Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Yesterday I attended a day-long session organized by my law school entitled "Surviving and Thriving as a New Lawyer." I found the program worthwhile and recommend it to any readers who might be IU-Indy 2Ls or 3Ls. The agenda included presentations on topics such as 'Finding and Utilizing Mentors' and 'Effective Time Management and Technology Skills.'

One speaker, a respected local attorney who volunteers much of his time with the local bar association and to activities at the law school, said something that made me uncomfortable. While discussing diligence and preparation, he touched on the topic of going to trial and said something like, "A good way to get your feet wet is with pro bono cases. You don't want your 1st trial to be one where $1 million is on the line." So - the problems of a client who can't afford an attorney aren't as important, don't mean as much, as problems of clients whose potential losses equal $1 million or more?

I know he didn't mean it that way, and I realize that the big money cases are more often than not about more than money. If a business goes under, employees lose jobs and families lose incomes and homes and health insurance. But I didn't like the way it sounded.

And despite my indignation at the remark, or because of it, I was reminded of the 1st IV I ever started as a nurse. At my nursing school, we didn't learn technical skills like starting IVs or drawing blood. I was a licensed RN and on the job before I ever attempted an IV start on anything more than a mannequin.

I was being oriented to our labor and delivery unit and my preceptor and I assumed care of a recently admitted laboring patient. Our patient was young, Hispanic, spoke no English, and was in early labor and not yet in any pain with her contractions. The fact that she was in control and not thrashing about demanding an epidural made her the perfect person on whom for me to 'practice' starting an IV. Through my limited Spanish I was able to explain what we were about to do, but because she understood no English she seemed unaware that this would be my first time attempting to start an IV on a real person.

I was nervous but tried to appear calm so she wouldn't sense my inexperience as my preceptor stood behind me and issued instructions when needed. Blessedly, I got the IV on the very first stick. All was well, I gained some confidence, and I was relieved to have that hurdle behind me.

Ever since then when I think back on that moment, I've had a pang of guilt because I was grateful at the time that she didn't understand what was going on. I wonder if I took advantage of her by not telling her directly that I had never before performed the common procedure. Beyond that, however, after many years at a teaching hospital and now after 3 years as a law student, I have learned that everyone needs to learn.

No one wants to be a guinea pig, but people aren't born knowing how to perform brain surgery or try a case in court. There is nothing wrong with being new, with attempting something for the first time. What is unacceptable, however, is believing that some people deserve better legal representation or better health care than others. Each and every client, like each and every patient, deserves my best effort.

About Me

Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls

Today's Song Lyric

All you do is call me, I'll be anything you need

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E-mail: justplayinblog -at- gmail.com


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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Do Not Overmix
From Engineer to Lawyer
Failure to Comprehend
Favorable Dicta
A Girl Walks Into a Bar(exam)
the imbroglio
Indiana Barrister
The Indiana Law Blog
IndyLaw Net
Legal Underground
The Menagerie
Mother in Law
The Neutral Zone Trap
Obiter Dictum
Screaming Bean
SC Trial Law Blog
Taking Down Words

Blogs I Read

About a Nurse
advanced maternal age
Be The Boy
code blog: tales of a nurse
Deb, hatched
Go Fug Yourself
Going Bananas
The Great Spirit
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Martinis, Persistence...
Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
Post Secret
preaching to the perverted
Ruth's Blog
...the slack daily
Texas T-bone
30 Something Baby Doc
Unnamed Source
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