

      I love teaching kids, but teaching. I don’t know if any law school does that anymore. I don’t know if prawfs can tolerate that anymore. I don’t think any school would take a chance on a mean old man like me anymore. And I’m pretty confident that by the end of the first day, some student will lodge a title something complaint against me.

      1. Lex

        Find one of those fourth tier schools in Florida, South Carolina, etc. that hire adjuncts to teach everything they can — core/doctrinal courses included. Any school that repeatedly admits 135 LSATs, plans on failing them out, and then readmits them doesn’t care what happens to its students. They love hiring cheap adjuncts for the spring semester.
        As a bonus, you can find part-time/seasonal prosecutor gigs as well.

      2. Morgan O.

        I think you might be surprised. My father is a retired army colonel who teaches distance learning courses for a small university in Vermont. He is a weird island of calm in the blizzard of hurt feelz, and after three years or so, it has just sort of become a fact. Water is wet, fire is hot, and Dr. O demands that you actually read and then adhere to the rules in his syllabus, or you fail. The university administration discovered that it is fairly difficult to apply pressure to someone who is teaching because they love it, not because they want the next tummy rub/conference/shiny thing for the shelf.

  9. Jim Tyre

    Is it too late to become a DoJ lifer? ‘-) There’s one Main Justice lawyer against whom I’ve been handling a series of cases since about the mid-nineties.

    Seriously I don’t know what the answer is for you. But being several years older than you, I know exactly what motivated this post and the 2008 one. I found a pretty good answer for me, I hope you find a very good one for you.

  10. clonedaddy

    I’m meeting a friend in an hour who practiced civil trial law for 28 years before he decided to write a few unrelated subject books, and teach college courses to non-lawyers, in areas in which he has an interest.

    The average college student could benefit a hell of a lot more from your knowledge than a bunch of law school kids. Fuck, the average high school student could likely benefit a LOT more. That wouldn’t even require much time. “The talk” as you refer to it should be imparted to every kid.

    As to me, I’m working on The Definitive Insults of Scott Greenfield, to be published by Reddit Press.
    This whole subject should be contemplated on a week- long trip to The Maldives in June.
    I’ve already got the overwater villas reserved , and you have Chase/ AMEX points to fly first class.

  11. Rich

    Once again Scott you take a fog of feelings and turn them into a couple of beautifully clear paragraphs.

    I don’t think we are meant to live so long. Not so long ago, relatively few people reached age 50 and even fewer made it to 60.

    For me I don’t think there is an answer. For you, I hope you find one !

      1. Rich

        “We may stay alive forever, but we won’t live that long.”

        Maybe you could be a songwriter!

  12. David

    Go out on your own: find a piece of land you like, build your own house, raise your own food. Maybe even go completely off-grid. Lawyer when you need to get some money. It’s hard, time-consuming, physical labor. But it’s work in service of that most important client: yourself.

    1. SHG Post author

      I kinda like that idea, but alas, Dr. SJ isn’t a big fan of the wilderness. And it isn’t just about me.

  13. CLS

    Godspeed, SHG.

    And I second Rick Horowitz’s plea. Don’t stop blogging. I’m pretty sure we’d hit the Darkest Timeline if Simple Justice went dark.

    Thank you for all the lessons you’ve taught me at your learning tree.

    1. SHG Post author

      Thanks, Chris. Not that I plan on SJ going dark, but remember that even if it does, there will be light somewhere. There always is.

  14. John Barleycorn


    An “old time lawyer”  interested in results who is not afraid of putting in the work to achieve those results.

    Very interesting. Very interesting indeed…

      1. John Barleycorn

        Might be time to start planting some seeds in Dr. SJ’s mind.

        Pro Tip: Be bold. You might be pleasantly surprised with what sort of new and seemingly disconnected shenanigans one can turn into lasting foundations that the misses will tolerate and potentially even encourage in between the empty nest period and the arrival of the first grandchild.

        Clocks-a-ticking…don’t miss out. Plenty of “crazy” productive fun with potential laughing at and with you on the horizon.

        What could go wrong…? Well, I guess there are more than few things but they are more than offset by the fact that chicks of all ages dig a man who accunates his convictions with new adventures. Just don’t go broke.

        What the heck are you waiting for “old man”? It’s an old man’s duty to step it up a notch or two during this segment of the journey, otherwise your children will unwittingly become prematurely board in their 40’s, which will accelerate the decay of humanity, and your grandchildrens will have a more difficult time of conceptualizing their potential.*

        *Do not play this trump card with the misses, under any circumstances during the germination period of the new adventure.

