BigLaw Associate Wrote Novel in Early Mornings Before Law Practice


Cover image from the author.

A lawyer’s BigLaw workload can be daunting, but it didn’t stop Cristina Alger from tackling a second project.

When she was an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Alger worked on a novel at the same time, the Careerist reports. She tells the blog she woke up early to write for fun, and then went to work. “I didn’t know I had a novel until I had written 150 pages,” she says. (A bankruptcy lawyer, she did have to put her writing on hold after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.)

The result of her efforts is The Darlings, the story of a rich family coping with a Madoff-type scandal, the blog says. Alger says two agents who read her work in progress were encouraging; her book was sold in just four days. After that, Alger quit her day job to focus on editing.

Alger told the CBS News blog AuthorTalk that she would probably still be practicing law if she weren’t a writer. And she tells the Careerist that she enjoyed her work at Wilmer. “Corporate work can be tiring,” she said. “But in bankruptcy, you can look at so many different aspects—transactions, tax. Wilmer was very generous with me and told me that I’d be welcome back. It’s a wonderful firm.”

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