Wednesday, December 1, 2010

regrets, i've had a few

i love a lot of things in my life: family, boyfriend, friends old and new, etc. but one thing i do not love, sadly enough, is my dream graduate program. i mean, it's brought me some great people, and it's getting me a REALLY valuable credential that will help me get where i'm going. it's certainly not a waste of my time, and i will come to appreciate this. but my god, this is painful. not the academic demands - i've been challenged before, i'll be challenged again. child's play. it's the... worldview, i guess, from which the people who are teaching me this body of law approach their jobs as lawyers and advisors. let's just say that this little baby lawyer is turning into a world-class rebel.

i went to law school not to chase the atticus finch, law-and-order dream of the crusader. hell, i study tax law; it's a different ball game. but i did see, firsthand, the good work you can do with some knowledge of the tax code and an aptitude for helping people. you can get out there and help farmers keep their land in their families. you can set up a plan such that the teacher and the insurance salesman won't have to put mama in a cut-rate home when she's too frail to live with them. you can write a will so airtight that there's no way that the spiteful sister can step in and take granny's brooch from the dutiful sister. you can make sure sissy and bubba get the home on lake verret when daddy dies.

i did not go into tax and estate planning to help the scions of the top 1% shelter their inherited wealth in foreign trusts and family LLCs so that their scions' scions can continue to live off of never-ending streams of untold millions. those people don't need my help. noblesse oblige is dead; these folks, by and large, only give to charity to the extent they can write it off on their taxes. they perpetuate their wealth at the expense of their daddies' employees. i am not interested in that kind of service.

the longer i have to listen to my old-money professor, who winters in foreign country A, summers in foreign country B and works as a hobby, refer to laws passed to catch tax cheats trying to hide their money in secret bank accounts as "witch hunts," the more i become the second coming of huey long. i grew up the daughter of a man who worked, HARD, to give me what he could. i busted ass to help put myself through college; what my brain couldn't get me, my feet did. i've worked hard all my life. i have funded all four years of my legal education by myself. no one gave us anything. to sit here and listen to these people talk about tax problems from the perspective of the uber-rich? yeah, forgive my lack of sympathy.

it's ridiculous. i don't want to be that kind of lawyer. i want to help, y'know, REAL people. let the psychotically wealthy either figure it out on their own or - gasp! - own up and do their civic duty as recipients of untold privilege. i'll seek a career path doing what matters to the 99% of us who don't have our opportunities given to us with no effort. that's what being a steward of the law is all about. meanwhile, i'll slog through the rest of this elitist foolishness, and i'll gladly take the credential. i'll just use the knowledge i gain to do good, not to recklessly, shamelessly, and - yeah, i'll say it - whorishly chase money.

my daddy raised me better than this.


  1. I think we need more lawyers like you. Like, desperately need.

  2. Grasshoppah... study what they will teach you... and then learn to apply it to your goals... to your aims... to your objectives.

    Would that work??


  3. You're the best example of why people should go into law--because you want to make a difference. People who are in it to make money or prestige are hollow, in my opinion.

    Hang in there and once you make it out alive (and you will), you can make a place for yourself.

  4. *slow golf clap leading to a standing ovation* Thank you. The world needs more lawyers who actually care.

  5. You are going to be a fantastic lawyer. And I'm so glad.

  6. I agree...there needs to be more like you. Such clarity in this how much hindsight helps you see clearly into the future, don't you?


your turn.