        In fact playing this trump card at anytime is dangerious. Some things are best left unspoken. You just have to let them play out and when they do you can never take credit but the soul shine smiles will more than make up for receiving acknowledgements for your genius.

  15. Troutwaxer

    Is there any pro-bono work you’d like to do? I can think of a few things if you don’t have any ideas!

  16. Kevin

    I think you mentioned teaching, assume they would enable “teaching” at law school. I am dabbling in some of it as part of our law school blog networking (real blogging, as opposed to the milk toast content marketing). It’s pretty rewarding and I have found there is room to disagree with professors. You have quite a few law schools a train ride away.

    1. Billy Bob

      Not looking to dabble, babble or skedaddle. My mind is made up. Please do not confuse me with the facts, the alternative facts or the factual remnants of a demented mind. Law school blog networking–real or unreal–is DOA, as far as I’m concerned. However we appreciate your sincere suggestions and wish you well in your legalistic endeavors. (And hope you are drawing a decent paycheck for your manifest insanity.)
      Finally, we do not teach, we preach,… and we’re not talking the Holy Bible. Do you read us loud and clearly?
      Finally, does your “room” have a view? If not, we’re definitely not interested. Professors are not our favorite animals, if you catch our drift? In fact we wish they were an “endangered species”!

        1. Billy Bob

          We were housebound yesterday on account of Nor’easter #17 passing thru. With a case of Samuel Adams, mind you. With little to do, we hung out here till nine o’clock, an hour past our bedtime. You’ve got a mind like a steel trap. By then, good and blottoed. Not as funny this morning as it was last nite, true that!

  17. B. McLeod

    I have to say, I have kind of been focusing on achieving longer naps. Odd thing, too. I really hated naps when I was a kid. But yeah, it’s the growing old thing.

  18. Patrick Maupin

    I understand the sentiment. I’ve been wanting to do something different for awhile now, but there’s always a new reason for that old inertia.

    If you’re looking for people looking for lawyers, are there any areas that seem interesting? Any you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole?

        1. SHG Post author

          I had brisket for dinner last night. Delicious brisket. Barbecue brisket. Texas barbecue brisket. It was my “special one.” Was that what you meant?

          1. Patrick Maupin

            You should move down here and have it any time you want. Of course, it’ll be harder to get decent seafood…

            But, no, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you want something new and exciting, and that probably doesn’t involve retail law, and I was just curious if you had any other check-boxes of things that seemed possibly exciting, or things that seemed past Dante’s third circle.

            1. SHG Post author

              One of the problems is that we wrap ourselves around certain ideas, which by definition limts us. What about ideas that never really occurred to us? Skillsets applies to new uses can be great fun, and hugely beneficial, but most people don’t consider skills and instead see only how they were previously applied. Small minds and all.

  19. Allen

    I retired 5 years ago. Due to the nature of my work it was a total break at retirement. I highly recommend this approach, don’t look back, don’t try to keep your hand in. I have subsequently built a second vocation doing things that suits my frame of mind since I retired. I work alone, I work slowly with precision, and I pick carefully the people I wish to do business with. The what doesn’t really matter, but it was fun to be a student again for a while.

    I almost forgot, in my case, I found out the good wife really didn’t want to see that much more of me.

      1. Allen

        Yes, I think so. I do custom building contracting. Specialty niches that a general contractor might not do. I get some odd requests but it’s fun.

          1. Billy Bob

            Odd requests! What kinda odd requests are we talking? Inquiring Minds! That is a very curious turn of phrase, especially here on Cape.

            In our society, as currently composed, those who actually work with their hands and “create something” tangible in the physical world get low wages, disrespected and wind up on Section 8 subsidies and food stamps (now called SNAP). Those with “college degrees”, big mouths and bravado get hired by the GoldMan Sax of Sh!t of the world. Or maybe they go into polyticks and/or lobbying. A distinction w/out a difference!

            So, our advice is to stick with the “intangibles” where you can charge mountains of moohla and write it off if you never get paid. If worse comes to shove, you file bancruptcy just like the Orange Man,… how many times? The little weasel who would be Commander in Chief! The one who wrote a couple of books but never read one in college. You know the one! Presidente Tweet!

            1. Patrick Maupin

              Some of SHG’s previous clients probably have methods to insure their builders keep secrets.

          2. Allen

            I have trouble verbalizing it myself but the process of going from your mind to your hands and eye can be immensely satisfying.

          3. Troutwaxer

            Working with wood is definitely a fun hobby. They have classes and there are cool saws now that block the blade from turning when they sense blood. (It doesn’t save you a cut but it does save your finger.)

            When you get really good at it you can build a boat or something extra cool, or just hang out at the makerspace.

