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Should I stay or should I go?

It's not just coincidental that I haven't been writing as much about law school lately, nor have I stopped thinking about it less now that I have nothing but waitlists to hang on. I have been thinking about the law--I've been thinking that it might have been a terrible mistake for me to go to law school. Or it might have been exactly what I needed.

Scheherazade at Stay of Execution lists some systematic problems with the profession in a post titled, "Legal Lies." Which makes the study of law sound like a poor course of action, but at least knowing the truth beforehand allows one to make an educated decision. I've been reading that stuff for a long time. There's a lot of it out there, and it's fairly easy to find. Then on the other hand we have the law bloggers who say, "I may complain every now and then but I really love doing this." And I've met with practicing lawyers who love their jobs, so I know that it's not all bad; at least not for everybody.

So I still wrestle with the question of whether I should go to law school if I get the call, or drop all my waitlists now and get some closure. I'm not thinking about whether I will re-apply next fall or not. Most days I'm tempted not to even think about the waitlists and take the attitude that "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," since I could be doing a whole lot of pointless agonizing if nothing pans out. On the other hand, if I do get an offer, I need to be ready with an answer.

It would have been so easy if I'd been accepted right off the bat. I could have taken the offer and not thought twice about it. Now I'm reconsidering my decision to apply and overwhelmed with the number of alternative career paths I could choose. To her credit, Scheherazade identified her big dream and decided to pursue it. I'm still not sure what my big dream is, and I don't know what's next for me, but one thing's for sure: I can't stay here.

Categories: law school

5 comments:

CM said...

It seems like your life is finally getting settled, with your dog and your wife's new job. Is putting the decision off for a year an option? If you got in off the waitlist, could you defer? You'd have some time to explore alternatives and decide whether you really wanted to go to law school.

sui generis said...

That's a very sensible idea! More food for thought...

Dave! said...

Just like with the Rule Against Perpetuities, I think a "wait-and-see" approach would be prudent. Why not just ride out the wait lists? If you do get accepted, then you can decide or ask about deferment. But if not, then the decision is made for you...

sui generis said...

If nothing else, I do wonder how it will all end. I think that curiousity will prevent me from doing anything drastic, and I'll end up waiting until I get a final "yes" or "no."

TP said...

FWIW, though I despise my BigFlaw job, I don't for a single second regret going to law school.

I love the way law school trains you to think -- I think the key is awareness. Be aware that most lawyers -- particularly lawyers who work for large law firms -- don't like their jobs one little bit.

But I also think that too many lawyers get trapped in a Manichean way of thinking. There's LOTS of different ways of practicing law, and lots you can do with a law degree without practicing law. Sherry's going to do contract legal work while she pursues her dream of writing.

Best anyone can do, IMO, is go into it with one's eyes wide open.

JMO.

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