I did not always dream of becoming a lawyer. But ever since my plans to become an astronaut/FBI agent fell through, it is the only thing that held my interest for more than two weeks.
Still, the path to law school as a circuitous one. I started in the legal profession working my way through college as an evening word processor in a New York City law firm. One thing I noticed about the younger attorneys: they were miserable. They hated their jobs, they hated the work they did, and they really hated that they were still doing it at 10:00 p.m., when their banker friends were already at the bars.
I took note. While I thought I might like being a lawyer, I knew I could be miserable for free. So why take on massive student debt, right?
After I graduated from Hunter College in 1993 with my highly-marketable B.A. in History, I set upon a quest to find a line of work I might like doing. All while testing the nerves of my devoted and long-suffering husband. And our kids too, after a while.
I tried marketing sales, working for 10 months in a regional outpost of a soft drink company. I felt like an alien. I was selling sugar water, but everyone else was saving the world.
Next, I was with the public relations department of a multi-national conglomerate. I was shocked to discover my very first day that the quotes attributed to the company’s leaders were not quotes at all. Someone in my department wrote all of them. This troubled me on a deep level.
One day, in my second year working in human resources for that same multi-national conglomerate (PR didn’t work out), I called my husband and told him that we had to talk about the “L” word: law school. He said, “It’s about time.”
Ten months later, I started my legal studies as part of NYU Law Class of 2002.
Have I enjoyed every single day that I have practiced law? No, of course not. But the truth is, I have never once regretted being a lawyer.