Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Posts Tagged ‘unemployed

Adding Up the Numbers

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Total Black: $74.09
Total Red: $230,600.32

While talking on the telephone with a friend the other day, I ran some calculations and realized that even if I obtained steady contract attorney work I wouldn’t come close to reaching my goal.  Assuming a sixty hour work-week at forty dollars an hour, that nets me $124,800 after fifty-two weeks—before taxes and expenses.  I’ve only got thirty-six weeks left until 8/9/10.  Those calculations do not make me doubt achieving my goal of being out of debt in a year, but they do get me thinking that I need to step things up a bit on the supplemental front. Keep reading . . .

A New Day Has Dawned

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Total Black: $450.75
Total Red: $230,611.32

Unemployment benefits came through overnight.  New York state pays $405 a week maximum regardless of how much you earned last year.  Given that I owe back taxes, I’ve opted to have federal income tax withheld from my unemployment payments.  That means I net about $385 or so.  Three hundred of that is already promised in checks I cut this morning.  $199.61 to the law firm I worked for, for my monthly COBRA payment.  I also sent $50 to SallieMae and another $50 to a credit card.  That leaves me with approximately $85 until next week’s $405.  But I’ve been making ends meet on less, so that’s a near jackpot.  I have to use some of that for dry cleaning.  The rest will probably go for food.  That’s alright though.  Rent’s already been paid.  Living in Manhattan I don’t really have commuting expenses.  Utilities aren’t paid for yet, but that can wait until next week.  And I do have the interview later today for the temp job.  Things are stable for the moment.  Keep reading . . .

The Powerful Process of Gratitude

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Total Black: $63.41
Total Red: $230,611.32

Between interviews with temporary attorney staffing agencies today, I took time in the afternoon to read a bit more of the The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  I’ve been reading a bit each night before bed in an effort to finish the book.  This afternoon I got as far as the first few pages of the chapter titled “Powerful Processes” before I got too antsy and had to leave.  Perhaps because I was reading the book on my iPhone in a Barnes & Noble cafe on Fifth Avenue.  The first process the book discusses is the power of gratitude.  This morning I had a brush with gratitude as I awoke.  Unemployment benefits did not come through today as they should have.  Luckily, I received a donation of fifty dollars.  My second donation and it came from the same person as before.  I owe him much, particularly today, because without that donation, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up my suits from the dry cleaner.  I would have had to wear something nice, but clearly not appropriate for an interview.  Explanations and apologies may have helped, but they wouldn’t have erased first impressions left by me arriving in cargo pants.  So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to note my gratitude to my benefactor, if you will, as well as in general. Keep reading . . .

My First Client

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Total Black: $59.57
Total Red: $230,644.12

I met this afternoon with the former pro bono client to discuss her lawsuit.  I touched on this matter in Pro Bono Publico, but didn’t give the whole story.  She had been evicted in 2007 and spent much of that year trying to get her personal property out of her former apartment.  Her landlord, and the building superintendent, however, made life miserable for her and routinely denied her access.  Then one day the building superintendent removed her property and put it into a self-storage facility, but under his own name.  When she came by with a moving van to retrieve her property, neither the landlord’s management company nor the super would tell her where it was.  Instead they demanded money, presumably to cover the storage costs.  Using the process of elimination, she tracked down the storage company in the area and demanded return of her property.  But since the storage company had a contract for storage space under someone else’s name, they wouldn’t release her property.  Months later, after the storage bill went unpaid, the storage company sent out auction notices.  They were about to sell all of her personal belongings to the highest bidders to recoup the unpaid storage costs.  That’s when I, as an associate at a large law firm, was brought in to stop the auction and help her recover her property.  Unfortunately, it morphed into a lawsuit and now, over a year later, I’m back in the driver’s seat of this case, steering it to some sort of resolution.  Given my own recent interaction with corporate landlords, I’m determined to see her prevail.  When did running a business become anathema to decency and respect?  Or maybe they never went hand-in-hand? Keep reading . . .

Just Another Manic Monday

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Total Black: $3,213.39
Total Red: $230,644.12

I’ve not been feeling very creative these past few days.  My entries have been more like detailed status updates rather than my elaborate observations on life, debt, and other things.  I suppose the muses too need their rest.  To that end then I note that I received a letter today in the mail from the landlord’s management company, informing me that they’ve received all of the rent for September and October and therefore will be discontinuing the legal action.   Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

November 2, 2009 at 23:45

As Above, So Below

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Total Black: $3,311.75
Total Red: $230,569.24

I started re-reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne again last night, shortly before my midnight bonfire.  Like many books in my life, this is another I haven’t finished yet.  But I’ll have to buckle myself down to finish it.  I felt better last night as I read it.  It’s authenticity aside, it is a book full of hope and empowerment.  That’s something anyone can use.  Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

November 1, 2009 at 23:04

A Financial New Year

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Total Black: $3,353.25
Total Red: $230,569.24

I opened a piece of mail today that I received yesterday or the day before.  I’m not sure when exactly.  The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance sent it.  I knew what it regarded, so I figured there wasn’t much rush.  Well, it turns out the NY IRS equivalent has filed a tax lien against me.  I owe $2,973.16 cents.  Ironically within about ten minutes of opening that letter, I received an automatic email alert from Equifax with the same information.  So, it’s now on my credit report.  I’m trying to keep my chin up and stay positive as I noted a few days back on Eyes on the Prize.  But it’s getting more and more difficult.  I fear that even the strongest will and the best intentions can’t make things get better on their own.  I need a job.  If I still had the previous contract attorney position, I could have paid this tax lien in two paychecks.  Sometimes it seems I was better off when I was on unemployment.  I don’t know how that could be though.  Keep reading . . .