The cautionary tale of a failed legal career, Part 6

A Rake's Progress: VI - The Gaming House (Public Domain)

Part 6: An amusing interlude

Bad news travels fast. Within just a couple of days of my being made redundant Firm #4, at the other end of town, heard of my situation, and offered me a job. I'm sure they were not attracted so much by the idea of me being a useful addition to their family law department, as by the potential fee income from my caseload at Firm #3, which would come with me.

Whatever, I was extremely grateful, particularly as I had a mortgage to pay, and a family to support.

Firm #4 was the polar opposite of Firm #3. Whereas Firm #3 was primarily commercial and well-off, Firm #4 was old-style 'High Street', run-down, and obviously on the margins of survival. Still, it was, for me at least, a much happier place to work.

I have fond memories of my time at Firm #4. The atmosphere in the office was much better than anywhere else I worked, due in part to the fact that there was usually no partner in attendance (!), but mainly because the staff were so good. We respected each other, got on well together, and got the work done. I even attended the Christmas parties (the only firm I worked at where I had a 100% attendance record).

I particularly remember having many a laugh with my secretary, who shared my warped sense of humour, and who incidentally was married to a 1960s popstar.

As I said, Firm #4 was obviously on the margins of survival. As a result at one point there was some tentative discussion between the other (non-partner) solicitors in the office of relieving the firm's owners of their interest in this office, in return for the princely sum of £1. Whilst I wasn’t directly part of this attempted coup, its leaders did suggest that I might become a partner in the resulting new firm.

Alas, these optimistic, and probably unrealistic, discussions came to nought, and life at Firm #4 continued its happy course.

But the good times, such as they were, would not last.

It became increasingly clear that the firm's perilous financial position was deteriorating, and that it might go under. I had to make a choice: do I stick around and see what happens, or do I leave the sinking ship?

The sensible answer seemed clear to me, so I made a grab for the life raft.

In the event, the ship was taken over by a much stronger firm, shortly after I left. So once again I probably hadn't made the best decision...