ABA says job outlook bleak, VRSLegal says Don't give up!

Should I be a Lawyer?

I just read an ABA Journal article about the profession’s bleak job outlook for new grads, and all I can say is to not give up.

To indulge in an example, yesterday was April 1:

  • On April 1, 16 years ago: I woke up hating my job at Taco Bell,
  • On April 1, 15 years ago: I woke up liking my job at Blockbuster
  • On April 1, 8 years ago: I couldn’t sleep until learned I passed the bar. I nearly passed out.
  • On April 1, 2013, I got up at 4:00am and then sojourned to civil court to fight (and win) for a client who always did the right thing.
  • I had the opportunity to shape the events in the life of a family and tried to stand between my client and his family so they wouldn’t see his tears. Until he told me with a smile that they were tears of relief, not sorrow.

    To them someone spoke not only in their stead, but also as their voice.
    They may call it an experience.
    I call it Monday morning.

    This is a great profession. While it can be filled with eccentricity or downright ugliness, it can also contain unmitigated hope and opportunity. You’ll come across fairness so common its routine or unfairness so commonplace as to be expected.

    So counsel, what will you do to make the world at the end of the day a little brighter than when you found it this morning?

    Don’t give up.

    Press on with sheer dogged persistence if you’re stuck in the dark. If the light doesn’t come out, force the issue through intelligence and will and other attorneys. We’re the progeny of Marcus Cicero, Abraham Lincoln, Mohandas Gandhi, and so many others.

    I’d tell my students that I love this gig but that its not the end all be all of existence. Being a lawyer fits me like a glove. But also like a glove, I give my practice shape and form. I don’t expect it to form me.

    I love this profession deeply. I love it only in part because what I do, and in part because of what I’ve done before. 16 years ago, I felt forced to wake up and go to Taco Bell. Today, I felt compelled to wake up and go to court. I’ll feel the same tomorrow.

    So if you’re just starting out, I’d ask you to push through this dark patch, not for your own sake, definitely not for mine, but for the sake of the family you haven’t even met. For the father or family who’ll take solace in knowing, win or lose, they have a voice.

    So you’ll see struggles today, and push through, so you have the privilege of being their champion tomorrow.

    Just don’t give up.

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