Friend of the Firm Adam LaFrance drew my attention to this great blog post by Colin Lachance entitled “Make Legal Careers Great Again.” I really urge you to read it, especially as we come to the end of this semester and the sometimes scary, often exhilarating journey we have been on together.
I hold a strong belief – one of the convictions that drove me to create this course – that people go into law because they want more than just a stable way to earn a decent salary. You want to use your brains, creativity and eloquence to do intellectually interesting things that have a practical application. You want to figure out solutions for the problems that confront individuals and social institutions. You want to serve the public good (and also get paid for it). You want to be participants in the important events of your times and leaders of society.
These things are what a life in law has always promised. And it still does. The catch is, you have to find your way there. When you step off that stage after you get your law degree, you’re not going to step onto a conveyor belt that takes you straight to your goals. You have to figure it out. To pick up a metaphor I started out with, it’s another journey with not much by way of maps. Maybe you think you’ve been challenged enough and had to jump over enough hurdles in order to get onto that stage and get your hands on that degree. But, sorry, nope, you haven’t – there are many more challenges and hurdles to come. And certainly the nature of the challenges that new lawyers face is changing profoundly, and sometimes in quite troubling ways. But for all that, becoming a lawyer is still a gateway to an exciting, fulfilling life. Take Colin’s advice to heart; it is excellent. And allow yourselves a moment of self-congratulation for picking a great career.