Washington Lawyer

Letters: May 2014

From Washington Lawyer, May 2014

Letters graphic Tech-Savvy Mom Deceives Dad in Adoption Case
I enjoyed reading Thai Phi Le’s February 2014 cover story on “Birth Fathers + Adoptions: Inequality in Parental Rights.” The high-profile cases that were featured in the article were compelling.

The Utah case where the birth father received a text message informing him that his baby was being put up for adoption by the birth mother was especially intriguing. While the Utah case involving “Baby Emma” drew attention to the plight of those involved in family law cases, it also—perhaps unintentionally—shed some light on how difficult it is for the legal system to keep up with the complexities of technology. Who would think that a birth mother could text her intentions—and in this case, her intent to put the child up for adoption wasn’t made entirely clear in the text message—and that act would ultimately lead to the birth father missing out on his chance to be a parent.

The ensuing court case involving “Baby Emma” demonstrates that unwed fathers still face a tough time gaining the right to parent their child.
—Colin Kensington
St. Paul, Minnesota

Unsatisfied? Change Course
In the April issue of Washington Lawyer, Kathryn Alfisi writes in her cover story on job dissatisfaction among lawyers that “job dissatisfaction certainly is not unique to the legal profession, but there is a popular belief that it’s widespread among lawyers.”

I have been practicing law in California for more than three decades, and these stories about job dissatisfaction in the legal profession have been around for years. When I started practicing law, you started and finished your career as a lawyer. Lawyers today benefit from having the skills, flexibility, mindset, and courage to move into other vocations. Moreover, in a town like Washington, D.C., there are scores of people with law degrees who are working outside of the legal profession—entrepreneurs, executives, professors, journalists, congressmen, and even the president.

I proudly use my law degree to practice law, and I am satisfied doing so. But if that feeling were ever to change, I would find another way to make a living instead of being unhappy at work.
—Steven Gilliam
Santa Barbara, California