Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Misery of Law School_What does it say about our choices?

I know that I am tired of LS. And I could point to a thousand problems with the way LS is run, from career services to fostering negative competition (I don't care what they say). Added to that, I am tired, bitter, and a little cynical about the whole experience. And I am not alone, given the recent spate of blogs discussing this topic. So what does this say about our choice to go to LS.

I'll admit it, I question my choice to go to LS almost everyday. I know numerous second career folks that do the same thing. We look back on the career we had and suddenly it seems bright, beautiful, interesting, and heaven. To counter this, I have developed a set of index cards that includes every reason I left my last job. It helps on the regret. But what it doesn't do is create reasons to love LS.

Is this simply November? Exams around the corner, projects coming due, work still there, Bar stuff, PTO exam, and on and on. Is it simply that the work never seems to end? What causes people to begin to hate that thing they thought was so precious? And, ultimately, is there something that we, as students, can do about it. I am flummoxed. I try to exercise, sometimes eat right, keep this journal, etc. But most of the time, it still doesn't work.

And then we fall into wondering "If I hate it now, will I hate being a lawyer?" Do feelings in LS transfer to the actual career? If you begin to think about going in a different direction, is that legitimate? For some that struggled with the decision to go to LS or grad school, that seems definitely legitimate. But, take me, for example. I spent all summer after my first year creating a business plan for a cafe (there is this awesome building in my neighborhoods). Is that a legitimate new direction? Yeah, not likely. But a lovely fantasy to engage in when I am in Tax.


JD-Maybe said...

I hate Law School usually. I feel like it is my dirty little secret though. I don't hate it enough to quit and sometimes I love it. I daydream about when I used to love thinking and analyzing and now i despise it and try not to do it. I'm not very disciplined and i just don't have that fiery passion I once had. What an expensive thing to hate.

Cypher said...

I spent six years studying toward and qualifying for law practice.
I hated it.
My brother works as a lawyer for the biggest, evilist corporation in America, and he hates it.
So I went back to school, and now I work in Information Technology.
I hate it.

In hindsight, it's probably not the nature of the work that I hate.

It's the universally accepted 9-5 (or 8-6 or whatever). It's the notion that you can do the same thing, day in and day out, and be satisfied with it.

The truth, I suspect, is that we did not evolve to sit at a desk for the majority of our waking hours. We're not robots.

We choose one career or another, based on an assembly of lies societal dogma, and a convenient fiction: that there's a good fit for you, that if you make the right choice, work will be transformed from wage slavery to something meaningful.

But maybe it's that proposition which is at fault. Maybe we weren't meant to live this way.

It's easier, and encouraged by society, that you blame yourself if you can't fit happily into this mechanistic arrangement.

I live in the UK. I am endlessly discouraged by the fact that many of the people I encounter in the working world here simply idle away hours at work. Their blank stares and mouse clicks are like a harbinger of future me.

It occurred to me today that I should cut my paycheck in half, and work half time. Then, devote the balance of my time to something I actually enjoy.

Don't blame yourself if you don't enjoy the system. The system has not inherently right or wrong, it just is. It has winners and losers. The only real winners, as I can see it, are those that manage to exploit the labour of others (think the partners at the law firm where you're going to work, who are hardly ever at work, because they're too busy enjoying their leisure time and the money you're raking in).

That's it for my rant today. Love your blog. Keep writing.

Eliza said...

Holy crap, Cypher! I can't decide whether to be depressed or exalt in the futility of it all. I am choosing exalt.

JD, I think it's everyone's dirty little secret, mainly because who wants to admit they are wasting over 100K to do something they hate. I hope and some attorneys confirm the though, that after school, work gets much more interesting. I know a doc reviewer that loves what she does. She says it's the nosy part of her unleashed.