First, what do I do? I specialize in trusts and estates, which means we do estate planning (drafting wills, trusts, end of life documents, etc), and administration (trust administration, probate, after-death planning). This means I’m really good at my area of laws (trusts, estates, and to some extent, taxes) and know very little about the others.
Also, I shouldn’t have to do this, but I’m a lawyer, and we’re all about covering our asses:
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Last time, I talked about litigators. Today, transactional attorneys. Yeah, we’re the boring ones.
True confession time: I’ve never once stood up in Court and yelled, “I object!” I’m pretty sure that means I’m not a real lawyer, despite all the fancy paper that hangs on my walls.
Transactional attorneys are the ones who draft all the paperwork. We form corporations, we draft documents, we file things. We rarely appear in Court. I like to tell my clients that if I’m doing my job right, we never have to go to Court. And that’s true, for the most part. I mean, sometimes you just can’t avoid it, or your boss orders you to appear for her, but my goal is to stay out of the courthouse as much as possible.
Not for any real reason – the judge I appear in front of is actually quite awesome and all of the people who work at the Courthouse are, for the most part, pretty fantastic. But I’m not cut out to be a litigator, so I like to present my arguments in a well reasoned paper than on my feet, pacing the well (that’s the part of the courtroom where the attorneys sit, just FYI).
So essentially, we’re paper pushers. Which sounds weak and unimportant. But let me tell you, the world runs on paper. And a whole lot of what we do is REALLY important. So no giving us crap for not being the ones bringing a jury to tears (not that in California a trusts and estates lawyer would ever wind up in a jury trial…).
I guess I don’t really have a lot to say about it. My life is largely spent in front of a computer. I meet with clients occasionally, but a lot of my interaction is over the phone (ick) or over email (hooray!). I draft what’s needed and I send it off. I often do a lot of research and spend far more time with my nose buried in a paper copy (gasp!) of the CA Probate Code than I ever thought possible (and you thought this blog post was boring!)
Sorry I don’t have a lot to say… any questions?
Next time: support staff (or, the people who actually are far more helpful than lawyers)
Skye became the black sheep of her university’s literature department when she announced that what she really wanted to do for her senior thesis, instead of writing a thought-provoking essay on the deeper meanings of James Joyce, was to write a romance novel. They gave in, however, and the rest is history. As a result, Skye learned more than she ever thought possible about the inner workings of the publishing industry and off and on, given her schedule, pursued publication of both her senior thesis and other novels she’s written along the way.
Skye has many names and almost as many personalities to go with them. As Melinda Skye, she writes Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. As Skye Forbes, she may (or may not) have saved the world a few times over. In her real life, under another different name, Skye is a lawyer. And yes, if you ask nicely, she might help keep you out of jail. Or put you in it. It depends on her mood.
Skye lives in California, with her husband, brand new daughter, and menagerie of animals.