            1. Billy Bob

              Working with heavy metal is just as much fun, especially if you like old motor vehicles and iron furniture, or garden art. They have classes in that as well. Cool welding devices which prevent you from getting burned and scorched to death.

              If you’re going to build a boat, we recommend a “lifeboat”, because the tsunami flood is coming along with the sea level rise. And you just might need it. Personally, we’d rather hang at the marketplace where we can watch all the pretty girls go by. Do they make a device which prevents you from getting close to that despicable lawyer who smells blood?

              P.S., if you make something out of wood, best paint it. It will sell faster. Brown wood is out of fashion at the moment. If you decorate with flowers and fancy designs, that’s even better. Rocking chairs are out; nobody wants em, not even the pregnant ladies. No time for sitting and rocking, unless demented. Maybe down South on an especially hot day?

            2. SHG Post author

              I just bought titanium stock and sent it to my son. I prefer brass and bronze, but that’s just me.

  20. KP

    Spend a week with everyone who comments on here and is keen to have you!

    Anytime you want to visit you’re welcome, I reckon I’d learn a lot! Somewhere along the way someone will get you interested in something!

    Since I retired I’ve got caught up in fixing 30yr old cars and hotting them up, then a lot of 10-day periods on a farm 6hours away building rally cars for a youngster, a big vege garden seeing I never did that when I was younger, and plenty of involvement in the growing of plants at the local Botanic Gardens, something else I never expected to be doing..

    Its a big world out here!

    1. SHG Post author

      I will have plenty of time to drive the ’64 Healey in the garage. Stock, but a joy.

      Notice what you don’t see in this comments (or my email box)? Anyone who says “I have a company,” or “I’m at X Law School,” or “I run a business,” or “I manage a newspaper,” or “I have a TV production company,” and we want you to come work for us.

      1. John Barleycorn

        Hummm… could be your audience is unaware that an open unsolicited solicitation equipped with grousers to get some extra traction does not make one a grouser?

        That and perhaps the little know fact that your, at times, crumdgen-ish prose style is not indicative of your overall good natuted disposition?

        Or then again, despite your millennial-ish charm and efforts when it comes to unsolicited solicitation, your X and Y  chromosomes, having gracefully aged beyond your parents wildest imagination, are currently out of favor with the current trends of the desired heterogametic lottery outcome, which in turn is bound to fuck up the entitlement factor of a proven track record?

        Who knows? However, it is very nice to hear that you are wise enough to realize that pro bono legal work is best reserved for the second to last stage of the journey. Which in your case will probably be at least a decade and a half away, depending on the cardiovascular nature of your next undertaking, unless you decide to buy a
        Tibetan Mastiff to act as service dog just to fuck with people on the subway and balance out your natural good looks.

        P.S. An “all in sort” of guy, you say? Ummm….very interesting, very interesting indeed!

        One or two more points of clarification might be in order then. (That is, if Grassley hasn’t sent his minions over to interview you for special assingment yet before George T. Conway III makes up his mind about seat warmer candidates while he is away on sabbatical).

        Do you have any immediate salary requirements that may interfere with this professed  “all in” sentiment of yours before your future efforts are justly rewarded?

        Are you a quick learner who is willing to make the leap from that baby tractor of yours to a D-9 dozer of the literal and figurative variety when your talents are not focused on directional planing or assisting with logistical complexities?

        And least but not last are you willing to put a clause in your contract that will result in immediate termination and a $7,500,000.00 fine deductible from your severance package if you ever reference, under any circumstances, Seth Godin’s name?

        P.S.S. If Grassley or that George guy scoop you up with promises of seconds from the secrete service or indicted navy guys I  still get first dibs on the URL right?

  21. Cristian

    Adopt me.

    No, but seriously: Go to 100 Centre St. and adopt a young, bumbling public defender and teach him all your ways. Or start a nonprofit or clinic of sorts that will do the same for aspiring criminal defense lawyers.

    May be a lot of work, but I’ve no doubt it’d be rewarding.

    1. SHG Post author

      I’ve “adopted” many young lawyers over the years, and so few ever write (get it?). Others have been sadly disappointing, far more concerned with their self-aggrandizement than anything else. Being a parent has its ups and downs. You, as you know, have been a source of great pride to me.

      LAS trains their new public defenders. In fact, the person who ran their training recently retired (and he’s a reader of SJ, I should note). LAS can always reach out to me if they want me to take the post.

      Would it be rewarding? I bet it would, but then, it’s really up to someone else to decide that they want me to do so. I’m here. They know where to find me.

