Friday, May 25, 2012

Put Out to Pasture

I am going to spend the next two to four months working in-house with one of our clients.  There are pros and cons, chief among the latter is the hour (plus) commute each way to the client's office.  This will be a huge change from my current commute--a short walk across the street--and will obliterate my ability to attend dance classes during the week.

I wouldn't mind if I could bill the commute (or expense the gas)!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Workshop with Yulia and Riccardo--A Lesson in Law Firm Flexibility

When I was a summer associate, the firm was always telling me about the lack of a face-time requirement and relatively flexible work schedule--"as long as you get your work done, nobody cares where you are." Ha. Well, I guess this is sometimes true for partners and senior associates, but I had not found this to be true--at all--as a junior associate until just last week.

Maybe it's just because, in between moving from one office to another, I haven't been working with a particular set of attorneys long enough to really know when to seize the (slow) day and disappear for a few hours. I finally gave this a try last week when the stars aligned: work seemed slow and Yulia Zagoruychenko and Riccardo Cocchi  were offering a three-hour workshop in Orange County that I wanted to attend.

I walked out of the workshop to find an unexpected request that I start and complete a fairly sizable assignment by the next morning when I checked my Blackberry.  I called the partner, got the assignment, had a nice dinner with my friends, drove back to LA and started the assignment.  I didn't sleep at all that night, but I finished the assignment.  Really, it was having my cake and getting to eat it too.  This is what "flexibility" means in a big law firm setting, I think.

I don't regret losing that sleep for one minute--can you believe I got to participate in a workshop with the World Professional Latin Champions!?!  Their dancing was impressive, as always, and they were incredibly charming and patient (there were many beginners in attendance).  I liked that they demonstrated a great respect for one another throughout the workshop.  Perhaps unsurprisingly for a world champion partnership, they were both very detail-oriented and incredibly hard-working.  I expected that they would have this approach to their own dancing, but was pleasantly surprised by their effort in teaching a bunch of beginners.  (At one point, when it was announced that we would take a ten minute break, Riccardo exclaimed "Oh no!  Better only five minutes--how else we get anything done?")  What a beautiful couple, inside and out.


While I wish I was further along with my dancing in order to get more out of the workshop, I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My 1st Dancesport Competition

Earlier this week, I participated in the pro-am latin competition at the Emerald Ball in Los Angeles.  Since it was my first competition, I was a bundle of nerves!  I woke up at 5am the morning of the competition to take a quick shower, dry my hair, grab my pre-packed bag and drive to the Hilton at LAX for the competition.

The morning started with a hair and makeup appointment.  I think, next time, I will be able to take care of this part of the process myself.  The hairstyle they chose for me was very simple.  And while my makeup was well done, it was no different than the stage makeup I have done for myself hundreds of times in college.  On top of all of this, I nearly missed my first heat because of a scheduling issue with the hair and makeup lady.  Not worth the stress or the money for me, but a fun thing to do if you have a flexible budget and probably a must if you don't have experience with stage makeup or hair.

As I stepped out of the elevator on the lobby level, I was whisked into the ballroom to quickly strap on my shoes and head out on the floor.  I was a little flustered and would have benefited from a legit warm-up.  All in all I was just happy I hadn't missed my opportunity to dance!

In between my first and second set of dances, I started to get a lot of work emails.  Could I get on the phone to discuss a partner's comments to an agreement I had drafted?  Could I call a client and respond to their urgent need to receive some additional documents?  *sigh*  In between heats, in my costume and heels, I got out my laptop, remoted into the firm's system and emailed documents to clients.  After my second round of dances I went to the lobby to call a partner and revise an agreement.  I missed watching most of my studio-mates compete.  This was disappointing--I had really hoped to take a true vacation day and enjoy the competition.

Nonetheless, it was a fun experience.  I placed first in cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive in my division.