Steven Walker posted an update 3 weeks, 5 days ago
My fiance looked me square in the eyes. “No,” she said.
I’d asked – after discussing with her the pros and cons – if she would be on board with me matriculating at a part-time evening law degree program.
I didn’t blame her.
We’d taken a realistic look at what my schedule would look like – and it wasn’t pretty. I’m a full-time high school English teacher, a job I love and that takes more than 40 hours per week to do right. Between time in class, help for homework on mcessay.com and studying, law school would add at least 30 hours per week. Plus, I was forming a relationship with my fiance’s daughter, building a foundation for our integration as a family. And of course, we were planning a wedding and family honeymoon to Disney World.
I can’t count the times over the past four years we both have wished she hadn’t changed her mind.
Law school is a peculiar kind of torment. The stress of 14 weeks of logging hour after hour briefing cases, constructing outlines, and preparing practice answers crescendos into the uber-stressful reading week and a series of one-test-is-it final exams. Repeat the process for a total of eight semesters and two summers. Add a summer externship with a federal judge. Add a position on law review. Add a position as a legal writing TA. Add writing an 80-page law review article.
But the torment is made peculiar by one simple fact: I loved all of it.
Some aspiring law students matriculate with clear, practical career goals. I already had a job. I went to law school to indulge a sense of intellectual adventure. I figure if I honor my passions and cultivate my talents, the future’s details will sort themselves out.
That’s a sentiment I’ve shared with my students – and one I wanted to model. My excitement for learning sustained me through law school’s more harrowing moments. And now, though I started law school unsure that I wanted to leave teaching, I’m poised to graduate in the spring, take the bar over the summer, and start as an associate at a reputable firm here in town practicing in my top areas of interest.
The path has been anything but easy – for me and for my family. But what law school has meant for me is fulfillment, the opportunity to live life deeply by exploring my passions. Now I look forward to building a practice that combines my loves of learning, teaching, and law and lets me devote time to the issues most dear to me. And yes – it will pay the bills with some extra to spare.
My transition from teacher to lawyer has required strict devotion to excellence in my studies, and I don’t regret it for a second, despite the sacrifices it required. I will leave law school a better man than I was when I entered.
But future evening students take note: I don’t think I could survive it again!