Thursday, August 21, 2008


I'm reading The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien. It's very good, I think. It's detailed and every detail seems a little tilted and eccentric. I don't think it would be published today, or maybe it would but only by an independent press.

Yesterday was the most gorgeous day in New York. I didn't go to work. In the morning I worked on something at home, in the afternoon I wandered, and in the evening I behaved socially. Later I got to work again. This manuscript is done in a very first drafty way. Now to go to work.

Everyone is going to law school. Should I go to law school? I don't think so. Should I quit my job and get a new job just to get a new job? Just because? Even though my job is "comfortable"? In a relative sense? Should I move to California, or another country? Should I go to the park and eat lunch?


Little Miss Nomad said...

Do NOT go to law school. Unless you want to be a lawyer, which, you know, I doubt. Everyone is in law school, but if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you? No, then you'd go to law school because the families of all the people who jumped off that bridge are gonna be suing people. Until then, don't.
LA, though, is good. In two years, if I don't make anything of myself here, I'm moving to Seattle, Buenos Aires, or Sydney--whichever'll have me.

Maria said...

go eat lunch :)

dave said...
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dave said...
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dave said...

I'm kind of repeating what Little Miss Nomad said above, but:

For what it's worth, I'd just like to offer that trite piece of advice law grads often give to people who are on the fence about going to law school, but which a lot of those on-the-fence people seem not to take too seriously until they've been working at a firm for longer than a summer or two and thinking, This kind of sucks: Don't go to law school unless you're really interested in law ... I wasn't interested in law but went anyway, confident that I'd become interested in it, and now I'm at a large firm, and am not the happiest guy in the world, and am surrounded by people who have confessed to me and others that they'd rather be doing something else if they could; it really is tough to cut your losses when you've devoted years to get where you are, even though you're not happy there.

Anyway, I know you seem to be leaning towards not pursuing a legal career, but if you're interested, some food for thought:

Richard said...

As someone who absolutely loved law school and has been a law school administrator and faculty member and who went to law school with no intention of ever practicing law, I'd say that many smart people find it, as I did, as our friend Michelle told today me she is doing, an amazingly wonderful experience.

But as a law school administrator, I've seen too many students who absolutely hate it and go for the wrong reasons.

I went thinking I'd give it a try and leave after a term or even before it ended if I didn't like it, but by the second week I knew I loved it totally.

You need to talk to older people, not younger ones, about law school, as they will give you a better perspective.

To me, it is definitely better than a Ph.D. in anything in that it is sort of general liberal arts degree that gets you to think analytically - more valuable to a writer than you might think.

AddledWriter said...

Well, only yes about the lunch.

N A said...

everyone wrote kind and excellent things here. thank you. i feel pretty good about not going to law school. i am 95% sure i will never go to law school.

Diala said...

You shouldn't go to law school, you (*you*) would hate it.

but ask me again in a couple of months. I think you should change jobs though. 9 hours our of an average of 16 waking hours is too much time spent doing something you really don't like or are not passionate about at all.

Define "comfort".

Ned said...

Everybody thinks about law school. Don't. Law school will be too involved. Miles Davis resolved that he would become a doctor if he reached 24 and hadn't made it, in some way, in music. Orwell said the best thing you could do as a writer was be a bank teller, because it was mindless and it put you in touch with the injustice of money. (Orwell also calculated, every year, how it was impossible to make money as a writer--he tallied up the money he made and compared it against the cost of housing, cigarettes, etc.)

Those things aren't really cohesive, but there you go.

Michelle said...

I vacillated between going and not going to law school for several years. I eventually went because I felt that it was the only career where I could make a decent salary and use my skills (although I also did read some cases in the area I wanted to study to see if I'd find it interesting, and I did). Everyone told me I would hate it. But, as Richard noted above, I ended up loving the experience--well at least, so far. It just goes to say that you never know.

If your ultimate goal is to make a living as a writer, though, I would advise against going to law school. It eats up all your time and unless you get a hefty scholarship somewhere (or are independently wealthy or have rich parents), you'll be up to your elbows in loans for quite a while.