Why'd you become a lawyer?

Anonymous

twiststreet:

Dear Zodiac Killer:  I’m answering this after a whole day at work, which might color things (but I think a good day). So— I got myself a bachelor’s in biochemistry, graduated, was going to take a year to study and take the GRE for scientist grad school, but realized that (a) I wasn’t very good at bio or chem— not “dedicate your life to it" good, and (b) I was living with my parents and in Cincinnati and a chunk of my friends were about to split town, any one of which is generally not a good situation at age 22 or 23.  I’m not one of those people who had "dreams" or whatever— which I’m kinda thankful for— so I didn’t have any kind of "just search your heart for your true dreams" solution that’d work, like in the Tony Robbins videos, because … I guess because basically, my heart is empty and black…?  So I became a lawyer…?  Basically!  

So… so yeah, needed to figure out a move.  I felt like some rush to decide cause of the whole wanting-to-get-away thing.  Looking back, that was a bit silly.  You can do so much!  I meet people in so many different kinds of lines of work now.  On the other hand, I was in Cincinnati which at the time was a city for old people— young people had no reason to stay in that city, not back then.  And the industries there— I didn’t want to work for P&G, or these old bureaucracy-heavy businesses that care what high school you went to, and the young person industries— the dot-com boom, say— weren’t happening there… There’s fun jobs in the world but they’re maybe not distributed evenly geographically… 

Anyways, someone mentioned to me that folks with science backgrounds can go do patent law.  That’s what I thought I’d go do.  And so I was a patent lawyer— for two months.  Basically that was the darkest time, those two months.  I was in a bad work situation; plus I was living in Orange County which is not really a good place for me (that whole Patton Oswalt “city, mountain, ocean" thing— I think about that all the time)(then again, I liked Orange County physically— the geography is great; just not… like… aesthetically a good fit?); plus, I think with patent, maybe, it’s better to be an engineer or if not engineering, to have a more advanced degrees than a BS.  But yeah, I thought… I never thought I’d do litigation, but that’s just where things went— that was a big surprise.  But litigation— it’s a comforting skill to have when I go to bed at night— I think I sleep a little better knowing that I know how to navigate a lawsuit…?  I don’t know how folks are okay with knowing they can just get victimized and not have any skill set to respond to that.  Or how people just trust various institutions so much— doctors or whoever… There are ways that it suits me, and I appreciate those ways.  

Same time, I tell most people who ask me not to do the whole law school thing— it’s really not a job for everybody, and people who haven’t seen a law firm at work and seen what the life is like and talked to lawyers— people who just go straight to law school like I did, I think are taking an expensive risk.  I wouldn’t recommend taking Life Advice from Tucker Max, by any means, but the Tucker Max article isn’t entirely wrong for a lot of people.  But look, nobody ever listens to that advice.  I had two lawyers tell me the same exact thing and I ignored them— my friends all have that story, almost every single one.  ”So-and-so told me not to do this— why didn’t I listen" — 95% of lawyers I hang out socially has said that out loud at some point over a beer, for one reason or another. I know a lot of people who got out too and I can’t blame them. The smartest kid in my law school class was a professional poker player a while after we graduated— good guy; (I think he moved onto something else other than poker tho).  My friend Mark writes comics and screenplays and dirty bathroom wall graffiti, real x-rated stuff, godless stuff, but it rhymes.  My roommate in law school joined the military after 9-11, tried to serve his country (got a really weird tooth-ache while serving in Iraq, there weren’t dentists around, yadda yadda yadda late-diagnosis of cancer— first funeral I ever went to).  I think one guy got involved in veganism professionally, which was really tragic and makes me want to cry when I think about it, all that veganism being perpetrated into the world— so sad… veganism…  

