As an attorney, practicing law overseas can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. Jamie Bowman, a Bay Area lawyer with legal roots in San Jose, chronicles her professional and personal adventures as an international legal consultant working in Ukraine, Russia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Bangladesh, and South Sudan. Jamie gives us a new perspective on what it's like to live and work in these places as a legal officer. She also expounds on the state of credit regulation and laws in these countries, the corruption that she had to deal with, including bribery, and the modern legal system she helped to put in place to bring their economies into the 21st century. Discover what Jamie found attractive and lucrative about practicing law in foreign countries, especially in places that are hot and dusty, cold and muddy, and in second and third-world countries, and how this impacted her personal and family life. Get inspired by Jamie's real-life stories, experiences, lessons she learned, her meaning of success, and her advice to young attorneys.
Jamie Bowman’s book: Bike Riding In Kabul
A transcript of this podcast is available at lovethylawyer.com.
Jamie Bowman ’80 just published her first book, Bike Riding in Kabul: The Global Adventures of a Foreign Aid Practitioner. Getting roughed up by Islamic fundamentalists, the weekly “feline sex-fest” in Kyiv, bribing Russian police to avoid jail in Moscow, sheltering under the sink (with the lizards) when the ammo dump exploded in Juba, automatic weapons training in Indiana, and that ill-fated morning bike ride in Kabul. It was a great job!
Bike Riding in Kabul follows the professional and personal adventures ofinternational legal consultant Jamie Bowman, an attorney from California, as she endeavors to update the laws of Kosovo, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Moscow, Afghanistan, Southern Sudan, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.
As seen through Ms. Bowman’s good humor and unique perspective, Bike Riding in Kabul moves with effortless charm through a fascinating array of personalities and events. It is full of exotic locations, difficult work challenges, strong female role models, and quirky characters, and explores a wide range of themes, including the important role of reform, Islamic attitudes toward a Western woman, endemic corruption, post-Cold War sentiments, and how other countries view the United States. Throughout the book, Jamie is supported by an Argentine boyfriend who helps her make sense of the crazy situations she finds herself in.
Fast-paced, funny, occasionally heartbreaking, but always wholly original, Bike Riding in Kabul captures the challenges of an American working overseas and is a story of finding the strength necessary to do the right thing, even when the consequences may be personally damaging.
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Attorney at Law
Jamie Bowman / Louis Goodman
Welcome to the Love Thy Lawyer podcast where we talk to attorneys about their lives and careers. Thank you so much for listening. I'm Louis Goodman. Today, we welcome attorney Jamie Bowman to the podcast. I suppose it would be fair to say that Jamie is a Bay Area lawyer with legal roots in San Jose. But she has had one of the most interesting legal careers that I've ever heard of. She has used her legal expertise to advise governments and NGOs in numerous exotic locales. She's been roughed up by Islamic fundamentalists. She's bribed Russian police officers to avoid arrest. And she's had automatic weapons training in Indiana. She's recently published a fascinating book called ‘Bike riding in Kabul’, which outlines her service in Kosovo, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Russia, Southern Sudan, Rwanda, and, of course, Afghanistan. Jamie Bowman, welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.
Thank you so much for having me.
Louis Goodman 1:10
It's a pleasure to have you your book really is interesting, and I certainly enjoyed reading it. Where are you speaking to us from right now?
Barry, Washington, DC. It rained all day. It's freezing, dark. So it's nice to see you on the West Coast.
And what sort of practice do you have right now?
Well, actually I've been working on the whole book thing for the last few months. But I'm on bids for several projects that are coming out. There's one in Georgia, the country of, not the state of. There's another one in Jordan, and another one in Lao. So hopefully, if all those come through, I'll be back on the road.
Well, you've certainly worked and travelled all around the world. Where are you from originally?
San Jose, California. My dad was an anesthesiologist at San Jose hospital. If you were born there, chances are he helped deliver you. So they lived there on Emery street for a long time. So I went to Archbishop Mitty High School, and then on to Berkeley.
What did you study at Cal Berkeley?
Jamie Bowman 2:16
I was on the crew team, my first year, which took all my time to be honest. But I went into history. And I received a degree in history and had no idea what to do.
Presumably like everybody else with a history degree, myself included, you decided to go to law school?
