June 17th, 2010

little blue dog

state of the dog

Two weeks ago I was laid off. In nine days I get married. It's been a bit of a maelstrom in between, but, somewhat paradoxically, a calm one. As in, I've been a lot busier with job search and wedding prep activities, but my days are now unencumbered by office work.

In terms of a job, it's refreshing that a lot of opportunities are materializing ... friends and former colleagues alike are forwarding listings to me, and I've been responding to several. There are a few pretty exciting in-house positions out there right now, including a couple locally at Nike and Columbia, as well as some that are more distant. In fact, one of the larger clients I assisted at my old firm has an opening for in-house patent counsel that I'm pursuing (waiting for a phone call right now, actually) ... the catch is that their corporate headquarters are in LA. Relocation right now is really not in the cards, but I'm holding out hope that I can somehow leverage my expertise with their patent work into some sort of partial telecommute arrangement. We'll see, I guess.

In addition to in-house positions, I'm also looking for firm positions. This economy is tough on smaller firms like mine, so if I had my druthers, I'd join a larger one with a more stable and diverse client portfolio. But again, we'll see. I've got resumes in to several.

Meanwhile, the "default" plan is getting banged out right now, and that's associating with a smaller IP firm run by a good friend and former mentor, as "of counsel" to his firm. This is if we can figure out the specifics, which really might just boil down to fee allocations. He doesn't have enough work to hire me full-time, and besides which, my skill set is more or less cumulative to his, so I wouldn't really be a good candidate if he did. However, I have (or had) a decent book, and if some clients follow me, it would benefit me greatly to have an association with his firm, both to instill a sense of confidence in my clients and also to handle the administrative aspect of legal practice. Again: we'll see.

With respect to the employment situation, my mood's generally been optimistic and mellow. I'm more irritable, but that's probably just due to a feelings of impatience, and helplessness and frustration ... the latter two directed mainly at my former firm, which is really dragging its feet in terms of client matters. We agreed we'd send out joint letters to clients I assisted, because they (the clients) need to be advised (1) of my departure and (2) that they need to decide who will represent them from now on ... but it's been a couple weeks now and my calls and emails to the firm aren't getting returned. Also, I've asked a few times how emails to my firm address are being routed, and haven't received any reply. It's irresponsible on their part, but the idea of taking any action based on an alleged ethical violation might just be more trouble than it's worth. I don't know that there's really any harm in letting it go until things are set with my friend's firm; I would feel more comfortable informing the clients that I'm now with another firm, than simply telling them that I'm no longer with my old firm.

Onto the wedding ... we are both getting really excited as the day approaches. Any "jitters" we have are more due to unsettled details about the event than anything else. Nic's folks arrive in town tomorrow to help, which ... I have mixed feelings about. Certainly having them around to assist with unforeseen prep details will be fantastic, but hopefully too many cooks won't spoil the vision Nic and I have for everything. Also, we have yet to plan the specifics of the ceremony itself. I do feel a sense of accomplishment about having figured out a majority of the logistics so far, and now with Nic done with school for the summer, she is gung-ho about getting the rest of the plan settled, but man am I finding it exhausting! I don't mean to imply I'm not looking forward to it - the opposite, in fact: I wouldn't have nearly the energy I've given to it if I wasn't incredibly excited about marrying Nicole - still, the idea that we'll be in Mexico a couple weeks from today, sipping on margaritas in the shade on a hot, sunny day, just signifies a sense of calmness that I'm looking forward to. But there'll be a pretty damn fun party before that.