  22. grberry

    I’m not a hiring manager, nor a lawyer, but I am part of our legal team. While our legal team doesn’t have any publicized openings today, we are often looking. After enough years here for a child to have been born and graduated from high school, I do have enough reputation to get someone interviewed and enough respect for you to do it should there ever be an opening here that looks good to you. Most of our senior legal professionals do a mix of commercial negotiation (business terms) and legal contracting (legal terms), though there are the more traditional corporate law, IP law roles also.

    For a non-standard retired lawyer job, take a look at The Legal Genealogist and her blog. I read it at pretty much the same frequency as yours – just usually about 12 hours later.

  23. Liam McDonald

    I had a similar time though I was 45. So I decided to try something that scared the he’ll out of me and was extremely difficult to do properly.

    I started doing stand up comedy at a local open mic.

    The first 8 times was a colossal failure. And then it started to click. 5 years later and I am still doing it and occasionally I get paid.

    You will be surrounded by mostly young wannabee’s but after a time, the veterans will start to take you seriously.

      1. Liam McDonald

        I do have to emphasize that it is a scary, difficult thing to do if you wish to do it well. My job revolves around public speaking, which I do well, but it is not the same thing as enticing a crowd to burst out laughing

        You’re writing is excellent and you are already somewhat humorous but I would recommend perhaps reading up on the topic. Work on the flow, delivery and most of all the style. Most people are unaware that there are a large number of styles. Not just straight man, funny man, storyteller

        1. SHG Post author

          I suspect my sense of humor might not align well with a broader audience. It’s a bit on the quirky side. That said, I’ve spent 35 years talking publicly, so its nothing new for me.

          1. Liam McDonald

            That’s why it’s such a challenge. My sense of humour is nothing like me on stage. There are many comedians that try to do just that and they fail because they are not that funny.
            For examples watch Steven Wright, Chris Rock and Emo Williams. I have met all of them and they are nothing like they are on stage (especially Emo). They are just normal guys
            And there is a huge difference speaking publicly and doing comedy. The response (or typically lack of response) is instantaneous

  24. Scott Jacobs

    Take up hunting.

    Not normal, boring hunting, but the most dangerous prey… Man!

    I saw a movie about it once.

  25. Neil

    The ICC (International Criminal Court) is looking for lawyers with experience in criminal and/or international law. They have several crimes against humanity cases in progress now, and their website provides a great deal of access to the proceedings and associated filings. They maintain a ‘List of Counsel’ and a description of all the pre-requisites for joining that list.

    1. SHG Post author

      Some years ago, I was asked to work at the ICC. The incentives were grossly inadequate. More to the point, that seems to be missed by most of the well-intended comments, is that this is the same thing, new location. It appears that few can wrap their heads around the notion of doing something different rather than minor variations of the same thing.

  26. Kathleen Casey

    Hillary is looking for a different mountain too. ; ]

    Seriously, what’s needed in or near your community? Something useful you can do without the commute?

  27. D-Poll

    It’s impossible to judge what’ll set off another person’s ‘achievement’ meter, so I can only tell you what works for me: I like to build things. There’s a huge space of possibilities in the category of “building things”, from carpentry to electrical engineering to computer programming. You seem to have the temperament for any of them. You mention in another comment that you wish you were a carpenter; as a matter of fact, you can be. All you need to start is a hammer, nails, and a dreamsome wood. In the long run, there’s money in it, too, since construction is flush with unfilled jobs and has been for years. If that’s not something you can see yourself doing, though, you’d also be a great programmer; there aren’t nearly enough who understand the care and precision that the field requires.

    1. SHG Post author

      Part of wishing I was a carpenter is wishing I had skills. I have tools. I’ve used them. I know how to use them. Craftsmen are not threatened by my mad carpentry skillz. My appreciation of other people’s skills does not mean I share them.

    2. Billy Bob

      This is an interesting comment. Since I was a carpenter in a previous lifetime, I feel a desperate urge to merge. Let me say this: Old carpenters never die, they just become antique dealers. And so it was!

      Carpentry and building construction may be fine hobbies, but they’re terrible occupations. For multiple reasons we need not get into here. Just one for instance: Wages have essentially gone nowhere in 25 years. A carpenter is lucky if he can make $25/hr. working on a million dollar house. Meanwhile, the house will be purchased by either a lawyer charging $185/hr. or a fast-talking, button-pushing hedge fund manager who engages in “carry-trade” and takes home millions in “unearned” income. It’s ridiculous, unfair, and not the Amerikan way.