Jamie Bowman 2:35
Well, I'm gonna say this. I had a job on the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, which was tremendous, but it made me aware that I didn't want to be a clerk my entire life. So I knew I needed a second degree. And I didn't have any of the math. I didn't have any science. So going to law school was sort of a natural fit for me.
Did you take time off between college and law school then?
Jamie Bowman 3:01
Yeah, I was about a year and a half. I worked in San Francisco.
At the Pacific Stock Exchange?
I did and I lived right there. And sometimes I would take the cable car home from work.
Do you think having taken some time off and worked in industry, so to speak, helped you focus when you got to law school?
Jamie Bowman 3:24
I continued to work through law school, I had my parents give me some money, but it wasn't enough to cover the full three years. So I worked, and working and going to school was the only way I made it through because what I learned working in a law firm during the day somehow connected perfectly with what I was learning in school. And it made a much more relevant for me and I understood it better. So I was really lucky by doing that.
And where did you go to law school?
We started McGeorge in Sacramento. And then I took my last year as non matriculation at New York Law School.
New York Law in New York City?
Jamie Bowman 4:07
Yeah, it was fabulous. That was the year where people actually wore those T-shirts that said, I love New York, I heart New York. Should be behind bumper stickers with I heart New York. It was just really a fun time to be there.
After you finish law school, where did you decide to take the bar?
I took the California bar. And yes, I passed it the first time. And they tell you it doesn't matter. You just retake it. But if we fast forward 20 years, I was sitting at a plastic table by the new White Nile in southern Sudan. And the first question was, if you took the California Bar, did you pass it the first time?
When did you first start thinking about being a lawyer?
I don't like that question.
I have to admit, I wasn't sure about being a lawyer until I actually had a job working for the US government. And I wasn't sure how this was all going to work out for me. But I had the kind of mind which was absolutely perfect for the job I had. My first job out of law school was with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, which was the oversight agency for the Thrift Institution savings and loans and thrifts. And when I got in there, applying the regulations and seeing how the regulations and the laws worked, all of a sudden, it just ignited my love for how the law works. Where it was good, where it was bad, how it needed to be changed. And for me, those three years, the bank board, I learned so much in that short amount of time about being a lawyer. And that's when I really began to enjoy it.
So it's interesting, because you really didn't decide to be a lawyer until you actually were one.
Law school did not throw me, it's only when I was able to connect it to the practice that I really fell in love with it, if that makes sense. Be in class work, I didn't join a clinic so I was mostly I was working at a law firm. And I was going to school mostly at night. But when I was able to put my full energy into a legal job, I began to really enjoy it.
Take us from that first legal job into the practice where you started serving overseas.
Okay, so I was several years in the government, first it was in Washington DC that was with the US Treasury, the Federal Law Backboard. And then I went out to the West Coast where I worked in the regional office. So in Washington DC, you have these big broad stroke type applications, mergers and acquisitions, the big six, then you go to the regional office, and the regional office is more like regulation, you see what those institutions are really doing. It's a completely different practice. So I was hired out of the regional office by a mortgage company. And then I was in house counsel, and that was a lot, terrific job, I got to work with the business units, I learned more and more how the whole system worked. I really got a feel for what the laws and the regulations that I originally supervised. And then all of a sudden the subprime industry took over my institution. So we went from making these family mortgages, where families live for 20 30 years to making these subprime mortgages that were so lucrative, but I didn't like them. I didn't like the fact that we were promoting the use of your equity in your home as an ATM. I mean, originally, it was, you could take money out of your house to pay off medical bills, to put your kids through college. And all of a sudden, there's a quick slide and people were using that money for Caribbean vacations and breast augmentation and things that that you usually want to save up for. And I hated it, absolutely hated it.
So you left the government in Washington DC, and you came to the west coast and we're working in private industry in the private banking industry, correct?
Okay. But tell us about you're going into overseas work.
So when the subprime took over my institution, I knew I want to leave, but I couldn't find any job except in the subprime industry. Subprime was in every bank, every Thrift, every lender. And so just by luck, I found a listing for a job in Micronesia, and I decided I'll take two years off and see where things are in two years. And I went to Micronesia for 18 months. And that gave me enough overseas time to work on the larger projects funded by the World Bank, USA ID, the Asian Development Bank. And that's when I really started my overseas work. Because at that time, the World Bank and US ID were using mortgage lending and lending of movable property as a way to alleviate poverty.
