Being an employer is hard. Really hard. I had no idea when I started my nonprofit that you have to do things like pay payroll taxes. Pay for worker's compensation insurance. Pay for...well everything. I am surprised someone as thoughtful (right? I CAN be thoughtful) as me didn't realize how much my former employers shelled out so I could make a living. It's a LOT.
Last weekend our little project had a huge boost. We attended the state bar convention, where I spoke on a panel. I talked about my experience graduating and not finding a job. I talked about the low bono movement (AKA "The Revolution"). I talked about making my own path and blowing off On Campus Interviews or "OCI" in favor of more practical training like avoiding Law School Pizza or "LSP".
As I ranted about unattainable overhead costs, inflated legal fees, and the modest means/aka low bono market, I saw people physically lean forward to listen to me. I even raised my fist in triumph, causing the audience to erupt in laughter. My partner and best friend sat in the front row and took photos. He was very proud and supportive. What happened next was even better.
The keynote speaker, someone who I believe to be downright prescient in his predictions about the legal market and highly in tune, asked me for MY card. It was swell. Then the bar president chatted me up for a while. The co-chair of the bar committee which deals with the low bono market asked me to have a drink and talk about my future plans. A big firm lawyer started talking about how others he mentors will do what I did (only as a solo and not a nonprofit) and then get offers from firms once they have had 3-5 years experience and because of the disappearing partner track he is advising them to TURN IT DOWN.
Many many people at the convention wanted to set up referrals and get brochures and have us speak on more panels and perhaps teach a CLE. There is momentum going on.
Viva la revolucion!
That said, being a boss sucks. We have to pay quarterly taxes in April and I would so much be doing a suppression hearing than dealing with that. With any luck, we will have someone else handling all that nonsense next year. We are growing, and things are going well, and that is what matters. Plus I am very grateful to myself for being a good boss and paying for things like worker's comp!