      So we drop out and become “antiques dealers”, and guess what? That stinks too. Nobody cares for your bloody antiques that you worked so hard restoring, refinishing, refurbishing. It does not pay; it’s a crappy business model, in spite of the entertaining TV shows and the crooked auctions. The folks certainly do want to pay; they want to hang onto their stocks and bonds while living in McMansion–or Manhattan condos–full of gadgets but devoid of quality home furnishings. And as for hammers and nails,… You might carry a hammer on the job, but you won’t use it much anymore. It’s all nail-guns now. The hammer is for show, kinda like the stethoscope around the doctor’s neck and the rows of law books in the legal office.

      There are reasons why construction is flush with unfilled jobs–why immigrant labor is in big demand–and why the labor market is “flush” with lawyers who cannot make a living wage or find work suitable to their education levels. The economy is distorted, and we know why and who is to blame! But we’re not telling. Just keep it a hobby, but not a Hobby Lobby, D-Pollster. As for electrical engineering and computer programming,… a day late and a dollar short. Too late for that as memory loss and Allah Zheim Disease sets in.

      We’re all in agreement: The legal profession is depressing, and getting more so by the day. Better dayz are comin’!

  28. Anthony

    Your sense of humor seems strong, Might help to laugh at this mess of a world a bit more. I’d guess you’ve done more than your share of saving it.

    1. SHG Post author

      I’ve thrown a word or two against the wall. Still waiting for the phone to ring begging me to let the NY Times put them on their page.

          1. Anthony

            Hey no offense intended. Levity greases the cogs of life i mean. Doesn’t have to be a hat.

            And that’s…… My opinion. Derp

      1. ShallMustMay

        Hope this reply falls in line … As much as I would like to see your insight and straight talk in the NYT for the masses as well – I don’t see it happening. I’ve visited your front lawn & back pages going on 8 years. If you want to write for masses I would recommend The Intercept. You can stick with criminal defense however abuse of authority does not discrimate. You have much to offer & I think a lot of your talent is geared to your peers. Fine and good until it’s wasted for whatever reason.
        As far as Dr. SJ? Is it in the realm of possibilities for her to pull back or even her desire? If yes then how about some time together. Travel. Serious travel! Spend a month or two in Central America to start. It’s close & affordable. Start reading travel blogs by other couples who are heading out for the 3rd phase of their life. You can still write. Just a thought …

        1. SHG Post author

          Much as I like the Intercept is many ways, and am good friends with some of its writers, we don’t share an approach to crim law issues. I am what may be kindly described as insufferably rational toward law rather than agenda-driven. The Intercept tends to fall back on the teary anecdote, regardless of whether its doctrinal sound.

          And Dr. SJ and I travel, and always have. It may not appear here, but it happens.

  29. Brian Cowles

    There is one possibility that no one’s mentioned – if you wanted to, you could take up programming.

    It requires almost the exact same set of personality traits that law does, and there’s nothing quite like watching a program you wrote (and tried to fix, a thousand times or more) finally compile and run correctly.

    My uncle once told me that the one way a programmer can guarantee he will always have a job is to learn those old languages, because the people who grew up with those languages are either retiring or haven’t used them in years, but machines in the industrial sector still use them (because updating their software is actually more trouble than buying a new machine, and new machines usually cost on the order of millions of dollars).

      1. Brian Cowles

        Not at all. Python is far too young. Some of the machines I work with predate World War II, and many of them were later rebuilt using the monochrome green displays that were the only things available at the time.

    1. Patrick Maupin

      Many lawyers can make great programmers. Many musicians, too.

      But same personality traits?

      Many an excellent programmer would not be able to sway a jury worth anything, and some wouldn’t even be able to refrain from telling a judge to fuck off.

      1. SHG Post author

        Programming is binary. Lawyering is tolerance for ambiguity. Don’t let anyone tell you punchcards will replace lawyers, as anybody who learned to program on Fortran in the olden days will remember, just one hanging chad in ten million cards will make you cry.

      2. Brian Cowles

        Many an excellent pianist can’t play the violin either. I don’t mean job skills – I mean things like temperament, persistence, and the willingness to seek answers.

        And, SHG, I’m fully aware that the only way computers will replace lawyers is if the computers become the lawyers – along with everything that implies, including actual thought.

        1. SHG Post author

          You’re much too optimistic. AI will do an exceptionally consistent mediocre job of the routine practice of law, but it will cost less money until there are no more real lawyers, at which point market forces will take over. Hilarity will ensue.

          1. Brian Cowles

            Not a Kurzweil fan, I take it. That’s all right, his predictions creep me the hell out sometimes.

        2. Patrick Maupin

          Not being able to refrain from telling a judge to fuck off isn’t part of temperament? Whatever.

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