On Tuesday I had my last day of classes. Ever. That fact actually did not hit me until I was settling into my seat in my Legal Profession class (the official last class). I quickly texted my husband to share my excitement at the realization.
It’s not that I disliked law school. I actually really liked it—I formed friendships that I hope will last for a long, long time; I took classes with amazing legal thinkers; I was challenged daily by my peers, who are all truly amazingly accomplished already and whip-smart; I enjoyed every one of my summer jobs; I got the chance to meet and network with people who do amazing things every day. On the eve of being done I feel empowered to have made it through. Half of it with a kiddo.
But it’s law school. I didn’t enjoy the breakneck pace and the gnawing feeling that I just wasn’t ever doing enough, that I just didn’t belong with those talented peers of mine. I was also not all that surprised that many of my classmates revealed that they felt beat-down by the whole law school experience in a discussion we had in that last Legal Profession class. They claimed to have been stripped of their old ways of thinking, their old goals, their old moral and ethical compasses. That wasn’t my experience, but I was often frustrated that the Socratic and caselaw methods left little or no room for discussions of the bigger pictures, of what any of us actually believed. Or that in moot court I had to argue against some of my core beliefs… and then started to believe myself.
Law school is also like so many challenging but worthy endeavors—Overall, I was glad I was there but there were certain moments when I wished I was doing something else. (Hmm… Kind of reminds me of those lower points of parenthood… I love being a mom but at 5:30 I’d really prefer to be sleeping.)
So while I know it was the right choice to go to law school, I am glad it’s over. I am actually looking forward to bar review. At least, I’m looking forward to something other than law school, which is not to say that I wouldn’t prefer sitting on the beach to bar review. I’m looking forward to real family time (evenings & weekends without schoolwork or guilt for not doing schoolwork… Yes I know it doesn’t ever completely go away, but I’ve worked in the real world… I know it’s nothing like what I’ve been through over the last three years.) I’m looking forward to having time to read a few parenting books (what is going through that toddler brain of his?). I’m looking forward to spending evenings with my husband after the babe goes to sleep and feeling like a partner in his life again.