How I have had 5 Careers in the Legal Industry.

Life in Biglaw

Only 1 person is still at the firm, but thats a story for another day!

It was only later when I learned what really matters isn’t what you bill, but what you invoice and eventually collect!

The rainmaker whose team operated by its own rules (coming in at 10am and leaving at 4pm), the partner who had been at the firm all his 40 year career, the partners who struggled to make budget and how we all tried to stay away from them because they wouldn’t be in a position to retain you as an associate. There was also the partner who never took on a female or black associates, the partner who only took on LGBTQ associates and so I made a concerted effort to join the team of the partner who only took on Black associates.

As a mining lawyer I felt like I was doing something important by contributing to the development of communities. I got my first glimpse into politics in the wave of Marikana, investigating unsafe working conditions, developing environmental plans for rehabilitating mine property, working with corporate executives to understand their strategy and the adrenalin of speeding down the N1 from Joburg to Pretoria to meet arbitrary regulator deadlines for various submissions. I loved the centrality of the role and how each matter brought new challenges.

Throughout my career I wanted to maintain that feeling of being connected to people, processes and policies while creating a product that’s profitable.

Going In-House

Starting Out

Starting Up

“Aight, bet.”

Next?

To my dad, who is the 6th man in these pivots.

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