What Do You Do When You're Not Practicing Law?

What You Do When You’re Not Practicing Law scuba 800x300px By: Aaron Frederickson

Why do we work so hard? This is the question I, like many attorneys, have asked rhetorically to myself many times over the years.

Studying hard in college. Starting a family, working, and studying for the LSAT. Taking the LSAT. Off to law school while working 60 hours per week. Finding that first big job as a lawyer. Showing up early. Staying late. Coming in on weekends. Squeezing in marketing trips and taking clients to a game that, quite frankly, I did not want to be at.

The job of lawyering is a 24/7/365 endeavor that calls on us to be our best—all the time. So really, why do we work so hard? Maybe it is because we get to play hard, too.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to reap the benefits of my hard work. It goes beyond having a nice house and driving a car that does not need to go to the mechanic once a week. It has allowed me to seek adventures and serve others. As the fictional mega-rich Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime original series, Billions once exclaimed, “The moral of the story is, you get one life, so do it all.”

 “The moral of the story is, you get one life, so do it all.”

While I am far shy of making my first billion, let alone a million, living the busy life has allowed me to place and meet people I would otherwise not meet in Hennepin County. Examples of my humble exploits include:

  • Being as fully engaged in my family. First, coaching my kids on the soccer pitch and bringing the beautiful game to countless other kids. When I am not watching my kids play or coaching a team, I am that guy in the yellow shirt who somehow seems to miss everything the other team does but singles out your kid for the slightest infraction. Working countless soccer matches has exposed me to soccer officials and players from around the world.
  • Spending time in my community as a volunteer or doing pro bono legal work – and working with great organizations like One Love Brigade, Feed My Starving Children, The Sanneh Foundation, and CoHope to make the global community a better place. This has given me the chance to start my foundation – Project Irie! – working with interested stakeholders to deliver over 10,000 pieces of soccer equipment to South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
  • Island hopping with frequent trips to Jamaica, Haiti, and St. Lucia – looking forward to planned trips on the books to Costa Rica and Curaçao in 2023. These experiences have allowed me to develop fluency in Jamaican Patois – wah gwaan!

Why do we work so hard? Maybe it is not a rhetorical question: because I want to do itFrederickson200 all. This past winter, I took up SCUBA diving. After countless snorkeling excursions, I decided to take the plunge. Over the course of a week, I earned my Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications with time and effort. Soon I hope to complete the master diver certification and explore shipwrecks and underwater caves.

Slowly swimming in the crystal-clear waters off the western coast of Negril, Jamaica, I got a better understanding of life. Seeing part of the other 70% of our wonderful planet, I gained a better appreciation for who we are as lawyers and what we are trying to accomplish as we take the time and energy to get to where we are at and work even harder to get where we want to go.

In this series of the Hennepin Lawyer, we explore why we work hard. Each author shares who they are, why they have worked so hard, and what they like to do when they are not in the office, meeting with a client, running off to court, or working hard over a weekend to complete an important legal brief. The goal is also to demonstrate that we are all unique individuals regardless of our background as we aspire to “do it all.” Enjoy!

PS: Diving in the Caribbean has also made me appreciate the importance of keeping our water clean. I am a proud member of PADI, which has a combined mission of ocean conversation. The next time you see that starfish in the water, please be friendly and look—do not take them out of the water! 

220517 - SCUBAFrederickson150xxBy Aaron Frederickson
Mr. Frederickson is the founder of MSP Compliance Solutions, which is based out of Minneapolis/St. Paul. He has nearly two decades of legal practice experience in the areas of workers’ compensation, personal injury, and Medicare/Medicaid compliance. His passions also include assisting low income persons via pro bono legal representation.


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