It is the most special and exciting day in a solicitor’s life: admission to practise.
Last Friday, eager NSW grads gathered in the Supreme Court in Sydney to be admitted as legal professionals.
I sat briefly in the lobby watching them enter and leave, beaming families in tow.
The freshly minted lawyers proudly carried their oversize certificates and were buzzing about the two second moment when Spigelman CJ announced they were “admitted to this honourable court”.
Funny how being “admitted” is that same word used for committal to mental institutions.
I remembered my admission not that long ago.
It was like marrying a rich and famous husband. Suddenly, you are someone.
At parties, if you told people you were a lawyer there were murmurs of awe – as though I’d said I was married to George Clooney.
Yet it is more than a bit like being married to Mr Clooney, when I think about it.
I mean, when I got “married” I was completely in love. Like high school sweethearts, he was all I’d ever wanted since primary school and I worked very hard to ensure he would be mine.
Now that we’re hitched, I don’t want for expensive handbags, glamorous parties or smart company.
But it takes a lot of work – often into the night or up at the crack of dawn.
Of course, it’s thrilling to show off my “husband” to family or friends, but underneath it all I’m quite miserable.
He doesn’t care at all about my mental health.
I could be in my office screaming and having stress-driven hallucinations and he wouldn’t give a damn.
Even after all my hard work there is no guarantee he won’t cheat on me and make someone else his partner.
So I know I have a decision to make.
The same way wives after several years of marriage think, “Can I actually live like this forever?”
I have to to decide whether “status” now is worth the straight jacket later.
Whether it is better to give up the cash, soirées and handbags and still be be happy, or are those things enough to sustain me, despite being unappreciated and downtrodden?
Only a couple of years into the marriage, I’ve decided that I’m young enough to still want the good times and expensive shoes.
I’m not utterly jaded, yet.
But I do know this marriage isn’t built to last.
I’ll save my spare change until I have what it takes to get up and leave.
Having banked something will make the divorce easier.
With whom I’ll end up is anyone’s guess, but it just goes to show that sometimes love alone isn’t enough.