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TCL > January 2011 Issue > Question of the Month: What will you be doing when you’re no longer practicing law?

January 2011       Vol. 40, No. 1       Page  13
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Question of the Month: What will you be doing when you’re no longer practicing law?

Colorado Bar Association members are being asked questions related to the law and the legal profession. Responses, which do not identify the sender, have been edited for clarity, spelling, grammar, and space. Look for future Question(s) of the Month on the CBA’s Thursday C-Brief listserv, on the CBA’s Facebook page, and on Next month’s question appears at the bottom of this page.

What will you be doing when you’re no longer practicing law?

> When I am no longer practicing law as a profession, I wish to continue to practice as an avocation. I want to be able to take cases of intellectual interest, regardless of whether they generate fees, and cases where my sense of outrage is provoked and I need not concern myself with the business decisions involved. To me, that would be the ideal way to end my days—on my feet, in court, engaged in something I feel passionate about, simply because I can.


> There are days! However, I still love what I am doing (after nearly twenty-nine years), and cannot see myself not practicing and still be above ground. I do see myself working fewer hours in the next twenty-nine years, though.


> Back in my undergraduate days, I seriously considered being a professional photojournalist and took some classes toward that goal. It would have scratched several of my youthful itches because it involves action, worthy investigations, art (to a certain extent), and even possibly serving the goal of "justice for all."

I ultimately decided as a practical matter that most photographers spend their careers shooting bar mitzvahs, weddings, proms, graduations, and things for other people. That’s okay, but it’s not what I had in mind. Unfortunately, there were very few war correspondent jobs and I recognized I would never be another Ansel Adams or Edward Weston. Consequently, I reconsidered. It finally dawned on me that if I became a lawyer, I should be able to afford all the expensive pro photographer toys, but shoot just to please myself, not an editor or studio.

It has worked out fairly well over the years. There’s not much action being an attorney and little art, but plenty of investigation and serving justice. I like that. Although photography was relegated to a hobby in the interim, I have felt good about the amateur product I have produced over the years. When I retire, I would like to spend more time at it. There are four or five decades of accumulated old photos of mine to redo with the new Photoshop revision tools and a whole world of brand-new things calling for camera attention.

I’ll still never be Ansel Adams and, after a stint in Vietnam, I have lost my taste for war. On the other hand, I’m not bad and there is always the possibility of improvement.


> I will continue to practice until I can’t walk to the courthouse.


> I just couldn’t resist: Decaying in a box or fertilizing the plants as my PR so chooses.


> When I am no longer practicing law, I expect I will spend much of my time blacksmithing. I have been a hobby blacksmith for thirty-plus years, and it is excellent psychological therapy for someone who works with papers and ideas all day to create something tangible. I expect that I will continue doing it as long as I am physically able to do so.


> Being a legal mystery writer.


> I’ll be knitting and traveling and making fused glass art. Can I start tomorrow?


> Pushing up the daisies.

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