So you were really able to use the experience that you had both in government and in private banking industry when you went abroad to facilitate the work that you did in Micronesia.
I was a twofer. I didn't do that. That was a twofer in the sense that I knew how to be an in house counsel, and how to be a regulator. But I didn't do that work in Micronesia. The first job I did that was my first was in Kosovo. And that's where the book starts.
How did you end up going to Kosovo? And what period of time were you there?
I was in Micronesia. It's a beautiful place. I encourage everybody to go. But as far as being a lawyer there, it was very slow. And so I was looking for a job that would take me off the island, because it was an island, you could drive around in two hours. That's how small it was. And the first job that came my way was working in the Balkans. And I took it, they gave me a ticket. And I left.
And this was after the war there?
It was after the wars, 2002.
What did you do in Kosovo?
They started me with the mortgage law. And there's some good story in the book, they're like, we want you to replicate what they have in United States, I started to investigate what was really in place at the time. And when the Serb soldiers left, and went back to Belgrade, they took the cadastre. So there were no land records for Kosovo. And to this day, they haven't retrieved the cadastre. So there's a lot of combs that can't be sold, and that whole mortgage industry never really took off because of that.
I'd like to focus in in terms of your overseas service on a few areas where you were. And the reason is, pretty much just because these are places that I'm interested in. But let's start with Kiev in the Ukraine. You went there. That's a place that we hear a lot about these days. So tell us about how you got to Kiev and what your experience there was?
Well, they were making the transition from Communism to Capitalism. And they were a democracy, although they were having a lot of problems with that. Because of the affiliation with Russia, donors were less willing to go in to Ukraine, as they were in the Balkans. I mean, they didn't want to rile up the Big Bear, which was next door. So there were fewer foreign consultants. And what I do is I helped rewrite the mortgage law with the understanding that we had to tweak it for the new constitution, which had a guarantee of housing. So the big issue is whether or not you could evict people from their homes. And it would be incredibly difficult. So that made making mortgages less appealing. Also, before the new constitution, families only had the right to use the property, they could never own them before that. So there are a lot of first impression issues there.
What was your sort of sense of Ukraine and Kiev and the people there and the way things work? What was your sense of that?
The amount of corruption there was unbelievable. I mean, I think that was my first real dealing with corruption on every level. For example, I had a friend who was getting married, and he had to pay a bribe to get his wedding certificate, his license on time. You had to bribe to get decent medical care, you could bribe to get an educational degree. It happened all the time in the ministries in different ways. The President was under investigation for being on a tape recording, where a journalist had his head cut off, and was left in a forest. So that was my first real face to face with that amount of corruption. They were delighted to be independent. They declared independence in 1991. Not too long after the wall in Berlin fell, but things weren't improving. In fact, things were going downhill at the time.
Do you have any sense of whether that level of corruption is any better now?
I don't. I love their new president. They went through the Orange Revolution not long after I left, and I follow up but not the way I would if I was going back. So he seems like a good guy.
Now you also had experience in Russia and in Moscow. Tell us a little bit about that experience.
Well, they warned me before I went there. I had to keep my eye on our counterpart. Our counterpart was the high-profile media company that had very close ties with the Primer and so the we had to make sure that each of us have our eyes on each other. In fact, I sat across my Russian counterpart for six full months, eyeball to eyeball basically. What I remember most about Moscow is the incredible what a magnificent city it is. And I know it's developed even more since I left in 2004. But considering I had been in Micronesia and Pristina going to a magnificent city was really a treat. In the book, I do talk about how I was snatched on the street. And they were going to take me to a Moscow jail because my residence permit was out of date. And it was a matter of calling up my counterpart who was on the slopes, snowboarding, and they negotiated a bribe, which I paid, and they let me go.
How did that work?
Well, I hand him my phone and they went back and forth in Russian. And then they agreed, and then he handed the phone back to me, he goes, okay, you're gonna pay this, it goes, go home and get your permit fixed. So when I was paying the policeman, I thought we'd go into a dark alley or something. And I would like, carefully give him bill's rules. And now it was like you pay or not pay. It's like jail or not jail. And right there on the street. I was putting rules in the hands of the policeman.
