Friday, December 1, 2006

Law School: It's More Than a Residual Career Path for the Directionless

White Dade got me to thinking.

(I'm finally remembering to type here when I find myself responding to other people's blogs with more than a couple of sentences.)

The nice thing about my JD is that now, when it's placed after my name, it no longer stands for juvenile delinquent.

I went to law school wanting to be a lawyer. But a public defender or a civil legal aid lawyer.

I wound up doing six years in the trenches at Legal Aid trying to explain to my dates the difference between a poverty lawyer and an impoverished lawyer. I didn't have a lot of luck coming up with a distinction between the two.

Since then I've worked as a temp/contract attorney, as the manager of a trinket store selling the political paraphrenalia of a presidential re-election campaign (a time-limited but very fun job, you also get to sell tchotchkes at inaugural parades and balls too, if your candidate wins), as a stay-at-home dad for Monkeyboy in DC's first two years, in the press office of a labor union, and at a bar association.

The JD was useful at every stop along the way, even the two years at home with diapers and Teletubbies.

Law school sucks, because a high percentage of your classmates got "does not play well with others" on their grammar school report cards.

But out in the real world, a JD is a useful degree to have, whether you practice or not. Or at least it has been for me.


ANON1 said...

Here, here. As long as you are not a trial lawyers, I like you.

imaginaryconversations said...

I agree. I thought about a law degree for a long time, but I decided I don't want to be saddled with a debt from law school. Now I'm thinking about an MBA when I'm done with Software Engineering.

I think you and WD are looking at different aspects of it. A JD is a great option for those who are truly interested in it. But WD was talking only about people who were directionless. I'm not quite sure whether he meant that a JD is ONLY for directionless people, or simply skipped talking about those who really belong in law school.