Voice

May 2014

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Lifestyle 9 What's Trending 9 Get Connected 9 Member Advantage 9 Contact Us u Immigration stories sponsor: about us: 18 Practice Pointers 9 Inter Alia CMB REGIONAL CENTERS cmb regional centers by Jennifer Atkinson F or some reason, my decadal years have been marked by significant change. At 30, I graduated from law school, turned down an offer from a Boston law firm in order to move to Maine and join a nonprofit ocean conservation practice. At 40, my husband and I started our family through international adoption. Now at 50, I am in my first year as a solo, private immigration practitioner. is last life-altering shi was preceded by a great deal of thought and preparation, as were the first two. And like those prior leaps, an immigration practice has felt like an undeniable calling: something I just have to find a way to do despite the odds. e conversion from ocean conservation to immigration law is not a common one, to the best of my knowledge. Perhaps somewhat less unusual is my shi from the nonprofit to the for-profit world. Combined, they've presented a steep learning curve. Add to this, however, is that I le the formal practice of law a number of years ago. I can't deny that the experience of international adoption played a role in my return to lawyering. My husband and I adopted our second child from India during three stressful years. Yes, the process was awful and it unexpectedly dragged for so long. e only plus was that it afforded me the chance to reclaim my "inner lawyer." When I le the regular practice of law, I had been frustrated by its inability to resolve the environmental problems that I handled at the time. It didn't help that our solutions usually wreaked havoc on the people and communities surrounding me. So, I opted instead to pursue a community-based policy path, seeking a beer integration between environmental and social needs. Without describing where this turn took me, trust me when I say that by the time I boarded my flight for India, my professional identity as an aorney was prey clouded. It's Never Too Late to Go Solo Top le, clowise: Jennifer, her daughter, and some of her orphanage "sisters and brothers" from India. Jennifer and her daughter. Jennifer's son and daughter at the Windsor Fair in Windsor, ME. The Entrepreneurial Lawyer + LIBRARY BOOK next uw

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