mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I fought the idea of law school, and I won...

So I was eating breakfast with my parents on Christmas morning, and my dad asks me "so, now that you almost have your MBA, are you going to go to law school?"

There's a little bit of background behind this. After graduation, I worked in a student position and then as a contractor before getting a job offer in DC - which I turned down after doing a dry run to DC and realizing I hated the city. I ended up moving back in with the 'rents, and tried to figure out what to do with my unemployed self. Law school seemed like a good option - 3 more years to put off getting a real job, the possibility of untold riches, and the chance to study legal theory. I took the obligatory legal environment of business class as an undergrad, and actually found it really interesting. Plus, the LSAT (the test to get into law school) involved no math, which meant I would probably do well on it - and way better than I would on the math-intensive GMAT for business school.

Forward a few months. I got a job offer working for my old college, and moved out of the 'rents house and back to Maryland. A few times, I found myself frustrated with my job and my life and thought "maybe I should do the law school thing". But then life and work got better, and I forgot about it

But a few months ago, I did something that kind of made the decision for me that law school would be a road untraveled - I bought a house. And thus, I lost the ability to just quit my job and take another path - instead of a decent amount of money in the bank, I now have a mortgage payment, and that means I can't pay the opportunity cost of three years without a job. (and yes, I arguably could sell the house, but I'd lose an assload of money - even without a softening real estate market, I'd lose all the transaction costs).

I guess if I really wanted to pursue a law degree, I could. UBaltimore, for example, has a night law school. But given how I felt like my MBA took a lot out of me - and that was at most two classes a semester, and not all that intensive classes - taking 4 law school classes at night seems impossible. I'm looking forward to getting done with class and spending more quality time reading, watching tv, doing stuff around the house. And unlike my MBA, I'd have to pay for law school, and I don't exactly have piles of money sitting around. If I could get it for free, I probably would do it, or at least try it, but it's not worth the investment of real money.

Why not? Because I don't really think I would actually want to be a lawyer. I guess I could probably do ok in business, writing stuff - I'm a decent writer (when I bother to use spellcheck) and I seem to have a more-than-average ability to tollerate mind-numbingly boring work (I spent two summers in the mail room of an insurance company in college, and the first time I trained my replacement we went through 3 people in one week, because the first two were bored after less than a day of work). But I don't really like people, or talking, and I don't think I would want to do trials of any kind, especially not criminal. Which is odd - I did mock trial and forensics in high schoo, and debate in college, but I've found myself not really liking to talk in public anymore - I've found the last couple classes where I've had to present I've been nervous and "ummed" way more than I would have liked to. I guess I'm getting rusty.

It's kind of ironic that this came up now, as I just started reading "double billing" (there's a link on the side under "current read". It's one of several books I bought in the last few months because the title or review was on a website or blog I read and sounded interesting, but up until now I haven't had a chance to read. I'm only a couple chapters in. It's an interesting read, because it's always kind of interesting to read of people with other jobs, other careers, other lives, to see what paths other people have traveled and to wonder what my life would be like if luck or fate or choices had turned me to take those paths instead of the path I ended up on. But working until midnight, going through piles of paper, playing office politics, and having to wear a suit all day don't really sound like my cup of tea, even if making piles of money does. I have a lifestyle that encompasses much of what I want, and I have a reasonable work-life balance (plus I can wear jeans to work). I don't think the few things I want more financially, or the self-fullfilment of an illustrious career, are worth giving up 3 years salary plus the cost of law school for.


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