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« Success Story: Greg "Fossilman" Raymer: From Patent Law to Poker | Main | Book: Dinner With Dad: How I Found My Way Back to the Family Table »

Success Story: Cameron Stracher: From Double Billing Litigator to Dinner Making Dad

Cameron Stracher After graduating law school, Cameron Stracher worked at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., before moving to Iowa City, Iowa, where he received an M.F.A. in creative writing, taught legal writing at the University of Iowa College of Law, and was a founder of the law school's Writing Resource Center. Upon his return to New York City, he worked as a commercial litigator before becoming litigation counsel at CBS. He spent five years at CBS, where he specialized in First Amendment litigation. He then became a partner at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz in New York City, where he specialized in media law.

Stracher is now a professor at New York Law School where he teaches, advises and writes on newsgathering and the law.

Stracher is also the author of the recently released Dinner With Dad - How I Found My Way Back to the Family Table - a chronicle of Stracher's humorous (and at times poignant) efforts to begin sharing in the responsibilities of raising his two children and performing other domestic chores following an announcement to his family that he will start eating dinner with them every night at six - even offering to do some of the cooking.

Dinner With Dad follows Stracher's earlier Double Billing - A Young Lawyer's Tale Of Greed, Sex, Lies, And The Pursuit Of A Swivel Chair - a searing indictment of the "billable hour" based on the fictional account of a young associate at a large New York City law firm.

Special thanks to Stephen Seckler at the Counsel to Counsel blog who shared a link to a recent article by Stracher on that recounts his transition from a workaholic lawyer to an involved father who has reordered his priorities.

Stracher's concluding paragraphs should cause every overworked attorney to take a step back and consider their choices in life and how they want to move forward:

"[I] started coming home for dinner. In fact, I made dinner my job. When 6 p.m. arrived, I set my e-mail to auto reply. When clients called, I excused myself. It wasn't always easy, but I found that with a little dancing I could reshuffle and reorder. Did I want to be eulogized as the lawyer who could always be found at his desk or as the father whose children loved him?

I remembered partners with whom I'd worked as a young associate. They never made it home for dinner, they ate their meals with the associates in the conference room and they had documents faxed to their apartments at midnight. They were trapped by their own choices, sucked into a lifestyle from which they felt they could not extricate themselves.

Everything is not perfect. I still struggle to pay the bills. Sometimes there is more work than I can handle and too few hours in a day. But I learned that a man's home is more than his castle: It is his life. And we only have this one.

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