I graduate in six weeks. Looking at my last few posts from late summer and early fall 2008 (which are now archived since I imported my law school blog posts) it is like another world. The law school preparation, the nerves about student loans and books and studying, it all seems bizarre now. Today, I am a mother of a ridiculously adorable toddler, and almost an attorney at law. And those are just the big changes. Don’t get me wrong, I am still stressed. We are approaching the end of the semester, people. But it’s the impending change, not the fear of an exam, or writing a brief, that occupies my thoughts. And in times of transition, I must write. Unfortunately, the 100+ pages of substantive legal, essay and research writing I have done this semester have not quenched my cathartic writing needs.
So in two plus years, law school happened. I have some new friends and lots of new thoughts about things. And so much new knowledge. I have acquired the lawyerly thought process that is basically the output of law school (but no one tells you that before you start), which I both love and despise. I am no longer an ordinary person that thinks and speaks like everyone else. (I’m not saying lawyer-think is better, it’s just another thing entirely).
Lately as I talk to classmates about graduating in December people respond: “Oh yeah, you are done!” And it’s true. It’s basically done. It already happened – all that slow, incremental change to become a lawyer. From the first week of 1L ,when I had to literally figure out what exactly plaintiffs and defendants were, and then vendors and vendees (and now settlors and trustees and issue) and when the excessive use of the term “reasonable” seemed hilarious (now it seems natural!) and when the idea of accomplishing so much reading and thinking, in order to prepare for one test at the end of the semester, one test that would judge one’s performance, seemed terrifying and unreachable.
But law school doesn’t really make you a successful lawyer, there’s way more to that. So much that I am about to learn. But in six weeks, I will be certified, in a sense, to practice law. As much work as I have to complete between today and December 15th, it’s basically over. This is all just tying up loose ense. I have learned what I came to learn. I am about as ready as I can be to go into the world and be an immigration lawyer. That makes me scared, and it should. As much as it is frequently abused, becoming a professional is serious business, and I take it seriously.