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News & Press: Montana Lawyer

Letter to the Editor: Move On? Or keep on keepin’ on?

Thursday, May 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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I just received my copy of the April 2018 Montana Lawyer, and I read the article entitled “Is it time to move on?” by Jay Lansing. I’d like to follow that up. His practice was predominantly criminal defense; mine was predominantly family law – both areas of high stress. I participated in at least 2,000 divorce, custody, child support and adoption cases from 1985 until my move to Texas.
Since that time, I have taught law at three universities (two face-to-face and one online, and I have been the San Marcos Teen Court Judge for 3 ½ years.) Now, after 33 years of being a member of the Montana bar, I am “fixin’ ” to take the Texas bar exam in July; I have a stack of books approximately 3 feet tall, and I’m reviewing them daily (and the rule v. perpetuities still sucks 😊 ).
While there were many “ugly” cases with which I had to deal, and while there were many “difficult” attorneys with whom I had to deal, I am very glad to have had my family law practice, and I look forward to assisting more persons here, dealing with issues in their marriage. The pros outweigh the cons.

It is certainly necessary to not let the stress of the profession take over, and there is no rule that we must continue to practice law for the rest of our working life. I have entered the ministry, and I will devote the great majority of my time to that. There is no inherent conflict between God’s law and man’s law. Should I pass the Texas bar exam, I will resume family law, but I will not “live in the courthouse” as I did in my first 33 years. My Montana law license is very precious to me and I will never give it up. I’m confident I will feel that way about a Texas license as well. I wonder if practicing in Texas will be as rewarding as practicing in Montana? Time will tell.

Jim Elshoff
San Marcos, Texas