Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today I accompanied my friend Leo on some errands before I went to work as an excuse to hang out with her one last time before she leaves for South Africa tomorrow morning. She'll be gone for six months and I'll miss her a lot.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I filled out, wrapped up and mailed off my declaration of intention to drop to "inactive" status with the Oregon State Bar. I have been making the decision to do this in the back of my mind for over a week now and today, while Leo was sitting in my floor waiting for me to be ready to leave, I made it all happen on auto-pilot. I was hardly thinking as I filled out the form, wrote the check, and stuffed it all into an envelope.

This began as a cost-saving measure. If I remained "active," my bar dues (due Thursday) would be $400. Going inactive means my bar dues are only $110. (Notice they still want at least *some* of my money...) I didn't even realize inactivity was an option until I was perusing the bar website for pay-online options. Once I saw that I could reduce my cost, the wheels in the back of my mind started turning and suddenly today I found that the decision was somehow already made.

Now that this new reality is forming, I'm left to ponder the ramifications of what I've done. I wasn't practicing anyway. In fact, I actively sought NOT to practice. I'm trying to get a promotion at the non-law job I already have. I feel nauseated even thinking about being a lawyer. There was a very brief window last month when I thought I should probably start looking at lawyering, but that window closed and hasn't yet reopened.

In reality, getting reinstated won't be so hard if I decide I've made a big mistake. I'd pay a $400 reactivation fee. Steep, but the same as the bar dues I owed this month anyway. Right now I feel sort of numb about the whole thing, though I wonder how I'll feel on February 1 when the change takes effect. Will I feel like Superman after cashing-in his powers to be with Lois Lane? Or will I feel relieved of the burden of obligation that came along with my active status? Or will nothing change at all?


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