For a long time now, my blog has focused a lot of “life” and “love,” but I haven’t really talked much about the “law” portion of the blog’s title.
You already know that I’m a law student and an aspiring lawyer. This summer, there was definitely a lot of focus in my life on the wedding and everything related to it, but I also did a lot of work and made great progress in deciding the type of lawyer that I’d like to be and in validating my initial reasons for wanting to go to law school. This summer was, without a doubt, the most rewarding and challenging work experience that I’ve ever had so far, which makes me certain that finally I’ve chosen the right profession for me in pursuing a career in criminal law.
In some ways, it’s harder for me to open up on the internet about my life as a law student and my dreams of being a lawyer, because I don’t really fit the traditional mold – I don’t come from a family of lawyers, I’m the first in my family to go to graduate school, I come from a small town and don’t really want to live in a huge city, business bores me and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life writing contracts, even if it will mean a six-figure salary right up front. Ever since I started law school I’ve read reports about how current law students must be dumber than their past counterparts, because a truly smart person would not attempt to enter the legal field right now. But the truth is that I don’t want to be a lawyer to be rich. I want to be a lawyer because I think it’s the field that best suits my natural abilities and talents – it will challenge me and give me a chance to help others. That’s the mentality that I entered law school with, and it’s still my mentality now, a year later.
At the end of my clinical program’s summer session (I’ll continue working with my clients on a part-time basis in the fall), we had to give presentations about what we learned this summer. My group talked about things we learned about prisons, the Wisconsin prison system, circumstances that make it much more likely that someone will commit a crime in the first place. But what I really wanted to say was this: “I learned that I made the right choice by coming to law school. I learned that I really do want to be a lawyer.”