“Mr. Durant died right here at his desk,” I was told by an associate at my first law firm job as he pointed to an office with an empty desk. It was as though Mr. Durant was a warrior who died in battle saving the world. I got the message.
I dove in as the only female in the firm’s litigation section, charting my course as a workaholic, billing hours like a trooper. I silenced my inner voice and went full speed ahead, learning to be tough. Law school and the lawyers mentoring me convinced me that compassion was a weakness and aggression was a strength.
In my private life I paired with a man also constrained by his job, traveling for business five days a week. We married and had three children. What was wrong with me? I loved my babies, but I was obsessed with being a lawyer.“