Even the forms mock me

This afternoon, I sat down to report my pro bono hours.  Because while I don’t have a job, I have actually put in a decent number of pro bono hours.  I have a number of questions, such as, what happens when I do research/work on a case but don’t actually help the client?  Does legal research I’ve done for a pro-choice non-profit count as pro-bono?  Does working at my local state house with a representative doing legal research count? 

All of those questions were dwarfed by one question:  What practice area box do I check if I’m unemployed? 

The form asks a simple question: 

Where I Practice:
Private Firm ____
Legal Services Org ____
Corporate Counsel ____
Public Interest Org. ____
Government Agency ____
Not Practicing ____

I refuse to check the “not practicing” box, but everything else would be a lie, except maybe “Legal Services Org”.  I Feel like there should be a box that says, “other” or “not employed”, especially in this economy.  I’m having one of those insecure weeks, in which I conclude I am unhirable and generally a failure as at attorney, and this form is not helping.  The one thing that I was doing still has paperwork that tells me I’m not good enough. 

I do have the option of picking “Private Firm” and “Solo Practictioner” but well, I’m not.  I’m just not.  I’m not automatically a solo practitioner just because I walk around telling people I’m a lawyer.  I think I will probably end up picking Legal Services Organization, because I do practice there.  Just because I don’t get paid to practice there, and don’t really have my own clients, and definitely don’t have my own workspace, doesn’t mean I don’t practice, right? Right.


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Filed under Job Search, Unemployed, Volunteering

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