What kind of work were you doing in Moscow?
It was basically our UCC nine article nine, which is a little brother a mortgage, it's when you're able to use movable property as collateral for credit, that can we use that for buying a car, for buying equipment, for buying textiles, things like that. In the United States I think something like 400 billion of movable property is used as collateral.
Yeah, everything's used as collateral.
You got it. That's right.
And so you were helping set up a system of UCC Article Nine type regulations so that the economy, the Russian economy could essentially come into the 21st century?
Well, that whole area of Russia and all the states that were part of the USSR, they only had possessory pledges, which meant that you couldn't use the idle while it was collateral. So you had to take your backhoe or your harvester, and park it at the lenders lot. And which is defeats the purpose of buying something, really, I mean, you take three years to pay off and the item is obsolete. So we were trying to put in place the system where you can continue to use the item. But if you default, then it can be repossessed without going to court, which was really tough in those countries.
Yeah, I remember studying, I don't know, maybe it was UCC. Article Nine, maybe was commercial paper, I forget exactly what it was. But that was the whole basis of that kind of lending, was that you use the thing that you're purchasing as collateral for the loan so that you can use the item in order to make money.
That's right. But they didn't have it there. They had possessory pledges. And that's true, all through the Balkans. It's true all through that whole area of Russia. I'm not sure about China. But that's been one of the biggest reforms around the world, as far as critic goes, is putting that in place.
Yeah, it seems like that's just something that you just can't possibly run a modern economy with without.
You got it.
And now are those kinds of regulations in place in places like Ukraine and Russia?
They are but they vary, I mean, some of them are terrific, and some are less than terrific. And if I had a complaint about it, is that they implemented those laws without the appropriate consumer protection provisions. And so that is something that they're trying to make catch up on, they're trying to come up to speed and that's become sort of the new reform now.
Let's move from Russia and Ukraine to Afghanistan. And you spent some time in Kabul in 2005. And I'm wondering how you ended up going to Kabul and what that experience was like.
In 2005, there was a great deal of freedom, in the sense that they called it Kabubble because there was sort of agreement that there wouldn't be any bombings. So I was able to walk not, I was careful where I walked. I lived at near the US Embassy and near the row that was highly protected with a World Bank is but I was able to walk back and forth to my boyfriend's compound without too much trouble. And the whole name of the book is bike riding in Kabul, we actually borrowed bikes and went bike riding on a Friday morning when the streets are deserted. It was really interesting because they were trying to implement a democracy. But at the time, there were so many donors there, so many consultants trying to prove that they needed to be there. It was very lucrative to be there. Afghans were lovely, everyone I worked with was tremendous. But I did go back in 2010. And things had shifted dramatically by then, I only went back because it was the Obama surge. And I really had confidence own that Obama was a careful man, and he would have thought this route. But it was much worse in 2010, than it was in 2005.
Worse, in what way?
Worse, it was more dangerous. For sure. I thought that our work was, the dollars were spent as well, I guess the some people who were there shouldn't have been on site. There were a lot of problems in 2010. And I think that continued.
What sort of legal work were you doing in Afghanistan?
In 2005, I was helping the Ministry of Commerce put together a foreign direct investment law. The United States has one, but it's very, very small. And it's rarely used other countries, especially Muslim countries that want to keep certain things out like pork, like gambling, like prostitution, they want a foreign direct investment law. It's also believed that if you have these things in the law, it will encourage investments, because investors will know how they'll be treated for eminent domain, taxes, whether they have access to the courts. So my minister at the time wanted this lob. So I helped him finalize the law and submit it tomorrow.
How does the direct investment law help keep gambling, prostitution, pork out of the country?
Well, I suppose it doesn't. Because we had quite a bit of pork. And we definitely had access to pork and wine and alcohol. But I think that it's that they put the rules up there. It's the law, if you do it, you know that you will be penalized, right? So it's a prohibition, this is our country, this is what we won't allow in, if it comes through through other channels, that's a crime, not so much a foreign direct investment type thing.
You've been practicing law in foreign countries, a lot of places that are real hot and dusty, or very cold and muddy, and third world countries, second world countries, and obviously, you have choices in your life about where you live, and where you work. What is it about that sort of practice that you found so attractive?
