After my first year of law school, M and I came to the conclusion that we needed to get a second vehicle. We did a lot of research and finally found a car that we could afford that would suit our needs. We ended up purchasing a 1993 Honda Accord LX. It has been a good car and has done well over the years. However, it is now 15 years old, the paint is oxidizing like crazy, one of the windows doesn't unroll, the antenna is busted, and the rust finally wore a hole in the muffler. Now M can hear me well before I pull into the garage on my way home from work. Of course, I've been too busy to get it fixed, so I've endured the sound for months now.
Anyway, tonight I had a meeting with a new client in a very affluent part of Portland. It took me a little while to find the house I was looking for and so I was driving around the neighborhood while people were wondering how I was even allowed through the gates of the community. Once I found the house, the owner was waiting for me with other owners. I pulled into the driveway and parked behind the owner's BMW 750Li and his wife's Lexus SUV. As I turned off the car and it sputtered out, I had a feeling of embarrassment and a fear that I was going to get fired solely based on the car I drove.
There seems to be a delicate balance for a lawyer's vehicle choice. You want to be able to drive something nice enough that clients will think your successful, but not so nice that they are upset that they feel like they are paying you too much. In any event, I think the time has come for me to make some sort of upgrade.