Today was my last day as a student attorney for my law school's clinic. I wish I could say that it was a happy ending type of day but the rollercoaster of emotions of this clinical experience kind of ended on a down note.
We drove out to our client's house to do the inventory for his divorce that we have been unsuccessfully trying to do for months due to the incompetence of the wife's lawyer. Of course no one was there so we waited in the freezing rain for the locksmith.
Finally going into the empty house was really eerie. This is the place where all those horrible stories we had heard about occurred. Our client had not been in there for a year and all of his family heirlooms and valuables that he hid before he was ordered to stay away from the house were gone. It was just heartbreaking to watch him go through his belongings and see everything important to him gone. Moreover, the wife moved out all her stuff too so we have no idea where anything is. Or where she is. Sigh.
Although I had the chance to stay on this case until it goes to trial, I decided not to. I feel horrible, like I am abandoning my client, but I know that I would not have enough time next semester to fully prepare his case for trial. And while I know that he will be in good hands with a new set of student attorneys, it was really difficult reminding him today that today was my last day and we would probably not see each other again. So we said goodbye, in the rain, in front of his house, without any of his belongings.
There are many take-away lessons of clinic but today there was only one thing I could think of: divorce sucks.