Monday, March 12, 2012

So, Why Law School?

I hear this question frequently.  It comes from lawyers and non-lawyers alike.  From college students contemplating law school and middle-aged men wishing they would have went.

As a writer and lawyer, words are the tools of my craft.  You would expect some witty reply that sums up my basic philosophy in life.  That is what the person who asked the question expects too.

My answer always disappoints.  The truth usually does.  The answer is I don't know.

My life has always been a guessing game.  When I describe my past, no one could have predicted my future.  And I feel that's still the case.  There is a lot more future for me out there and I don't have a clue where it will take me.  That is the exciting part of life, isn't it?

I digress.  So the real reason I went to law school?  I had finished college and dropped out of a master's program in speech therapy.  I was no longer interested in it.  I returned to my part-time job stocking shelves at a grocery store, started substitute teaching, and joined a volunteer fire company.

At the time, I was contemplating full-time employment at the grocery store.  Work my way up through the ranks and maybe I'd be a store manager by the time I was 40.

It was actually the chief of my fire company that changed the course of my life.  He told me that I needed to seek out a big city.  A person can only grow as big as their surroundings.  My destiny was not in stocking broccoli and pruning romaine lettuce.

A friend of mine was set on going to law school.  I decided to check it out.  I was a bit naive as I took the LSAT (which is exactly what it sounds like.  SAT's for law school), but I did well enough to get into a school.  A law degree would allow me to get an advanced degree, but not limit me to a particular field. A law degree would help open doors that were otherwise closed.

Law school was never the dream for me.  It became a means to an end of doing something bigger than I could imagine.  I still don't know what that will be.  I envy people I meet that are performing their dream jobs, or had specific goals from the time they were young.  For me, the river of life swept me along.  I floated and followed.  Sometimes I kicked my legs to feel like I was in motion.

It took someone to push me out of the current to actually start moving.  Thank you.


  1. "For me, the river of life swept me along. I floated and followed. Sometimes I kicked my legs to feel like I was in motion."

    Me too!!! Although now that I'm in a position in my life where I can't really do much in the way of changing it, I do wish I had gone to law school. But I work for a lawyer and love it!

  2. I just stumbled upon this blog and it is awesome! I found answers to many residual questions I had about pursuing a career as a criminal prosecutor! If you don't mind me asking, where did you go to law school? Do you think the school's rank makes a significant difference opportunity-wise?

    1. I went to a Tier 2/Tier 3 law school (depending on the year of rankings). The name of the school does not make as much difference as how you do. If you are at the top of a tier 2 school, you are looked more favorably than someone in the middle to bottom of a Tier 1 school. Wherever you go, it is important to network with alumnae whenever you get a chance.