The past few months, I realize off and on that it was ten years ago that I started law school. Ten years ago, I was a 1L, a first year law student. Right around this time in 2010, I was starting up my second semester of contracts (called Contracts II for short), federal civil procedure, Torts II, and Criminal law, and Legal Writing II. The work was hard, but it was satisfying.
I realize that I still miss Florida, talking about the law with people who cared about learning it, and learning from people who cared about teaching it. I miss these things, though I don’t miss all of what it did to me. I lived alone, and I sequestered myself while studying. That kind of isolation has had a permanent effect on me.
But I still get a sense of loss over what my legal career could have been. Right now I could have been arguing in front of the Florida or even U.S. Supreme Court. What important cases could I have influenced? What rights could I have vindicated? What if someone needed me to actually practice instead of typing this here? Could there be a universe where I’m not lame in the head?
That alternate universe isn’t the best one, though. In that alternate universe, I most likely would have gone undiagnosed and running from depression and anxiety. It might have even succeeded in claiming my life. I’d still believe that prayer and faith could solve my existential problems. Is that the better version of me?
Or is it just different?
One thought on “Ten Years”
And politically there are people whining about Bernie’s proposal for “free college.” As if it were ever free. My college education was almost free so, the answer to “Can we even do that?” is “Well, we’ve already done it.” But the real cost is an opportunity cost. While you were in law school that “standard” workload was set at an average of 45 hours per week of class time and study time (not including travel time or anything else). That 45 hours (average) is 45 hours you can’t spend working so there are lost wages and job skills because of that. Some people experience intellectual trauma from intense college studies, like in hyper-competitive law schools. Some people run up huge debts in the process, but if college were “free” then, well the cost would be less but it was never free.
If you were practicing law, maybe your mental struggles would seem less obvious because of whom you would be compared to? :o) (Not much of a solver lining, but it is a large cloud you are under.)
As always I wish you well.
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