October 6, 2008

So I've been giving more and more serious thought to going to law school.

Now I know what you're saying – "But Andrew, you already have one MA degree, and you're working on another one now.  Don't you think you've spent enough of your father's money on school?"

Of course I do.  But I still want to go to law school.

My whole life, I've had people essentially demand that I become a lawyer.  I remind them of one, apparantly – which I guess is a nice way of saying, "I think you're a needling, corrupt scumbag."  Which is kindof true when you think about it.

I'm very aggressive when it comes to making a point, or trying to understand something that confounds me.  I exhaust the people close to me with my endless analysis over every single detail of what they say or how they feel.  I'm grotesque.  I know this.  I want to know things – and when I'm confronted by something that prohibits my understanding, I take it apart.  I play with its parts… try to put it back together in a different form.  I'm annoying.  And I think it would make me a good lawyer.

Aside: I realize that at this point in my life, choosing to undertake something as rigorous and as time-consuming as law school is kindof bonkers.  I realize that it's three years of intense schooling – and that I've never really been one for working too hard – and that to really succeed, one has to devote most of their life to their job… which leaves very little time for Star Trek, karaoke and long nights spent reading about poison.  This is exactly what has stopped me from going to law school before… and now, while I'm not totally sure of course, I think I might have changed.  And here's why:

The last thing I want to do is spend my life going over contracts for insurance companies, banks and other figureheads of capitalism.  I hate the idea of being that guy who's always drinking coffee, wearing suits and running to this place or that.  Yes, I know that that's what a lawyer does.  But here's the thing – I don't want to practice that kind of law.  If I'm going to work insanely hard for something, it has to be for more than just my bank account.  That's something about people I've never understood… a guy works 80 hours a week and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year… and he never has the time to spend it on the things he likes.  His life becomes his work… and the money and security just sits there taking up space and collecting dust.  That's not a life – not one that I'd want, anyway.

What I want to do is work for something good.  Something I believe in… like Civil Rights or… and this is the big one for me… the environment.  I want to be an advocate for open spaces, for clean air, for endangered species.  I read this today – and it's strange how it coincided with what had been a long-term roiling thought.  Who does the suing over something like this?  Who grabs government by the face and makes them stop devouring resources, space and life itself?  Something has to be done to stop this shit – I spend all of my time bitching about the environment – maybe this is how I do it.

Become an environmental lawyer.  Sue the government.  Sue companies. 

Is this all just silly fantasy?  Probably.  I'm 27… I'm barely making it through life.  I've got the first glimmers of a real career as a literature teacher… so why blow that all up?  Why walk away from writing, which is what I'd have to do if I went to law school?

The answer is, I don't know.  I don't know anything about this.  I just know that it's been inside for a while… and it's starting to burble out.

What should I do?


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