Dream of: 18 July 1999 "Un-Enticing Alternatives"

I was thinking about practicing law again. I had come to the office of another lawyer to discuss the possibility and seek advice on what I should do. As he and I sat at a desk across from each other, I began explaining my history in detail to him. First I told him I had graduated from Baylor Law School in 1983 and that after graduation I had gone to work at a law office in Waco. I had soon thereafter left Waco, moved to Dallas, and begun working for another lawyer. I had only stayed with this lawyer a short while before sitting up my own private practice. I explained I had represented clients in divorce, criminal matters, and bankruptcy.

I was now trying to think of some kind of law which I could practice which wouldn't confine me as much as my previous practice had done. I didn't want to establish a permanent practice and be tied down as before. I thought I might try something easy, like representing people with traffic tickets. Then if I wanted to stop practicing law again, I should be able to do so rather easily. I could learn the traffic ticket law fairly quickly, and I would probably soon have more work than I wanted. When I had first started practicing law I had handled quite a few traffic tickets, so I already new the rudiments. I realized handling traffic tickets was the most mediocre work I could find, but at the same time it seemed like something that would exert few demands upon me.

I continued to explain to the lawyer that when I had been practicing law on my own, I had soon had so many cases that I had decided to eliminate everything but bankruptcy clients. Even then, I had more bankruptcy clients than I could handle. I told him that over a period of time I had represented more than 1,000 bankruptcy clients. Finally, I explained, I had saved up enough money so I had been able to stop practicing law for a while, and I had quit taking on new cases completely.

I knew that the lawyer was charging me by the hour, and that talking with him like this was going to be rather expensive, but I hoped he might be able to give me some valuable advice about which way I should go now.

As we continued talking, it occurred to me I might like to do something else to make money instead of practicing law. It passed through my mind I might like to collect things, hold them for a long time, and then finally sell them. I thought for example, I might like to collect toys. As I thought about it, I even imagined my wife Carolina being in the room with us, and I imagined showing her a row of toys, pointing out to her which ones were valuable and which ones weren't. One toy had the brand name "Hill" stamped on it. When I saw the name, I realized if I were going to collect toys, I would need to know all about the different companies which manufactured toys, such as the Hill Company.

Carolina and I looked at all the toys in the row, until we reached the last two, which both appeared to be made of silver. The next to the last toy was a dull-colored silver color, while the last toy was a bright shiny silver. I pointed out the difference to Carolina in the two types of silver. I was thinking to myself that one toy was made of pure silver, while the other was silver plated, and that I would have to be able to discern the difference in the two. If I wanted to do this well, I would even have to learn the process of silver plating.

At the same time, I was unsure I wanted to collect toys. This also seemed like a rather trivial pursuit. If I had to choose between taking on traffic tickets or collecting toys, I was unsure which I would pick. Neither seemed particularly enticing.

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