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The Long Commute

By Jeanne Deprincen | Oct. 2, 2006

Law Office Management

Oct. 2, 2006

The Long Commute

Commuting between Sausalito and Kathmandu. By Laura McClure

By Laura McClure
      Edited By Martin Lasden
      For many lawyers, retirement may mean more time for golf and with the grandkids. But for 81-year-old Olga Murray, it means a 7,600-mile commute between Sausalito and Kathmandu, where she lives half the year. "It's a little schizophrenic, but it suits me quite well," she says. Murray is the founder of the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation, a 16-year-old nonprofit dedicated to providing Nepali children--particularly girls--with medical care, scholarships, and other educational opportunities. "I'm not the type to sit around, eat bonbons, and polish my nails," she explains.
      The idea for the program grew out of a trekking trip Murray took to Nepal in 1984, when she was 59. "Other women fall in love with men, I fall in love with countries," she says. At the time, Murray was working as a research attorney for Justice Stanley Mosk, a job she loved. But she had been on staff at the California Supreme Court since 1955 and realized that retirement wasn't far off. Her affinity for travel, plus her desire to work with children when she retired, came together in the Himalayas in an "aha!" moment. "I just said to myself, this is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life."
      Today, the foundation she started is thriving, with more than 2,700 children on scholarship. And though Murray insists on giving all the credit to the local Nepali staff, the success also seems due in large part to her own persistent fundraising. A plug from Oprah Winfrey on her show in 2002 didn't hurt either.
      For lawyers nearing retirement who want more from their remaining years than a better golf game, Murray has a few words of advice: Find what really excites you, and go for it 100 percent.

Jeanne Deprincen

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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