After I got going, of course, everybody has a learning curve. I was very attuned to how the mortgage system work, how credit works, and the goal is trying to help people have a better standard of living. Now, that's a lot more interesting to me than a paycheck. So if you compare that job, even if you're living in a tent, which I did in southern Sudan, or converted container, which I did in Afghanistan, it's much more rewarding to me, than that other job, which the benefit was a bonus, or improving the bottom line of my company.
You spent a lot of time over the years overseas. And then obviously, you would come back to the United States from time to time. What was your impression when you came back to America?
It's crazy, because over those years, the US to someone coming from a small place like Micronesia or Kosovo, or Kiev, I mean, I'm not saying small but you come back to lights and music and advertisement and so shun and over the top options, and I remember sitting in an airport watching CNN thinking, this is crazy. This was like being in Times Square. They were banners going which way it was the stock market and people were coming on. I said, this would make me very nervous. And every time I came back, I would come back for like a month every February, and it was the same thing would amp up again. It's very hard to keep the American public, to keep their attention.
What do you think Americans don't really understand about the way the rest of the world works?
The rest of the world didn't grow up the way we did, though the rest of the world has not been told that you are an individual, and you can make it. Most places you're part of a community and you have to work with the community to make the community better.
And what do you think people abroad and again, that's grossly over generalize, but for purposes of this question, let's take it. What do you think people abroad don't really understand about America or Americans?
That it's in our DNA to move and drive and achieve and undertake on new things and have an imagination, and that we're so proud of our country. I mean, I have had in some of these stories are in the book, it's like, I've had people say the worst things to be, because I'm an American. It's in the first Afghan chapter work, someone tried to imply that we deserved 9/11 and I was furious. I was just I stopped all the way to my boyfriend's compound, because I couldn't stay in the room. It's like, these were innocent people, that beyond and I didn't like that at all. But I am very proud of my country, I understand that there are problems that need to be addressed. But then when I go overseas, like I get a little prickly when they start picking on us.
Speaking of picking us, can you tell the story about the butter in Poland?
This was in Kosovo, and there was a Polish girl who was a bank consultant. And we were taking a walk, I took the same walk every week, the dogs chased me but it was my routine when she asked if she could come along. And she's talking about this and that and then she goes that after the war her family received care packages.
World War II
Right. World War II. After World War II, thank you. Her family received care packages from the United States. And then she says, and what was in those packets? And like, no, she goes salted butter. And I'm like, salted butter? She’s, salted butter. I go, is that all that was in those packages, just salted butter? I didn't understand what she was talking about. She was, there was cocoa and there's can meat and there was some sugar and the list goes on and on. She goes, but Jamie, Polish people do not eat salted butter, and all the things that she could complain about, considering it as post secondary war, and we were sending these images. The fact that she had to eat salted butter seems so minor. But after 40 years, she still had to mention it.
As a criticism in the United States,
Exactly as a criticism of the United States.
If a young person, were just graduating from college thinking about a career, would you recommend well, first of all the law. And second of all, practicing law in the way you have practiced it?
I would recommend law school, I always do. I mean, people say oh gosh, no, you should go out and learn how to play the guitar. It's like, when I went to law school, it helped me think in an orderly fashion. It really gave me better writing skills, better thinking skills, better research skill, which I use my entire life, and I would always use. So that's terrific.
Two part question. What do you think is the best advice you've ever received? And flipside, what advice would you give to a young attorney just starting out?
If we're talking about international work, best advice I received for international work, was don't have an opinion for six months. I completely disregarded and I was sorry, I did. Because you read up on the country, you talk to your colleagues about country, you get a sense of what's going on. Well, it takes a while to be there to really understand what you're talking about. Maybe you don't need It's six months, but you need some time to realize that this good guy maybe isn't such a good guy, this bad guy, maybe he's not such a bad guy. So you have to find out these things yourself. I think that was great advice I received.
Louis Goodman 30:16
And what advice would you give?
Jamie Bowman 30:17
I think it's really important to do your own evaluation of a situation to figure out what's really going on. That's why they hire you. They want your brain.
Louis Goodman 30:29
How has all this foreign legal work and travel fit into your family life, your personal life?
