Giving In

you may say im a dreamer…but im not the only one. i hope someday you’ll join us…

First off, I have to thank The Belle for her Law school frustrations because I’ve been thinking of a way to write this post since last night. I was covering the downstairs desk at my job because the assistant had to go to a staff meeting.  As I sat down there browsing the Huff Post, and wishing it were 5 o’clock one of the professors stopped by to talk to me. This isn’t completely abnormal because I’m a new face and they all want to know me because that’s just the kind of place this is.  So she sat down and asked me about myself, and I gave her the spill; name/hometown/what brought me to San Diego, etc.  She’s elated that my name is Jessica and starts to tell me about her daughter whose name is also Jessica.  She mentions that she in law school currently working a summer internship and is completely miserable.  She does not feel she fits in with the Law School crowd, and after working knows that she for sure does not want to practice in a law firm.  I got a little excited when I responded because I hear this story time and time and TIME again.  For some reason its always people in Law School. I’m starting to think maybe there’s a personality type…but anyway, these kids get to law school, hate it, and tell themselves they are all kinds of failures if they decide not to continue.  So they press on, miserable and morose, finishing their 3 years in hell only to shell out thousands taking the bar which they inevitably fail and then end up working jobs they could have been working 3 years ago (or getting a Masters which they could have gotten and already been working in their field with).  The sad part is they’re all too happy to brag about the “JD” that’s after their name.  I suppose if I’d put myself through all that I’d show off my battle scar too, but really it would be more of a sore reminder of how I wasted my life trying to prove a point to people that don’t matter. That is, of course, a gross generalization…but we all have had a “law school”. Something we desperately believed we needed to complete or experience that served us no real fulfillment.

She and I discussed how absolutely imperative that you listen to your heart and follow your dreams when it comes to making decisions.  She affirmed that her heart has never steered her wrong.  I agreed, as mine has an amazing sense of direction itself (even if I don’t always listen).  Last night I talked to Nama and she mentioned that every time she moved (geographically) it was like a fire lit in her and she knew without question that it was time to go.  I thought back and agreed with her.  When I left Knoxville, it was “time” and when I left Nashville, despite the drama involved, I didn’t fight to stay I knew it was time for me to go and I knew where I had to go to get centered.  This move, I felt the same way.  All signs pointed to California and when I stopped trying to tell myself how impossible it was, I got her just fine.

Side bar…Nama mentioned to me before I left about doing my dissertation on something dealing with spirituality, energy work, or alternative healing.  “Out of the blue” and I use that in quotes because nothing is ever out of the blue, my faculty advisor mentions the same thing to me, despite my prior research in mentorship and diversity affairs.  Internally I shifted my focus.  Nama said “you know its only going to get louder,” and I agreed because I know that she’s right.  I’m not sure what it will be yet, but I know it’ll be in that area some how.  Not that mentorship isn’t important, but I’m simply meant for other things. The possibilities are endless, really.

Suffice to say…its not giving up, its giving in. Our paths have been written long before we got here, at least in this life, and no matter how many wrong turns and detours we fall for, that path that we’re meant to be on is always there and we can always make our way back to it.  If we’re not too stubborn, prideful, and afraid.  Honestly…so much irony in the fact that it takes courage to be true.  Shouldn’t it be the easiest thing?

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5 thoughts on “Giving In

  1. Thanks for the input , Jess. However, despite the blahness that was my first year, I’m not opposed to practicing law–just to the traditional career path. I wouldn’t mind working for a legal aid organization, and I’m strongly considering is family law and mediation. I don’t enjoy subjects that are theoretical to the exclusion of real world application, and that’s what the first year law curriculum consists of pretty much universally.

    I think the next 2 years will be better though. I’m excited about taking Poverty Law and Race & the Law in the fall, along with Domestic Relations and possibly a practicum in the spring. In the third year, full time is only 10hrs at my school, so I’ll be getting a certificate in nonprofit management through another university’s distance learning program.

    True, I am disillusioned at the realization that most lawyers are in it for the money and prestige. But honestly, that doesn’t make law any different from most professions in that regard–the fact is that most people are more concerned with being able to afford expensive toys, than helping their fellow man. Look at the music industry, for example. But I think finishing my law degree is worth it because law is a powerful tool for changing the world and shouldn’t be solely in the hands of those who want to abuse it. At the end of the day, I’m following my intuition–and I’m not getting that gut feeling telling me to quit because this isn’t where I should be.

  2. Yeah I remember you mentioning knowing how you wanted to use your law degree when you came in and that was already pretty “unconventional”. I’m pretty disillusioned at how many people period enter career fields solely for monetary reasons. Life is just so much more than a paycheck. I didn’t mean to be presumptuous…the ‘law school meh’ just SO reminded me of countless other convos. I really am convinced that place does something to people LOL

    1. It’s fine, I really do appreciate your concern! Believe it or not, your stories have helped me realize that what I’m going through doesn’t mean I made a bad choice–but that I’m right in not conforming to what other people expect of me just because I’m in law school. My own parents don’t seem to understand why I’m not interviewing at big firms “just in case” because “you never know, you might like it”. No, I won’t! And when you’ve spent 7 years as a broke student it’s easy to get blinded by the offer of a fat paycheck & forget you’ve basically signed up for indentured servitude. I won’t tempt myself by entertaining them.

  3. As a law school graduate I resent how true this post is, however, I suppose I cannot fault the author for simply writing the truth. Since I never went to law school with the hopes of being a traditional lawyer, I cannot be but so off put by coming out hating traditional firm jobs. But I will say this the actual process of law school is torture, I mean they make movies about it, but unlike med school which is depicted as torture too, at the end of the day lawyers usually are not saving lives or healing the sick and wounded they are simply on a paper chase (pun intended). I believe my friend Jenn figured it out when she stated “we write complaints, we we argue points, we are paid adversarials, with that much conflict in our daily lives how are we supposed to be happy?”

    p.s. Brownbelle good call on not interviewing at a big firm, the money is not worth it, and I found that out the hard way.

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