Law in Contemporary Society

Finding My Own Path

Growing up, I have always felt like the path to my future was laid out before me. It seemed like I was always destined to continue to go to school until I was able to find a suitable job that made those around me happy. It seems like this dynamic with those around me has always persisted, even still while I am here in Law school.

While I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to have both my parents in the house; however, it seems like this is where the external pressure regarding my future comes from. My father is a lawyer in Arizona, and it seems like he wanted me to be just like him from the time I was little. My mother furthered this idea too as she always pushed for the idea that I would one day become a lawyer just like my dad. As a result, I simply went along with the idea. I knew from a young age that I would go to college, and eventually law school, to be just like my father. While at Arizona State there was no option for picking pre-law as a major, so I did what could be expected and picked the next best major to try and get into law school down the road: political science. While I was not in love with the subject it interested me enough to get through the next couple of years.

Throughout the entire time I was reminded by my family that undergrad was just a stepping stone until I got to law school. I was reminded that Law school was the ultimate goal so I could eventually become a lawyer just like my father. While I definitely enjoyed my time in undergrad, there are times I wish I was able to explore other fields of study to try and find my own path and determine what I wanted to do in the future for myself. Ultimately, this did not happen as I stuck to what was expected of me and continued onto law school.

After my acceptance into Columbia Law School I thought I would find some solace; not only had I done what was expected of me, it seemed like I beat those expectations as well as I was able to get into a top school. This was one of my best achievements and while I still lived with the expectations of my dad, I felt like I was able to escape them a little. Instead of becoming the same type of lawyer as him, I thought I could find my own field of law and make a name for myself. While this is still an option, I was in for a new shock upon arrival to the school.

Columbia Law school, while a great institution overall, is definitely not without its faults. One of the biggest faults I’ve found with the school so far is that it once again lays out a path for students to follow into the future. This type of pressure was all too familiar as it was something I’ve encountered my entire life; before from my family and now from my school. While my family pressured me to ultimately become a lawyer like my father, and ideally the same type, Columbia had a different idea. Instead, Columbia laid out a path to big law. While going into big law after law school is not mandatory by any means, it is just the path of least resistance as the school seems to advocate this path as the best choice of action.

For a while, I found myself walking down this path as well. The path of least resistance seemed like the way to go as it required little to know work on my end to find my own path. Initially, this seemed like a good opportunity. Coming from Arizona, big law in New York City seemed like a good deal; however, I might have been mistaken.

Ultimately, this class was able to show me that there are many paths to pursue in the future after law school. Instead of continuing in the machine of law school and becoming “canned meat,” this class showed me that it is ultimately more beneficial to pursue your own path in the law, even if that means abandoning the path of least resistance.

So far, my main takeaway from the class has been this: find the area of law that sparks your passion and establish your own practice. This ultimately would be the most rewarding and satisfying as this would be the type of lawyering that is most suited to you as a person after law school. Additionally, I have gained an entirely new perspective on what it means to be a lawyer as well. The documents we read in class showed me that lawyers come from all walks of life, and pursue different paths as well. Ultimately, I feel more excited to be in law school so I can find the area of law that best suits me. After finding my practice, I believe that I will be able to have a more satisfying career as it would be the type of lawyering that is not only best suited for me, but a type that I was able to find without any external influences pressuring me down a certain path.

-- AndresAguilar - 07 Apr 2023

This draft does very well at clearing the ground for construction. Not being your father while being a lawyer is one possibility. It will achieve the absence of controversy which is one aspect of your strategy so far. Not being your father by not being a lawyer is another possibility. It would raise the issue you have always avoided, that you are a person, with your parents. That might be a good reason for not coming back in the fall. Perhaps the next draft's task is to consider that carefully.

But if you are becoming a lawyer, then the next draft needs to be about why. One third through, you are now far enough along to begin imagining the practice you could have. If you love justice, what justice do you want to make? If you hate injustice, what are you struggling to overcome? If neither is true, what ideas, experiences, or people did you come across in your first third of law school that interested you deeply enough to pursue seriously as a basis of practice?

This is not the first time you have been aware of the chance to make your own life. Previous awareness was defeated by inertia and the unconscious barriers to change. Let's see if we can bring about another outcome in the next draft.


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r2 - 22 Apr 2023 - 12:14:22 - EbenMoglen
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