Why Law School?

Well, it’s the only way to become a lawyer, duh.

Even now that I’ve decided to go to law school, I’m curious why others choose to do so. I’m especially curious how someone straight out of high school or college knows that this is the right field for them. Not judging, just curious. Because being a lawyer was the LAST thing I ever wanted to be as a young woman.

Some theories (tongue in cheek!):

  • You’ve been told your whole life you should be a lawyer because you love to argue and are especially stubborn.
  • You were talented on the Debate team.
  • You think you’re pretty smart but don’t want to be a doctor.
  • You want the status and money.
  • You want the intellectual challenge.
  • You want to help people/be an advocate.
  • You didn’t know what else to do.

I suspect there are as many reasons as their are people in the profession.

Honestly, my reasons to go to law school followed my decision to try for it. Initially I was like, “I could do this, so why not try?” I didn’t have to commit to it, I just had to see if I could get in.

I knew I wanted to further my education. I didn’t want to take additional undergrad courses as prerequisites for a graduate degree. As an English major, that really limited me. I assessed my abilities and my interests. I narrowed it down to:

  • Ph.D. in English
  • MBA
  • Master’s in Public Policy/Political Science
  • Law

The Ph.D. in English lost out because, after researching it, I knew in my heart I didn’t love literature enough to spend the rest of my life steeped in it. And I love literature. More importantly, I knew that with that degree I would have to go where the (few) jobs are, and I simply don’t want to leave Colorado.

The MBA lost out because there were quite a few prerequisites I would have to take, and I just didn’t want to spent extra time and money doing that. Also, after researching the requirements, I realized it probably didn’t fit my abilities and interests that well. I would have managed, but would I have been happy?

The Public Policy/Political Science Master’s lost out because many schools also required prerequisites. Also, I was concerned that the field was a bit too narrow and could be an issue when job hunting. (Caveat: If Law doesn’t pan out, this is still very much a viable option.)

After mulling it over for quite some time, I decided that Law fit the bill. As an English major and experienced technical writer/editor, I knew I had analytical and writing skills that would translate to Law. There are no prerequisites. A law degree would open up a lot of doors, not just in law firms but in other areas as well. And the chances of getting a good job in Colorado are pretty high.

So that is the practical aspect of my decision.

But as time went on, I realized this will meet some of my deeper desires for a fulfilling and meaningful job, as well. I have always wanted to do something that means something. That means:

  • I wanted a job that will stimulate me intellectually.
  • I wanted a job that will at least make as much as my husband does so that if anything happens I can support myself and kids.
  • I wanted a job that will bring me into contact with community leaders.
  • I wanted a job that will make a difference in people’s lives.

Exactly where that is headed, I don’t know yet. I am deeply interested in politics and would love to work in the capacity of advisor/expert for a political agenda.* But even if I don’t get into politics, I would be happy helping people work through their legal problems. I want to be involved in my community, either way, so I’m counting on this to open doors where I can be an effective, positive force in the Denver Metro Area.

That, in a nutshell, is “why Law.” What motivates you?


*Full Disclosure: I am proud to be a Conservative and a Christian, though not necessarily a “Christian Conservative.” I’m an individual, not a voting bloc. Frankly, I think this country could use more conservative lawyers, and helping the conservative movement is a passion of mine. Expect this blog to reflect my beliefs and values. I enjoy blogging and I’m not looking for a fight, so feel free to be polite in comments.

That being said, I always say, “If I refused to be friends with Democrats, I would have no friends.” I get along with pretty much everyone, and most of my best friends are Democrats. I don’t hate Democrats. I just disagree with their politics, but I find we have more in common than not: we’re moms who care about our families; we’re women who care about our communities, our health, and our relationships; we’re people who enjoy cutting loose on the weekends, feel stressed over all our commitments, wonder about the H1N1 vaccine, enjoy music, pets, entertainment, and board games, and all of us care about our country one way or the other.


One comment

  1. […] motivations are spelled out here and here and […]

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