Jamie Bowman 30:39
Well, I drew up, at least 15 of the 20 years that I've worked overseas, I had the same boyfriend, which was great, because we ping pong across the world. And even we would meet up in romantic places. Well, I mean, Southern Sudan is not so romantic, but and Afghanistan is not so romantic, but that was really, really fun. I have my own family, which means that the people I've met, the people who do what I do, it's great to run into those people and have Thanksgiving with them because you can talk and you don't sound like you're bragging about travelling. People say to me, I love to travel and go, I've been to Mexico two or three times now. You're planning to get well, that's not how I travel exactly. But you just let it go, because you don't want anybody to feel badly. So I have a family of people who do what I do.
Louis Goodman 31:35
I'd like you to tell us a little bit about that experience in Afghanistan involving clothing.
Jamie Bowman 31:45
You mean my clothing. Well, it was because in 2005 Kabul was relatively safe. We decided to walk to the market just to see what was there because a couple was on the Silk Road. I mean, that's where the caravans from the east carrying silks and satins and the gold carrying caravans from the west met up. So there's a great entrepreneurship there. And so we went down to the market and there's all these kiosks and there's suddenly handmade ice cream and Indian textiles and they have a place for the fix a chai cup. So we decided to go down there and I was wearing a long dress that went to my ankles. And all of a sudden a car comes by or van and the man is shaking his fist at me and yelling at me. And my boyfriend comes up and he goes they're just saying welcome to Afghanistan. And they were, I mean there were angry. So we walked a little longer and then somebody started yelling at me. And it turns out I had a slit in the back of my skirt that was only about six inches high enough to allow me to walk and this woman came over and pulled up her skirt and she was wearing little pantaloons, the kind of fringy things you put on a lamb chop or like a sign that Scarlett O'Hara would wear. And if you wear a skirt in Afghanistan, you have to have the right underclothing as well. And these are the piece of advice who were being yelled at me, because it was the modest
Louis Goodman 33:26
When you are not working when you're not actually doing legal work. What sort of recreational pursuits do you have?
Jamie Bowman 33:36
I'm like trainee Act, which means unlikely to go on the long train rides that are around the world. And at that I've taken some jobs just so I could take the train that was there. I worked in Mongolia, and I was able to take the train from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing and so that's through the desert is fabulous. I've taken the Gallman which is from Darwin down to Adelaide and others and two, I'm a long distance Walker. So I've done the coast to coast, I've done the El Camino, I did Hadrian's Wall, a few others that may not have names but yeah, find somebody to do that with.
Louis Goodman 34:17
Is there someone living or dead you'd like to meet?
Jamie Bowman 34:19
Yeah, and I'm probably the only person with this answer, but I have a history crush on George Washington. He was just the right man for the job, right person, he was badgered and belittled and he had failings in the military but he stuck with it. He was apparently a coin die. I know that people object to the fact that he owned slaves and I completely understand that. But they tried to offer him the title king, he refused. He knew that was the wrong way to go. So I've got a longtime crush on George Washington.
Louis Goodman 34:57
How do you define success?
Jamie Bowman 34:59
Really a good question. Success has been, for example, when I went to Southern Sudan, my job was to take the old laws, which were implemented before Sharia law was enacted by the North. So these laws were the old British laws. Some of them were 100 years old. And that was my job. They wanted me to search and replace Sudan with South Sudan. And I said, no, this is not what a new country needs. These laws are 100 years old. They're not good for financing. They're not good for domestic violence. They're not good for criminal law. These are not the laws you want for this new country. And it took me a while. It took me several weeks, and I was able to convince USAT that we needed to do a different approach. It would be a lot more work, but it was appropriate for southern Sudan. That was success, I use my knowledge, and I was able to persuade a very big dedicated project to do things differently to the benefit of the country. I was happy about it.
Louis Goodman 36:16
What sort of things keep you up at night?
Jamie Bowman 36:19
Lots of things recently. I'm very worried about the way of the world, I think that's it. I'm very aware of what's going on. And so many places with so many fires, I know I can't do anything about it. I support efforts and advocacy where I can but I am not asleep at the wheel. I'm very worried about what's going on the world.
Louis Goodman 36:43
Let's say you came into some real money, let's say three or four billion dollars. What if anything, would you do differently in your life?
