This may sound strange but I am so, so, so happy that winter vacations are over. To my surprise, three of the attorneys in my office took 3 week-long vacations over Christmas (note for file: government attorneys have no problem using vacation time!). Others took 2 and 1 week-long vacations. Me, being the newbie, was appointed to be one of the two attorneys on call during this time period.
Because I'm just a temporary employee, I don't have any of my own clients yet. So, before everyone left, I made sure to amass as many assignments and projects as possible. You have a research project for me? Yes, please! Although I had plenty to do, my days were slow and kind of boring. Eight hours a day, it was just me and my computer, and nothing to break the monotony. No meetings, no urgent requests, no e-mails or phone calls to respond to. Blah. There were some days when I barely had any human interaction (there was barely anyone in our office!) A couple of times I sat at my desk and thought, "maybe this dream job isn't so dreamy after all." I fell into my normal temptation to browse job postings (I've had four jobs in four years, apparently, I'm trigger happy when it comes to moving on).
When January rolled around and people returned, I did a little happy dance. New assignments flooded in and my calendar became full of meetings once again. Most of all, there were PEOPLE to talk to! These simple things have made my work day so much better. I've been asked to assist on some projects (developing policies and procedures for the oversight of essential executive government functions) which will give me a little more exposure with the people who will decide whether I can stay for the long term.
My pride and joy is still the work that I get to do on defending tort litigation. I have to admit, when a week or two goes by without any litigation work, I really start to miss insurance defense. Luckily for me, I have already been tasked to write two dispositive motions this month, both involving creative legal arguments based upon interesting areas of state case law. I'm trying to savor these tasks as much as possible knowing that I may not get to draft another motion for months (sadness!).
Overall, I am still so very happy to be working for local government. Just when I think the honeymoon period of this new job has run its course, I fall in love all over again. It's been such a learning curve to try to figure out exactly what the lawyers in my department do, but it's been an enjoyable introductory period full of challenges and surprises and successes. Every morning I wonder what interesting new projects I will be given next. The real excitement will come when I am assigned my very own clients. The only frustrating part has been living in limbo as to whether or not I will get a permanent position. But so far this hasn't been too stressful and I'm able to just take it day by day.