People who had family in the profession knew exactly what they were getting in for— that’s fine.  But… that’s not everybody.  It’s funny— I was just at a wedding and I met an ex-lawyer and so we start exchanging notes, and he’s telling me about some guy who got murdered and had his hands chopped off and blah blah blah, and I’m telling him about some teenage client who got shot to death by some Crip kid (I don’t even do criminal law— LA’s just a fun town), and… You know: it’s maybe not the world’s greatest job for folks who want to be like “people are pretty super!!!" Chris Hardwick-y all the time, as it turns out…?  Makes weddings more fun though. (They had little pieces of salami that were really good too… I didn’t know I was into salami so much…)

So far, I’ve been paid, (maybe not real money but still, paid), to be a scientist, a lawyer and a writer.  Scientist seems the most mentally demanding, lawyer’s the most … the very first lawyer I ever worked for as a first-year law student called it “spiritually deadening” (which is overstating it at least a little), and writing seems like it could sure play the most games with a person’s confidence or doubts or fears or whatever, internal equilibrium.  I think that’s how I’d rank those.  I think… But my job’s working for me for right now.  Right now.  Of the three, I’m most happy that lawyer’s my daily grind— the other two wouldn’t be good for me.  I hope I’m helping people.  I hope I’m doing a decent job.  Long term, who knows…?  Then again, at that wedding, every person I talked to was either about to make a big life change or wanted to in the next 10 years.  They say people don’t do one thing their entire lives anymore— I guess it’s likely I’m going to start seeing that manifest more…?  I don’t know.  Anyways…  There you go.

Great thoughts from my friend, lawyer/critic/cartoonist Abhay Khosla about the question of why one becomes a lawyer/whether one should go to law school  And not just because I’m mentioned.  Seriously, I get asked by a lot of people whether they should go to law school when they find out I have a law degree.  My usual answer is no for a lot of the reasons above, at least not unless you really understand what being a lawyer is, you’re dying to do practice and you are not doing it because it’s you can’t think of something better to do.  Of course, Abhay tried to talk me out of going to law school and I didn’t listen, but I probably should have. 

Reblogged from twiststreet

This week’s comics haul.  If you but one book this week, make sure it’s Robert Kirkmam & Paul Azaceta’s @imagecomics bool OUTCAST. I’m biased because I’ve worked with Paul more than any other artist, but this is some his best work, and there isn’t a nicer guy in #comics

This week’s comics haul. If you but one book this week, make sure it’s Robert Kirkmam & Paul Azaceta’s @imagecomics bool OUTCAST. I’m biased because I’ve worked with Paul more than any other artist, but this is some his best work, and there isn’t a nicer guy in #comics

jimrugg:

Street Angel drawing I did at #HeroesCon in a copy of the new @adhousebooks edition.
Order STREET ANGEL at your local comic book shop or Amazon now. You can also get issue 1 on Comixology from Monkeybrain! SEE more Street Angel art here.

Also from SVA MFAVN’s murderer’s row of faculty, Jim Rugg (with whom I co-teach Digital Short Story) - STREET ANGEL.  I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I like it so much that I’m going to order the new edition even though I have the old one.  (If she’s reading this, I would like the one I gave to my ex back though, so I can give that copy to someone who would appreciate it),  Seriously, this book so captures the joy of what comics should me it’s a must read if there ever was one.

jimrugg:

Street Angel drawing I did at #HeroesCon in a copy of the new @adhousebooks edition.

Order STREET ANGEL at your local comic book shop or Amazon now. You can also get issue 1 on Comixology from Monkeybrain! SEE more Street Angel art here.

Also from SVA MFAVN’s murderer’s row of faculty, Jim Rugg (with whom I co-teach Digital Short Story) - STREET ANGEL.  I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I like it so much that I’m going to order the new edition even though I have the old one.  (If she’s reading this, I would like the one I gave to my ex back though, so I can give that copy to someone who would appreciate it),  Seriously, this book so captures the joy of what comics should me it’s a must read if there ever was one.

Reblogged from jimrugg