Gone Fishin'

HEY!

I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!

10.18.2005

A few thoughts on law school

Although I wish this to be a forward-looking blog, I think it might be good to get some things out about why I left law school after my first year. I just got an "attrition survey" in the mail that asks me to check one or two of seven boxes that correspond to various reasons for leaving- and of course it isn't that simple.

One of my greatest fears leading up to and during law school was that I would permanantly abandon so many of my interests in order to begin this career as a lawyer. For me, funding law school entirely on my own means that there is little choice upon getting out- I have to go be a praticing lawyer- and while this isn't the scariest or worst thing in the world, it's not what I'd really like to be doing with my life in the long term. On top of that, I got married in August and the upcoming wedding gave me a lot of pause to think of what kind of husband I wanted to be. I knew that in my time during the first year of school, I had ignored my fiancee- now- wife, had hung up on her on the phone because I knew I had too much work to be doing that night. I think I fooled myself that I could balance her, manage her almost as I managed my course load. But by second semester, I was barely doing either, and while my grades did not completely tank, they didn't get much better, and my class rank dropped well below the halfway mark.

Throughout this, I often questioned why I was going to law school. The idea began for me when I had been a fairly disgruntled civil servant for about a year. One day, I emailed my dad and told him I was thinking about an MFA or maybe going to law school. Within a day or so, he wrote me back with a lot of reasons why an MFA was a bad idea and why law school was a good idea. At this point, I think an MFA would have been a bad idea as well, my depth in english literature is not good enough right now to produce good work, and I would be far better served by pursuing an MA At any rate, this began the law school idea. I took the LSAT, applied and got into Vermont Law School, then deferred for a year when another more interesting job prospect came along. In the meantime, Kate got into an MA program in South Carolina and went. I should have gone with her, but I plugged along in my job for her first year and in Law scxhool for the second. Being apart was a strain, but it wasn't the only strain.

Law school was a double edged sword for me, I learned so much, but I feel like I left behind an awful lot as well. Prior to school, I was upset with myself for losing touch with friends, failing to write enough good poetry, not getting outside enough. Law School didn't help any of those things much. But what really started to get to me was the ego and false confidence I was surrounded with all the time. As the second semester wound down, everybody was talking about where they were going to work for the summer. I didn't know where I was going to work for the summer and I didn't know if I wanted to go back at all in the fall. I felt like a traitor. All around me were people who by all accounts appeared to be 100% invested in their career in law, while I was wondering whether I ought to be there at all. I'm sure there were others in my position as well. I'm sure many of them went back this fall. I'm sure they'll all make great lawyers, and I think I would have been a good one too. I could even see myself going back to get a JD someday, when I can fit it into my life rather than fit my life into it.

I had such good friends at VLS too, who I left behind for the most part without a word, entirely because I didn't know what to say. I have wanted to write or call, but I feel that since I am jobless and out of this shared experience of school, I don't have much to write home about right now. Maybe soon. Now, I still feel like a bit of a traitor- I'm one of those people people at law schools speculate about, as in "ooh, I wonder who'll drop out over the summer..." I know I said those things, I know I felt superior to those who dropped out after the first semester, when really, perhaps they are my superiors for figuring something out before I did. I'm not sure.