--> divine angst: here's the real angst

Friday, August 20, 2004

here's the real angst

I find myself this week really wondering if I've made the right decision, about going to law school.

I can't really imagine moving next year and trying to find a job in my industry. I'm pretty sure I'd be miserable if I tried that—in the private sector, I'd end up a drone at the bottom of the totem pole, and certainly much more unhappy with my job than I am now.

But I am questioning my motives. What makes law school more right for me than anything else? My friendly editing professor (who, in full disclosure, tries to convince every prospective law student to do something else if they can) thinks I should investigate the field of corporate communication, or institutional training. I'm dubious.

I like "teaching"—in the sense that I like helping people develop the skills they already have, primarily in writing. But I don't like dealing with unmotivated people, or people who just plain act stupid. You know the ones—they don't listen, refuse to read directions, and expect everything to be explained to them, if not actually completed for them. Those people are the reason I got out of retail and customer service. It drives me crazy dealing with people who feel they are entitled to waste my time just because I'm in the service position and they're the "customer."

So corporate comm seems like a ticket to looneyville for me. I'd go nuts within a year, I guarantee.

But why would I not go nuts as a lawyer? I mean, law is a service industry—despite what many people say or think. I'll be dealing with those same obstinate, "entitled" people, except, as a lawyer, they'll be my clients and I'll be forced to treat them nicely and I won't have the option of throwing them out of my office. (I've done that a few times, when I was being sassed by someone who didn't know what they were talking about. I'm not normally an aggressive or intemperate person, but something about those kinds of people just drives me bananas.)

Back to the discussion at hand. Now I'm really having to ask myself why law sounded so attractive all of a sudden earlier this summer. What did I see then that I can't grasp now?

I'd love to hear from people who had this same sort of unsureness—cold feet, if you will—after deciding on law school. Please, for my benefit, don't tell me you "always knew" you wanted to be a lawyer. That won't help me, since until a few months ago, I was pretty sure law was an unsavory profession.

[NB: Maybe that last sentence has something to do with my problem. Deep down inside I am still sort of convinced that most lawyers are in it for the money, out to screw their opponent, and totally amoral.]