Well, back in high school, I had a feeling that I probably wanted to be an attorney. And I actually had an opportunity to work in a law office for a summer in my high school years, and really had a good experience with that. Went to college and didn’t want to pursue (sort of) some of the traditional pre-law majors [such as] an English major!
I never really had a great time in English class, and so I didn’t want to do that. I enjoy history immensely, but didn’t see that being very practical. And at the time I was in college, computers were, you know, the “coming” thing, and I figured, “Hey, that’s a skill that if I had, it’d be a great thing to have.” Plus I do like that analytical background that you have to have with computer science.
So I had my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and then as I approached graduation, I began to wonder, “Well do I want to just get a law degree or do I want to get a joint JD/MBA?” Thought about perhaps doing something in business administration. I knew that the better business schools wanted you to have a couple years in the real world, and so I figured, “Well I’ll go work as a programmer for a little while, then I’ll make my decision.” I graduated, ended up working for IBM for a number of years, made friends at my plant that were MBAs and saw what they did and didn’t like it at all. So then I knew, “Ok! Just going to go back for the law degree.”
So I went back, studied law, got out in 1993, came home to study for the bar exam, the day before the bar exam my appendix burst! So all my friends from law school said I had the best excuse of anybody for not taking the test! But I was in the hospital, could not take the test, and they only give it twice a year. So in the interim, I had student loans that were coming due. I had to get a job. I went back to my computer science skills and I found a company that was actually doing case management software for law firms. So it kind of combined my computer skills with, you know, some degree of familiarity with the law.
I went back and took and passed the bar the next time it was offered but I stayed with that company for about 8 years. When I started with them I was single. At the end of 8 years I was married and had 2 children and 1 on the way, and I was travelling 3-5 days out of the office and out of my home. I just couldn’t sustain that as a lifestyle and so I said, “You know what? I’ve got that law degree I better take advantage of it.”
So I went and looked around and from the first day I started practicing law, I’ve always been in a firm that focuses on estate planning and administration. I really enjoy it. And that was what I said to myself, even as a high-schooler: “We have a lot of people in Florida who are advancing in age. They’re going to need legal services. That would be a great thing to do. And it’s a very deserving population.”
…[T]he day before the bar exam my appendix burst!
I like my clients. They’re great people. They have great stories. I really enjoy it when I can work with people who served in WWII and in other conflicts that kept our country strong. So it’s a good feeling for me to do what I do, and I don’t think I’m ever going to make another major career change like I did coming out of programming and into the law.
– David Pilcher is an experienced estate planning and probate attorney with Bogin, Munns & Munns, a full service law firm with offices in Orlando, Clermont, Kissimmee, St. Cloud, The Villages, Orange City, Titusville, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Melbourne, Gainesville, and Leesburg, Florida. Mr. Pilcher welcomes questions and comments regarding the above and can be reached at email@example.com.
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