Archive for July, 2009

posted by Amy on Jul 31

Twice in the last few days people have commented on my enrollment in a Baptist seminary. I am a United Methodist, and am not familiar with all the Baptist groups, but I can say that this seminary is American Baptist, and that kind of Baptist church does ordain women. Slightly more than half of the students at Palmer Seminary are women. Some of the women students come from Christian traditions that do not ordain women and that advocate subjugation of women, claiming it is God’s will.

Southern Baptists are a different matter. Jimmy Carter recently left the Southern Baptist denomination as a protest against sexism. He wrote an essay explaining that decision, that can be read here.

There’s a brief YouTube video where he explains his position. You can access it here.

This is impressive, and long overdue.

posted by Amy on Jul 2

When I came to Philadelphia I planned to sell everything, pay off all my debts, and start over. I was able to sell an investment property last fall, but the house I lived in did not sell. I took it off the market and rented it out, at about half of my monthly payment. The equity in it is locked up, and I need to protect it by continuing to cover debt service.

I had thought I could just get student loans to fund this operation. I can, but not for anything in excess of what the university defines as my school expenses. That leaves a gap between income and expenses. I have been covering the gap, but I’m running out of things to sell.

I started looking for jobs last winter. I signed up for night and weekend classes for spring semester, so there would be time to work. But I haven’t even gotten an interview, much less a job offer.

I decided that the best solution is to re-launch Durfee West P.C. I am licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania now, and I’m still licensed in Colorado. I reactivated my malpractice insurance, got an office in an executive suite, ordered some business cards, and have started getting the word out that I am back in business.

I am looking forward to plying my trade again. Although I love school, I also get a great deal of satisfaction from my law practice. As a solo, I can decide how much I take on, whom I represent, and what hours I work. I am accountable only to my clients, and myself, not to an employer whose goals may not be the same as mine. I am comfortable and happy in the business world, in a lawyer role. It’s good to be back.

As for juggling work and school, I’m sure I can handle it. I worked full time for most of the years that I was raising a large, active family. Since I started my solo practice in 2002 I have had to balance the needs and priorities of multiple clients. I have mechanisms in place for getting help when I need it, and I am a professional. I’ll make sure I don’t drop the ball. School will be one “client,” and there is time for others.

When I was in Denver I rarely saw clients face to face. Almost everything was done by phone, fax and email. I have people in Denver who can meet with clients if necessary. It’s a four-hour plane ride, with frequent daily flights, so if I really need to be there physically it can be done. My practice is entirely transactional. With no court appearances to cover, there’s no reason I can’t have a “virtual” practice in Colorado. I still have my Denver office number, and I have a toll free fax number. This should work out just fine.

It is possible that I’ll keep doing this after I graduate.  I may have to be self-supporting in whatever ministry I enter in the future. There may be some further connection between the new skills I am acquiring in school and my work as a real estate lawyer. I am open to all possibilities.

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