Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Buttonflowers & Tears

I spend a good portion of my time interviewing potential clients via telephone. I like it. I'm good at it. I'm a fool for a compelling story, and while not every story I hear is true, most of them are pretty darn compelling.

Sometimes I squelch the desire to laugh during the interview (see "Top 10 Things Not to Do If You Wish to Remain Gainfully Employed"), but I'm very aware that most people would not be calling our law firm if they weren't experiencing some of the worst events of their lives.

But I rarely cry. Sometimes I think I cried so much in my 20s and 30s that I'm all cried out now. Sometimes I wish I could cry, especially when it might simply be a good release.

Today I almost cried during a client intake. The intake caller warned me there would be tears. I just didn't think they would be mine. I'm a good interviewer, and usually am able to keep people on track and get the initial information my supervising attorneys need to decide if they can offer a consultation. I can usually calm upset or angry people down. I've also heard a lot of sad tales in 25 years of interviewing people.

So I was surprised when I started to tear up during an intake today. And then I was proud to work for a law firm that cares about its clients, practices in highly specialized areas like civil rights, employment, and immigration, and is in a position to at least give this person, whose family unit has been shattered, some answers.

On a lighter note, I loved the bright touches of color Megan's (Megan Mae Daily) obi belt and buttonflower brought to an otherwise conservative outfit, pretty typical of law office appropriate wear, i.e. modest blouse, pencil skirt, and heels. My Fluevogs are the best investment shoe I ever made, too. I use the light blue as a bright neutral; if someone forced me to throw out all of my work shoes except one pair, this would be the pair I'd keep.

JKLA California tee (@ $9 at Ross last year); Mossimo pencil skirt (Target); Fluevog Coffee Shoes - Breva; Obi tie belt (Megan Mae Daily); Buttonflower (Megan Mae Daily); Gold leaf earrings (my mom's from way back when); Plastic bracelets (one goes as far back as my college days which is pretty far...)

My fave belt evah.

Yes, those are really old power beads. No, I don't want to give them up :P
What's the hardest part of your job?

P.S. Bonus pic 'cause Megan said she needed a Corgi fix:

The Corginator (with a li'l Hubs in the background)

12 comments:

  1. Oh, wow, I love how you tied it! I must emulate! Great outfit, Lynne, and I love how much you are grooving on your Fluevogs - they're perfect with this!

    The worst part about my job is that I never get any uninterrupted time to do large projects.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww I am sad for you. I'm a crier too. It sounds like a tough job to handle, but hey criers live longer because their bodies process stress hormones more effectively. ;)

    You look amazing in your obi! I love what you did with the buttonflower and how well it goes with your outfit. I can't wait to see how else you style it, and hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

    Aww! The Corgi is so precious! Look at that tongue!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i am not a crier at all, so i always feel bad for those that are
    the hardest part of my job is when i am super swamped with work and my machine breaks down like it did today
    such a pain!!
    brett

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aw! My mom has a Corgi named Mork and he is the cutest--he actually smiles! I love those dogs.

    I had a similar experience earlier this year with a client intake. It's so hard because after working in family law for a while, you get kind of jaded, but this guy literally had me tearing up! I felt so bad for his situation. It was literally as if everything in his world was crumbling and he is just the sweetest old man ever.

    On a lighter note, I love your belt. That Megan is one talented lady!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the obi belt AND the fact that you cried. To me, this says wonderful things about have "soul" as well as professionalism in your office. I know that I sometimes have to deal with crying students and on rare occasions I've been known to physically hug them...although as a rule that is discouraged. I trust my gut though and do what is HUMANLY appropriate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love how you described your shoes as a bright neutral! And that obi belt is stunning, a real signature piece. It must feel satisfying to help so many people.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the detail you added here with the ties and buttons..it looks amazing!! I would love to try this sometime. I teach high school journalism...the hardest part is dealing with helicopter parents...and with handling parents when the high school newspaper prints something they do not like. Every year we stir up a controversy...it comes with the territory...let me tell, be careful what you write about CHEERLEADING!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have gotten teary for 1 intake, and it still makes me teary just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very pretty - as always - and thank you for the Corgi fix! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. You styled that belt to perfection!!!

    Stopped by to tell you your kimono dress post inspired a purchase of mine... while shopping for an outfit for my son's graduation next week...I would have never looked twice at my find....it if I hadn't been so inspired by your beautiful dress...Thanks for the style inspiration my dear!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Major props to you for caring so much about what you do.

    Second, you look great in this outfit - I am loving that top with the ruche detail!

    ReplyDelete

We love comments here; we feed them, hug them, and name them George :) Seriously, your comments make my day.