By Eisha Vatsal • October 05, 2017•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence, Law School
When I was in law school, I met several attorneys, and I would always ask the same question: what advice do you have for someone in law school? Too often the answer was “I wish I never went” or “Don’t go to law school.” Later when I was asked for advice on whether to go to law school, I would joke and say no, but I would also ask the person why.
It’s a question that’s never truly thought about. Why? Why do you want to go to law school? Why do you want to be a lawyer? What’s the real reason?
Let’s start with me. I wanted to go to become a lawyer after taking a sociology class in college where the professor taught the class through the lens of the law. From then, I took every class I could in the remaining two years and wrote my senior thesis on cyberbullying. Through this paper, I became frustrated at the loopholes in the cyberbullying laws, which fueled my passion.
Doctors, nurses, police officers, and teachers. They all help people. On the flipside, many students enter law school thinking they will work in big firms and make the big bucks or work in a particular field. Every year, the legal field becomes more saturated with new baby lawyers but the number of job openings remain the same or even decrease. At this point, dreams dwindle and the mission to get a job, any job, takes priority. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop dreaming.
Going back to my initial question, I probed into why lawyers wished they never went. Many times the answer was simple: they aren’t doing what they wanted or they didn’t think it would turn out this way.
Law school isn’t easy; no degree is. It involves three years of hardcore studying, cold calling, and playing the curve game. The first year is the hardest, but the second and third years aren’t any easier. Thousands of dollars are put into getting the J.D. But the biggest disappoint, in my view, is becoming an attorney and realizing that you hate it and wished you never went.
For those considering law school, really think why. Think about what you want to do with the degree, but remember to be flexible. Be aware that your first job out of law school will not be your dream job, but that does not mean it won’t ever happen. Life isn’t easy, it demands hard work to see success. Don’t go for someone else. Don’t go because you just want to help people. Go because you have the passion, a passion that doesn’t dwindle when life becomes stressful or doesn’t go your way. Use this passion to fuel your career in the legal field.