I don't know exactly how I'd do this, but I'm sure there's a software programme. I would love to give money to all those people who just need that little extra push to make those families and individuals who have been working with they need an extra $5,000 for a down payment on a home. The tennis club, a high school tennis club that gets older tennis racket stones, I'd like to replace those. There's so much money that goes to these big development projects. And we just like to work help out the ordinary Joes that need it, oh my gosh, I need new tires on my car. I would love to be able to say, there you go in peace and be good today. It sounds pretty low level. But I think there are a lot of people who are right on that edge between making it and not making it. I would like to play a part in that.
Let's say you had a magic wand and there was one thing in the world legal or otherwise that you could change, what would that be?
Jamie Bowman 38:03
I would take away greed. There wouldn't be seven deadly sins, there would be six. I think greed, I don't even mind envy. Envy is okay with me. But greed, I think if we didn't have greed, then we wouldn't have the disproportionate allocation of resources. We wouldn't have the overreaching. I mean, it wasn't magic wand, right? It was like I can say some stuff. It really is. Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is good for those companies. What if you didn't greed, you wouldn't have the abuse of customers. You wouldn't have the subprime lending the way it turned out. So if we could just get rid of that greed I think it would be miraculous change.
Louis Goodman 38:52
Let's say someone gave you 60 seconds on the Super Bowl. Super Bowl ad, big platform, big audience. What would you like to say?
Jamie Bowman 39:04
I would like to say a wake up. We're all in this together. And I'm not just talking about climate. I'm talking about everything. I know it goes against our principles that we're individuals and we need to make it on our own and we can make it on our own. But I don't know, I think that that we take that too literally and we have to think more in terms of mass transit and trains and get out of our cars. I know these are really liberal philosophies, but it just seems to me that we're not in the place we really want to be right now.
Louis Goodman 39:37
If someone wants to get in touch with you, what's the best way to do that?
Jamie Bowman 39:43
There's all kinds of ways, I'm on LinkedIn. It's Jamie J-A-M-I-E, Bowman, B-O-W-A-N. I'm really proud of my Instagram because I'm able to post a lot of pictures from when I worked overseas. And that's called The World According to Jamie with periods of between each of the words. So the period, @the.world.according.to.jamie with periods in between and I have an email and that's email@example.com.
Louis Goodman 40:18
Jamie, J-A-M-I-E, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Bowman 40:25
And I hope I don't regret saying this but I welcome that feedback I get when I started marketing my book, I went on LinkedIn and I make connections with all the students who are taking international development courses. And the response was fabulous. I mean, congratulations, well done. Can't wait to read it. These are kids I've never met, just enthusiastic about the industry, and there's a book out there. That might be helpful.
Louis Goodman 40:55
And the name of your book is "Bike Riding in Kabul". K-A-B-U-L.
Jamie Bowman 41:02
It's available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Louis Goodman 41:05
Great. So Bike Riding in Kabul you can find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Great. Jaime, is there anything that you want to talk about that we haven't discussed?
Jamie Bowman 41:23
I would like to say one thing about the book, which is very touching for me is that throughout the book, I talk about my dad who was a doctor in San Jose, and the impact he had on the decisions I made as an adult. And it's really a tender part of the book. And so I wanted to explain that it wasn't just a travel book and not just a workbook. There's a really touching vignette that goes through there that I think will appeal to a lot of people.
Louis Goodman 41:55
And in fact, you've dedicated the book to your dad, Walter M. Bowman.
Jamie Bowman 42:00
Correct. In celebration. He was a good guy, and he didn't get enough fanfare when he was alive. So this was why I took my attempt to rectify.
Louis Goodman 42:09
Jamie Bowman, thank you so much for joining me today on the love thy lawyer podcast. It's been a pleasure to talk to you and it was a pleasure to read your book.
Jamie Bowman 42:17
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and being able to talk to you.
Louis Goodman 42:23
That's it for today's episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and follow the podcast. If you have comments or suggestions, send me an email. Take a look at our website at lovethylawyer.com, where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs and information.
Thanks to my guests and to Joel Katz from music, Bryan Matheson for technical support, Paul Robert for social media and Tracy Harvey. I'm Louis Goodman.
Jamie Bowman 43:00
Counterpart said No, no, no, no, no. He let us only visit a few places, so it was carefully monitored, who we met.