Recently I had the chance to reevaluate my standing as a bankruptcy lawyer. I asked myself a few questions about my practice, my goals and what my intentions are as a lawyer.
In all honesty, I have been unable to convince myself that I love being a lawyer. Financially, emotionally and academically, it is a demanding career path. Hard work, diligence and often times the pursuit of perfection are required.
Pursuing perfection is not always healthy.
On the other hand, I realized that I love getting people out of debt. I love giving people a fresh financial start. I love breaking the chains of debt slavery and freeing people to pursue their pursuit, whatever that may be.
“There’s Always a Happy Ending”
Just recently, I was discussing bankruptcy with a new friend. The conversation spun on how I got into bankruptcy law and why I enjoy it. The answer was quite simple:
“There is always a happy ending.”
When I look back on the thousands of bankruptcy cases I have worked on in my career, I truly can’t think of one that did not conclude with success.
Success is measured by staying true to the roadmap laid out during the initial consultation and achieving the mapped out objectives. Typically, the ultimate goal is to emerge from bankruptcy debt free or with a significant reduction in debt owed.
When that goal is achieved, I have fulfilled my obligation as a lawyer and provided my client with a happy ending to their otherwise dark financial tale.
Bankruptcy vs. Law
I realized early on that practicing law in the bankruptcy arena was just different than anything else. The practice of law is typically adversarial, aggressive and fueled by the competitive necessity to “win” for your client.
Bankruptcy practice is peaceful. While adversarial, there is typically cooperation and an established rapport between opposing parties.
Steeped in equity, the bankruptcy law as written is designed to benefit creditors and debtors. For debtors, the law is not simply written to get you out of debt but also provides for a “fresh start” financially.
I have seen the havoc that debt wreaks on people’s lives. It is destructive and debilitating and leads to darkness.
I love being able to shine a light on that darkness. I love writing happy endings.
Photo Credit: Ninian_Reid (Flickr)