Monday, October 21, 2013


Going to law school has been the most laughable decision I’ve made, so far, and I’m still upset with every person who never tried to talk me out of it. Come to think of it, nobody tried talking me out of it. My immediate family members had reactions like, “You?”; “How come?”; “Well, we certainly won’t be contributing to those bills,” but that wasn’t enough. 

At the time, it was fun assuming the next 3 years would amount to a continuation of college and getting to say, “I’m putting myself through law school,” something I said frequently because it sounded heroic, to me if not to anyone else. When 21-year-olds from middle-class backgrounds speak of paying their way through an expensive law school, take it to mean they’re nose-diving into an enormous pool of debt. Paying back a debt isn’t as gratifying as the tale of how and why you're plunging into it, and I’ve stayed relatively quiet about this later process.

My 10-year law school reunion is coming up. I have the rah-rah registration reminders to prove it. I prefer other forms of correspondence from this outfit, ones that solicit honest opinions instead of attendance or money. For instance, awhile ago, I was asked to fill out an “Alumni Attitude” survey. I eagerly complied, selecting my answers from an innovative menu of options:

How would you rate your decision to attend?  Fair

How often do you promote the school to others?  Never

Which best describes your experience as a student? Poor

What are barriers to your participation in alumni activities? Just Don’t Want To

Name a person who had a special impact on your student experience and a description of the relationship. I wrote about the guy who ran the convenience store behind my first apartment building. I went in there to buy junk food after class at least twice a week, and the uncommon warmth he radiated served as Exhibit A that not everyone in this new environment was a lost cause.

He’s the one I’m interested in crossing state lines to have a photo-happy reunion with. And I just might. 


  1. I just dodged my fifty-year high school reunion. Of course, attending high school is not the same level of extreme choice as attending law school--nevertheless, it is a choice. The greater choice for me was college. I was lucky to get into a good one, and although I was cold and miserable most of the time (freezing wind slicing off Lake Michigan, not to mention huge mounds of snow), I still liked it very much. The only thing I regret is the hours I lost while actually avoiding studying and writing papers--resulting in desperate all-nighters before a deadline or a test. I'm sure most people can identify with that.