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I am a part of the generation that led the great migration of women into professions. Like many of my peers, I set out to prove I could simultaneously shatter ceilings and parent precocious progenies. Also, like my contemporaries, in taking on new challenges, I did not abandon old responsibilities. We were to achieve from bedroom to boardroom, responsible for housekeeping, cooking, chauffeuring, nurturing, and more. Later, when our children moved out and we retired, we were left to fill crater-sized voids with purpose and meaning.

Most of our role models share their achievements—few their challenges, pains, and anxieties. I seek to normalize our later life challenges by exposing the underbellies of our journeys. When we rid ourselves of unrealistic expectations, we are free to experience deep meaning and joy.

Two years after my father died, we moved my mother to a South Florida senior community. My parents had been married for 64 years. My siblings and I tried therapy, medication, even private voice lessons, but we could not give my mother joy nor purpose. One day, she looked at me and said, “What would you do if you finished reading your book and there were no more books left to read?”

My mother was only 20 years older than me and I, too, had run out of purpose. I had sold my business and my children were on their own. Like most midlife plus women, I was facing the decline and loss of my parents at the same time I was dealing with my own middle life reckonings.

About Laura

Building a Business Through a Temporary Solution

January 10, 1999

By Harry Bask “Similar to many successful entrepreneurs, [Laura] Black started Attorneys Per Diem because her own personal experience enabled her to see a niche in the marketplace. After gradu­ating from Maryland, she practiced law for two years as an associate for Whiteford, Taylor and Preston. She entered law school 10 years after graduating from Emory University and after working as an executive for an apparel company. The…

About Laura

Attorneys Per Diem is sold

May 12, 1995

By Kim Clark Attorneys Per Diem Inc., a 5-year-old Baltimore company that places more than 100 temporary lawyers, paralegals and secretaries in jobs throughout Maryland and Washington each day, was purchased yesterday by Jacksonville, Fla.-based AccuStaff Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. President Derek Dewan said his Florida temporary services company wants to be the first major temporary agency to enter the growing legal market. AccuStaff…

About Laura

Have legal guns, will travel

September 28, 1991

By Blair S. Walker Attorneys Per Diem is on the lookout for crackerjack barristers. Lawyers who, after a job well-done, can obtain similar results the following day — for a different employer. Laura Black and Mark Neumann started Attorneys Per Diem in June, taking the lawyer-as-hired-gun concept to its logical conclusion. Against the backdrop of a sluggish economy and layoffs and defections among law firm attorneys, Ms. Black…