You didn't get a dog in law school because you knew you'd be moving, studying, and interviewing all over the country (or not). You didn't get one during bar study or during that brief stint of unemployment that followed.
Now that you have the dream job, it's time for the dream dog. Sure, you're busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony, but if you keep waiting, you'll be 35 and too busy with children to care for a pooch.
Given the limitations to your schedule from working such insane hours, your ideal breeds of dog are severely constricted. Obviously, since you have little free time, you're not going to want a needy, super energetic, long-haired companion. Instead, take a look at these five low-maintenance breeds:
Tiny. Super, super tiny. Plus, after that Taco Bell commercial, and Reese Witherspoon's baby Bruiser, (c'mon lawyers, you know "Legally Blonde") the Chihuahua's popularity exploded. And then it apparently imploded, as it seems every single dog at the local shelter is a Chihuahua. There are a ton that need homes. However, have you ever met someone with a Chihuahua? These dogs hate everyone who is not their owner. That's fine for you, however, as 80-hour work weeks mean you'll have no friends anyway.
2. The Pug.
A hate-it-or-love-it breed, you'll either fall in love instantly with a pug's pugnacious face or you'll say "what the %!& happened to that dog?" The good news is, a pug is decently easy to care for. Because of that pinched up snout, pugs can't breathe all that well, so you don't need to take it on long, strenuous walks or runs. Short hair means less grooming and chances for tangling -- though the pug's wrinkles do often need cleaning or risk being infected. Finally, the diminutive dog's stature means it is perfect for apartment life.
What about a bigger wrinkly-faced breed? Bulldogs are, much like bull mastiffs, low-energy. Much like pugs, their short snouts mean leisurely exercise is the their limit. Again, short hair means little grooming, but you'll have to watch the face folds and clean them regularly.
Yes, it's a beast. Heck, the dog's size might make it prohibitive alone if you live in an apartment that restricts on size. But, the super-calm and apparently lazy Mastiff makes it the perfect "I'm too busy to play Frisbee" dog. Short hair and low energy make this gentle giant a great choice for the busy barrister.
Super fast and super lazy? Apparently so. According to the Greyhound Hall of Fame, they are the "45 mile per hour couch potato." They love sprinting, yet a 20- to 30-minute daily walk will suffice. Short hair (seeing a pattern?) means no trips to the groomers or tangled fur. If you aren't interested in the tiny dogs or the massive mastiff, the Greyhound is a great compromise. Plus, they look funny. Really, really funny.
Editor's Note, February 18, 2015: This post was first published in February 2013. It has since been updated.