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More on Laurie Gray

August 10, 2012
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From Laurie Gray's letter to the editor on whether women can have it all.

I was raised in rural Indiana where good wives submit and obey and good children are seen and not heard. I went to college with the understanding that an educated good woman is a teacher or a nurse. So I became a high school teacher. Then I met and married a talk, dark and handsome Sikh from Malaysia who told me I should go to law school and get paid to argue all day so that I could come home in the evenings and perhaps be a little nicer. It was the best unsolicited advice I ever received, although it didn’t save the marriage. I went to law school and met my current husband, the senior litigator at the second law firm where I worked. He was 22 years older than I with two adult children. Marrying him would mean working hard, playing hard, and never having any children of my own. That’s what I decided to do. I left the private practice of law and became a deputy prosecuting attorney, working at our local child advocacy center, trying mostly rape and child molest cases along with the occasional aggravated assault and murder. And that’s what I was doing when we most unexpectedly found ourselves expecting. Our daughter was born a month before my 38th birthday, and two months after my husband’s 60th.
 
I worked right up through the day my water broke and scheduled a four-day child molest trial for eight weeks after her birth. I went back and tried that one case, but it was too crazy. I was operating on no sleep and it wasn’t the life my husband and I wanted for ourselves or our child. So I extended my maternity leave and eventually resigned, only to return when a newly elected prosecutor offered me the opportunity to work just a half day each week, any day, either half. My mom had just retired and agreed to watch our daughter, so I gradually went back to work almost full time. Although I worked 40+ hours a week, I maintained a “part-time” status that gave me more flexibility in scheduling. I left the prosecutor’s office two years ago when my first young adult novel was released. Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books / 2010) has earned a Moonbeam Gold Medal as was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. I have two more young adult novels slated for release in 2013 and 2014. I’ve formed my own writing, speaking and consulting company called Socratic Parenting LLC (www.SocraticParenting.com). I also work as a bilingual forensic interviewer at the Bill Lewis Center for Children and an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech. I’ve served on the faculty at the National Symposium on Child Abuse every spring since 2009 and am building my platform and cultivating recognition on a national level.
 
In 2020 my daughter will graduate from high school, my husband will be 79 and I will be 57. At that point, I will be free to work as much as I like doing whatever I like. I could go back to private practice, return to prosecuting crimes, become a full-time professor, or devote myself to writing, speaking and consulting full time. It helps that I established myself as a professional prior to becoming a mom. I doubt I would have the passion, vision or balance I’ve created for myself if I’d not had a daughter of my own. I may never achieve the full earning potential displayed back when I was earning a six-figure salary in the private practice of law, but I’ve enjoyed the same financial security through my marriage. I know that my husband often measures his self-worth through dollars earned, but I can’t allow myself to be defined by dollars. I think of Maslow’s hierarchy: all of my basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) are met and I have the luxury of devoting my energies to self-actualization through creativity and service. I do plan to have it all, but even if I died tomorrow or everything I currently have were lost, I would still feel as though I’ve had it all and I could have it all again — just not all at once.

 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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