lukegilman.com : The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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What are you going to be when you grow up?

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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One of the unintended consequences of telling someone you’re going to law school is that they immediately ask you what kind of law you want to practice. This would be a perfectly reasonable follow up question were it not for the fact that I have no idea what kind of law I want to practice. Good law? Not-evil law? not miserable, soulless and divorced law? The principle consequence of an honest answer is that you have to endure the ‘nod’ which essentially says, yes, I understand that you’ve said something in English, but I have no idea how to respond to it.

I’ve come up with a couple of stock answers which in reality have relatively little to do with my actual plans, yet suffice to make interesting conversation with well-meaning people. To church-going republicans I am planning on being a prosecutor and then, God willing, a judge who takes a principled stand to combat the tide of judicial activism. To my left-leaning friends, I just want to help people, maybe save a hoot-owl or a swamp or something. To anyone who knows a little about the law I’m looking to get into media law, specifically copyright litigation, and later work my way into general counsel position at corporation with significant media concerns and intellectual property assets.

Every now and then it’s just a random person you’ll likely never see again, in which case it could be kind of fun to screw with them. In this spirit I propose the following conversation-enders which mean you’ll never again have to justify your actual career plans to a perfect stranger.

  1. Scream “I’m going to sue you!” in a high pitched voice and laugh maniacally.
  2. Reply “You wouldn’t believe how many ways there are to beat a murder rap” and chuckle maniacally.
  3. do just about anything maniacally
  4. Reply stoically, “Pancho Villa killed my father and stole our land. Some day I will return to claim it.”
  5. “I don’t know, but this place looks nice. Why don’t you go run around near that puddle in the doorway?”
  6. “Wait, did you hear an ambulance?”
  7. “Practice? I don’t want to practice, I just want to do it.”
  8. “I’m gonna sue poor people.”
  9. “Why, what have you heard?”
  10. “Mama says I’m gonna be Chief Judge of the Supremest Court of America”
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