Right out of the gate, and already in some trouble with "the man." That's where I found myself when the mail came on Wednesday night.
Back in November, fresh off my swearing-in ceremony and my shingle still dripping with wet paint, I made some business decisions that I thought needed to be made to get my practice off the ground. One such decision was to subscribe to Westlaw. I still don't know why I did this, for two reasons: (1) I never really mastered Westlaw in law school, doing most of my research in the library; and (2) I don't really need the thing anyway. But it was one of those things I thought you needed to be a lawyer, so I was sure surprised when I started talking to actual lawyers who didn't use a commercial database like Westlaw or LexisNexis for their research.
So, there I was, on the verge of paying $100/month for something I didn't need and would never use...and with four years of training in advocating a position, I couldn't just let that be the end of it. I called Thomson-West to try and undo my stupid mistake. After talking with a somewhat unsympathetic (but polite) agent, and faxing in a letter of explanation, I though everything was OK. Up until I got the mail Wednesday, that is.
An unnamed person at the Return Credit Processing desk wrote to let me know my request to terminate my contract was denied, and I would be held to the two-year term I agreed to. This was a bit disappointing, as you might imagine.
Fortunately I managed to reach a very nice West Group regional manager, and he has promised to get the contract canceled. Whew. But I won't be able to let my guard down completely until February comes and goes and I don't get a bill from West. *fingers crossed*
Recent activities: On Wednesday I attended a meeting of the Estate Planning Council of the Diablo Valley. As a guest of President Annette Knox, I got to sit at the head table and had a front-row seat for Michael Desmarais' keynote address, "Why You Can't Estate Plan Around Estate Litigation." Brilliant, and frightening - thank goodness for malpractice insurance! Also, I was surprised to learn that one of the Association's members, John Hartog, is the author of several practice manuals in the small library we maintain in the Elder Law Clinic.
Sunday I called a new friend, L. Red Gobuty, who is thinking about starting an estates/probate practice in the Sacramento area. He's already reserved a website and plans to record a probate law podcast. Thanks to Jonathan Stein for pointing Red in my direction.