Saturday, October 28, 2006

What do to? Career Confusion

I don't know whether to go to law school. I am not that interested in the Letter of the Law, the law for law's sake. I think law is necessary, not exciting theory. In fact, I wonder whether those juris doctors who think of law as a theoretical game rather than a practical matter understand the responsibility with which they are charged.

With this in mind, I think law school makes sense for me insofar as it could help me in a peripheral career like policy and problem solving in general--for instance, devising health policy. The problem is, I do not know whether it will. In D.C., it seems like everyone who has professional aspirations is a lawyer or plans to go to law school. Thus, the degree seems practical. This perhaps makes for a skewed perspective.

I also wonder whether law makes for a happy career. There seems to be a slew of books that suggest otherwise, or at least caution the prospective law student to think hard about the decision. Many books seem to suggest that well-meaning people who go into law are often the most let down because of what the practice of law has become. Now, I don't suggest that this should scare people away--ideally, a well-meaning person could have some influence on a profession and find some way to make it more palatable; but I know that it does not always work this way.

One delusion I admit to harboring is that any form of education should be intellectually stimulating. From what I have heard, law school, does not always meet these expectations. To put that in perspective any kind of pre-professional education is bound to get into less interesting territory.

More on this in coming entries...


Chris said...

I've been told many a time that you basically need a JD to get respect in this city. Everyone in my office who isn't an assistant in some capacity has a JD and half of them have jobs that don't really deal with "lawyering" (though, it is a law firm). *I* just don't want to pay for it and I don't want to sell my soul to a company to have them pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Google brought me here when I did a search for 'career+confusion'. Although law is not exactly my field, I do have serious concerns about my career, and was hoping to find a 'solution' somewhere as I did the search.
I am feeling so very helpless these days, and I just want to talk to someone about this whole thing. Maybe we could do that. Let me know if you would want to help me out.

Elaine said...

Just saw anonymous comment. I'm in the same boat, my friend. I wish you luck. I've decided to being approaching the carrer question as an exciting array of choices rather than a lack of direction on my part.

Anonymous said...

You see, I do have a career. A good one at that. Something which pays me enough to buy whatever's necessary and see me thru life. But this is not me. I just can't spend the rest of my life cooped up within the 3 walls of a cubicle, staring at a stupid monitor all day, all week long. Worst of all, I work with jerks and weasels of all kinds. Basically, I want out. But I don't know what I'll after I am out of here.

Moreover, I just can't throw all this away, esp when 30 is just a couple of years away. And within this time frame, if marriage happens (the gf is adamant about this; unreasonable woman) I am just thinking about how to feed my family (if I quit). And then there would be kids. What about the bills?

Point is, if I stay here I'd be unhappy all my life. If I don't, there's a _HUGE_ uncertainty factor looming over how I'll get on with life.

Am I confused, or am I confused? *sigh*