I love knowledge. I enjoy learning new things, increasing my knowledge of information I’ve learned at some point. I read self-help books for fun, just to see what different theories are out there. I read books and articles on areas of interest just because I want to know more. I firmly believe that knowledge is power.
Before deciding to attack law school, I changed my mind about my college major 10 times before deciding to sign on to be a Psychology major (which I also changed later). And that’s no exaggeration. I went through 10 academic focuses before I made of my mind. And I have the transcript to prove it. Music Theory and Anatomy & Physiology (yes, I had a cadaver) meet Teaching 101 and Marketing for Business. I didn’t change my mind because I couldn’t handle it, but more because I found I was more interested in other areas. I’d get so involved in one aspect of each major that I’d want to learn more about that. Or a personal interest I had would become something I would want to focus on in my education. Why shouldn’t I have a career in something that I already love?
Eventually, I made up my mind and stuck out my education plan. But that decision didn’t change my inability to decide on one set focus area. At least not with the many choices in concentrations and courses that law school gave to me. I wanted to learn everything. The idea of choosing one concentration, while losing the option to learn other areas, drove me bananas. I ended up choosing the concentration that allowed for the broadest course selection. But didn’t get to take every course that I wanted. My law school could have made a killing on me if I had! At one point in my course planning, I had at least 10 more credit hours than were required to graduate. In the end, I was able to learn more about many of the areas I had an interest in practicing as a lawyer.
When I entered law school, I made the decision that after I finished my JD, within 5 years, I would go on to get my LL.M. When I graduated 2 years ago, that was still the plan. Now, as I’m trying to decide which program and school I want to apply for, with the market the way it is for lawyers, I’m stuck wondering if I shouldn’t pursue my LL.M. I still find value in the degree and knowledge that I would gain. So, in that aspect, my answer is yes, I should continue my plan. But then I consider the value that it will add to my career path, and I’m not sure if it would really give me an edge in the market when most job possibilities require 5-10 years of experience. Education gives me the necessary knowledge to perform as a lawyer, but it cannot give me those years of experience.
At this point, I’m weighing my options of pursuing my LL.M. compared to pursuing a non-legal advanced degree. The problem, again, is that I have too many interests when it comes to choosing what would be my focus. I want to focus on something that I love, that would enhance my legal practice, and one that makes the most sense for my family. I don’t mind working long hours. I say bring it on to a difficult challenge. And I’m not looking to change careers, I still want to be a lawyer. Just a better educated one. But I don’t want to get stuck in a practice area that slowly kills me because I lack the true desire and commitment.
Knowledge is not only power. It’s my superpower, and I will grow that power!