Mon dieu! Have just finished packing the contents of my desk into boxes in preparation for my move as part of my final articles rotation from Property to Planning and Environment.
Uni notes, bandaids, emergency pantihose, stapler artfully personalised with whiteout and pink brief ribbon, little boxes of cereal and gourmet teabags pinched from client breakfast functions, gaily coloured tampons, bobby pins, Nurofen, Berocca, half-heartedly washed Tupperware. All packed up and ready to hit the road.
I’ve quite liked Property. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get all that usufructuary bizzo in Mabo. It’s transactional man, loving not fighting.
Just like being the banker in Monopoly but without any horrid “Go directly to the discovery room, do not pass go, do not collect $200” cards in the community chest.
The clients do all the tricky “utilities or the red ones” decision-making.
The lawyers just hunt around for the bits and bobs so the top hat can swap four houses for a hotel.
Brainless and painless and delightfully complimentary to my hedonistic lifestyle of yore.
The biggest shift in starting articles, I was told, is changing the rhythm of your social life.
Being a lawyer isn’t like pretending to scan library books so you don’t have to stand up and put stuff away, surveying people’s opinions of the new White Pages cover design or holding your tongue as you fetch yet another size 10 bikini for a size 14 lady with an ego to match her nether regions.
These noble callings can easily be done after a night of whisky chasers and late-night cavorting around the streets of the Republic of Moreland.
Lawyers, unlike law students, are busy and important and need at least seven hours wink time.
In Construction, this was definitely true – the walking in heels to court, mastering research methods other than Wikipedia and finding answers to clients’ problems other than the “It depends on the circumstances” that winged you through law school, was truly exhausting.
Property law, however, is just like life on the Myer cosmetics floor, minus the hand cream on tap.
Conveyancing, lease negotiations and retail disclosure statements make mastering the no receipt returns policy look like year-11 vegie maths.
Once you’ve done four or five, autopilot kicks in and the mid-week good times can resume their merry flow.
Admittedly, my pallor has started to mimic the Melbourne springtime sky with such a lifestyle, and I’m not entirely convinced this professional path was worth six years of uni and a HECS debt that could bailout Fannie and Freddie.
But, it certainly beats the lonely lawyer lifestyle of brain-dead television flopping and debates with your partner as to who is the more tired and boring.
Nine years after Pierre-Joseph Proudhon got all antsy about property being theft, he explained himself in Confessions d’un Revolutionnaire with a much more timeless truism: property, my comrades, is freedom.
A votre santé