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Novelist Angie Kim Used to Be a Lawyer. Until She Realized She Couldn’t Stand It Anymore.

Novelist Angie Kim Used to Be a Lawyer. Until She Realized She Couldn’t Stand It Anymore.

In 2018, Kim took her husband and sons to the web page of her everyday living-shifting realization. Photograph courtesy of Angie Kim.

“I was in my late twenties and a litigation affiliate at Williams & Connolly in DC. I liked being in the courtroom but hated every thing else—like, almost everything else—about practising legislation. There was this a single thirty day period that was the best: I experienced three trials in a row, all in an arbitration format. I obtained to do openings, crosses, and objections. I was 2nd chair, and the to start with chair was superb, so by the third trial he enable me do everything. I cherished the expertise, but I was fatigued.

“My boyfriend was offering a speak in San Francisco. He mentioned, ‘Come with me—you are entitled to a crack.’ I desired to see the ocean, so I went to the Cliff Household, and it was so blustery that no person was there. I was by the window, and the waves have been just awesome. Some folks experienced advised me about this Tim O’Brien e-book, In the Lake of the Woods. So I ordered a bottle of wine and just sat there studying it include to address.

“As a hectic law firm, I wasn’t definitely looking at literary novels. I was reading through quick, enjoyment mysteries like Mary Higgins Clark. O’Brien’s ebook was just revelatory. It is about a spouse who’s long gone missing, but structured as proof and interview transcripts and then very long narrative flashbacks. There were being like 6 or 7 hypotheses of what occurred to her. I recall on the lookout up just about every the moment in a while to ponder the proof and the crashing waves and ingesting this fantastic wine. Then closing the ebook and emotion, I have not been this content considering the fact that I turned a law firm.

“I remember pondering: Alright, as considerably as I liked the trials, is that well worth acquiring just this five-hour period out of the past many a long time when I was so engrossed in something—the sensory details, the intellectual engagement with the text—and didn’t have in the back again of my intellect a thing I was pressured about? When I met my boyfriend for meal, I explained, ‘I don’t want to be a lawyer any longer.’ He reported, ‘Okay. Sounds wonderful.’ He was not fazed—our friends had been often griping about wanting to leave the legislation. The following working day, we got engaged.

“After that, I went into management consulting. Afterwards, I left with colleagues to get started a dot-com. Then in 2001, the market place bottomed out. I cherished equally individuals careers.

“I had my initial kid in September 2001 and became a stay-at-residence mother. I was in my forties when I took my very first inventive-composing course.”

This report seems in the February 2022 difficulty of Washingtonian.

Novelist Angie Kim Used to Be a Lawyer. Until She Realized She Couldn’t Stand It Anymore.

Senior Handling Editor

Bill O’Sullivan is senior taking care of editor from 1999 to 2007, he was a characteristics editor. In a further lifetime, he was assistant taking care of editor. Somewhere in the middle, he was taking care of editor of Prevalent Boundary magazine and senior editor at the Middle for Public Integrity. His particular essays have been cited a few times amid the notable essays of the year in The Most effective American Essays. He teaches at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda.