A few posts back, I quickly recounted the story of how I ended up not going to law school.
Fun story: I studied so hard for the LSAT, did well on the actual exam, filled out my law school applications, and decided the law school route was not for me in the same month I was supposed to apply. Thank the Lord for helping me make that crucial decision! What a wonderful road that has led me to!
Considering the fact that many of my good friends are struggling with the same decision as are many other college students and recent graduates, allow me to tell you why.
Before I explain my own decision, I would like to note that this is not to dissuade anyone from going to law school. My sincerest wish for you is to follow your dreams, share your skills in the best way you know possible, and serve others. If becoming a lawyer is your dream and your passion, go to law school and take in the experience for everything it is worth!
With that disclaimer out of the way, here goes. Back in college, I was a political science and communications studies double-major with a history minor. I chose the two majors as a senior in high school because I was fascinated by both politics and the media. Initially, I imagined myself as a political commentator or a White House press secretary. I got to college, and like so many other students, changed my mind about my dream profession. Luckily, I stuck with the majors and the minor I added because I truly loved what I was learning so my course schedules were never delayed. That still left a slight problem, though. I had no idea what to be after I graduated.
One thing I had absolutely loved in high school was wedding planning. I subscribed to 3 different magazines, stayed up-to-date on the latest trends in weddings, and even set up my own account on brides.com. Yes, I was the little girl who planned out her wedding at the age of five! Because of my passion for wedding planning, I thought I would just become a wedding planner after college. When I told a very respected professor of my plan, he looked me in the eye with disbelief. He said something to the effect of this: “You would be a great wedding planner, but you’re so academically talented. Have you ever thought of law school?”
Well in fact, I had thought of law school. As soon as I told anyone what I was studying in college, their immediate reaction was, “Law school!” I started to look into the idea of law school after the conversation with my professor and soon enough, I was looking up what type of law I wanted to practice (immigration), what kind of LSAT score I would need to get, and so on. Things were great – I had a plan for life after graduation and it was one that was well-respected by my family (though to be honest they still would have preferred another nurse in the family) and professors. I self-studied for the LSAT, took the test, and found out my hard work brought my score up 20 points (I can write a post on this for those of you that are interested) so I would be able to go to a Top 14 law school. I wrote my thesis on immigration policy. I interned for a reputable nonprofit, a member of Congress, and the Department of Transportation. I fine-tuned my personal statement. As I said, things were great.
And then I decided against going to law school. I was on track to graduate a semester early so I could have a nice vacation before heading off for law school, and as that vacation came closer during my last semester of college, I started to think about why I wanted to be a lawyer in the first place. After figuring that I could be a good lawyer with my skills and educational background, I ran out of reasons.
I’ll admit that the financial aspect of going to law school was also a deterrence. But when it comes down to it, one hard look and I discovered that I only wanted to go to law school because I did not want to put in the effort of finding my own dream job.