Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I posted this on my LJ as well, so if you ran across it there for whatever reason, I apologize for my repetitive redundancy (haha). My main motivation is to get as much input on the idea as is humanly possible, from as many sources as possible, in order to make the best possible choice.
A friend of ours, let's call him Darkwing (everyone else does), is knee-deep in a two-year Criminal Justice program at a local community college, which apparently funnels directly into any pre-law program in the whole entire state of Connecticut -which is nothing to brag about, until you remember that Yale is in Connecticut...Anyway, we were talking last night about his experiences at school, and it occurred to me...law school? me? shit, if he can do it...
As is my wont, I immediately came up with a hundred reasons why I can't do it/shouldn't do it/would fail catastrophically. here are a few key reasons why even thinking about law school is stupid and doomed to failure -
1) It has not been a childhood dream of mine, even for a second, to be a lawyer. In fact, I've never for a minute bought into the whole lawyer mystique. It's not all "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury" and fast cars and nice shoes. it's phone calls and paperwork and photocopies and waiting and waiting and waiting...there's nothing glamorous or "LA Law" about it. It's not like being a lawyer would immediately catapult me into a life of lushly appointed tuscan villas and such. and even if it did, so the fuck what? I'm not motivated by money and glamour. it's all an illusion anyway.
2) As much as I'm not motivated by money and glamour, neither am I motivated by any sort of missionary zeal or altruistic energy or passion for justice or any desire at all to Do the Right Thing or champion the civil rights of The People or even to wave the flag in favor of Mom and Apple Pie. I'm not really crazy about the idea of public office or child advocacy or anything - not that there's anything wrong with such motives; there's a lot right with such motives and I wish I had some of those motives. but I don't. there are plenty of folks out there who are smarter than me who have way more energy to fight the good fight than I have.
3) I'm old. and broke. did I mention old?
4) My main motivation may simply be to settle an old score with my parents. That can't be a good thing.
On the other hand, the idea is not dead yet. a few key points keep it on idea-life-support:
1) revenge is a powerful motivator. what better way to tell my parents to take a flying fuck at a rolling O than to say "haHA! I have a law degree! Underachieve THIS!"
2) though I might not ever rake in the big bucks, my family (such as it is) will never starve. surely with a law degree I can get a job that isn't predicated solely upon my ability to chirp cheerfully into the telephone for eight hours. I mean, nobody can say "no" to a law degree, right?
3) it's a lot of school. and I love school. I really need validation from an outside source to feel worthwhile and intelligent. I need constant reassurance that I'm a big fat smartypants or life is just not worth living for me. (sad but true.) so the process of law school itself is as intriguing to me as the result.
4) did I mention my gloriously lurid revenge fantasies? "no, parents, I can't come to your house for dinner, I am far too busy LAWYERING with my LAW DEGREE...oh, did I miss your funeral because I was out LAWYERING? what a shame..."
so - please add arguments pro or con so I can figure this out. I fear that this idea will just add itself to the heap of half-assed ideas gathering dust in my head - maybe confronting it and exposing it to ruthless public opinion will help it die a relatively painless death so I can stop obsessing and move on.
well. I don't want to vote just based on what you have here, yet.
I'll ask this: is there any other field that attracts you enough to consider going back to school? It does sound like you're ready to go back to school for a career change of some sort.
However - I think I can do better.
I've been back to school already(a different community college within the same state system), with mixed results: 3.95 GPA over 21 credits, but bailed out last semester - I just didn't feel like I was getting anywhere. I also did a summer program at Smith - 6 credits/4.0 GPA. But it's been a somewhat scattershot approach, with no real plan.
I thought about majoring in art history, or american history, with the aim of eventually working in the education department of a museum. However, the likelihood of achieving that goal before we all starve to death is pretty slim.
I've also thought about divinity school.
I'd teach if I believed in public school, which I don't.
The good part of this particular program is that it is well supported, rigorously structured, and mentored to the teeth. The plan is baked right in, so to speak.
One idea is to combine law + history in any one of several different ways, or law + art in any one of several different ways.
I've been basing most of my life around "fuck you, Dad". it's not like that particular leitmotif is ever going to fade away. I'd be saying "fuck you, Dad" whatever the end result.
however, the fact that I am not all swoony pie-eyed with desire at the prospect of making money off of other people's misery (or alternately, at the prospect of Saving the World) does indeed give me pause.
maybe I'm going about this all wrong.
Divinity school sounds pretty cool.
So, would you be interested in an academic career, if public school per se is off the menu? I mean, if you're interested in history and the law, there're all kinds of ways that kind of knowledge would be valuable. it might involve writing lots of papers.
Sounds like maybe you'd be interested in something more research-oriented, rather than becoming a lawyer per se. Policy?
I know a girl with a law degree who went to work for The National Poultry Council. She's a chicken lawyer.
Art History + Criminal Justice = art authenticator/fraud detective! exciting and glamorous!
Am. History + Law = talking head on Crossfire. now that would be fun.
I'm the primary breadwinner for our little family at the moment. If this situation is to continue, it would be great if I didn't spend 1/3 of my time on this good earth wishing I was dead. kwim?
If your writings are similar to what you're talking about here, I may want to Friend you...
my LJ is mad boring. I talk about my birds and my mate and my domestic life (le yawn...I'm soooooooooooooo radical...)
who are you on LJ?