Holidays and Seasons, In-House Counsel

House Rules: Thanks

I am guessing that approximately six people will read this column. That’s down from the usual nineteen, and it is because this is the day before Thanksgiving 2012 — the Last Thanksgiving if the Mayans were right, and just another day gorging on turkey with the family if they were wrong. Since so few of us are toiling away today, I want to give thanks for some things, and to some people, instead of writing another piece on in-house life.

First, thanks to David, Elie, and Staci. It has been an adventure writing for you. I used to read this site every day, and enjoyed it more often than not. I am sure that one day we’ll meet face to face and share some cocktails, discuss open-toed shoes, and admire Staci’s weight loss and wedding ring.

Thanks to the other writers on this blog, especially Tom Wallerstein and Mark Herrmann. Among the other writers here, those two consistently cause me to attempt to step up my game. That is the mark of good writing, when you strive to write as well as those whom you admire.

Thanks to the Commentariat. I am inspired and chastened by your (sometime) wit, and disgusted by your depravity. However, and I mean this sincerely, you are like the hordes in the pit of the Globe theater, ready to throw waste or snark on a moments notice — sometimes deservedly so, and sometimes with good humor. I hope you find jobs, and that the Internets always remain anonymous for you….

I also am thankful for having a job. And not just any job, but one that I care about, and enjoy doing. I get to perform at a partner level of autonomy without having to buy-in, and I am blessed not to be in the ranks of the unemployed or underemployed. Been there, done that — luckily not during this hell of a recession. And I should mention that I am grateful to my superiors who allow me to exercise my First Amendment right over keeping me muzzled for fear of making them look bad. And I like to think that I may be dumb but not stupid; I try to never look my gift horse in the mouth.

I am lucky to have a family that supports me and loves me, and especially a wife who has taken this ride, albeit reluctantly. Nothing says I love you more than a woman who states, “I am not sure I want you to pursue law,” the night before the bar exam. Or who asks, “Why can’t you just tell them you need to leave early?” Or, “Don’t they understand that you have a family?” Maybe, this is material for another column. Love you, honey.

I am especially thankful for you, the reader. I try each week to put a good show of effort into my columns, so that something useful might be gleaned. I gauge my success by the emails sent to my Gmail account. Every time a commenter hits below the belt, there seems to be a reader who writes a touching or poignant message. And really, that’s why I took this gig. It was to put a piece of me into each column, so that once in a while, someone might get a tip that helps him over a bump that I experienced.

It is difficult enough to make our way through the legal profession, and I am eternally grateful to those who helped me. Shout outs and personal thank-yous to: Josh R., Kerry C., Jamie H., Brian E., Annette G., Chris T., Joe M., Mark B., Andy Z., Greg M., John F., Ed H., Judges Cauthron, Roberts, and Stander, Tim C., Scott B., Chris K., Flor C., Kelly M., Don L., and Roni C.

And I cannot forget those who have truly kept me out of trouble and helped me keep my jobs: the numerous assistants and paralegals and support staff who have done yeoman’s work for and with me over the years. They are the ones who truly put up with s**t, and are underpaid and overworked.

Happy Thanksgiving.

After two federal clerkships and several years as a litigator in law firms, David Mowry is happily ensconced as an in-house lawyer at a major technology company. He specializes in commercial leasing transactions, only sometimes misses litigation, and never regrets leaving firm life. You can reach him by email at

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