When I was in high school I thought I would like to be a lawyer. I liked the few things I had read about practicing law. I liked what I saw on TV when the quick thinking trial attorney saved the day. I liked to write, public speak and I had a deep seeded feeling towards fairness.
In my English class we had a teacher that allowed anyone that ‘earned’ a swat to be defended by another student and if the ‘lawyer’ did a good enough job in defense you didn’t get your swat. If they lost, both the offender and the ‘lawyer’ got a swat. (Yes, our teachers could swat us with a wood paddle in the 80’s). I defended many students and NEVER received a swat. I thought this career idea was a good one.
My career planning hit a snag. On TV when the murderer was arrested they were always told ‘if you can not afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you’. In my naive world, I perceived this as every attorney had to take their turn be appointed to a deadbeat murderer because it would be their civil duty. I justified this in my mind, because I didn’t think anyone should have to do that repeatedly, so the court system would spread the pain around. I knew I could never defend one of these scumbags. A career path was dead.
I didn’t ask enough questions. I didn’t explore opportunities. I only personally knew one lawyer because I met him in church when he dropped off his toddler to the class I watched each Sunday. I never took the time to express my interest or my concerns. My parents didn’t know any lawyers, so I didn’t ask them any questions. I didn’t learn about corporate law, patent law, contract negotiations, financial legal requirements, etc. I missed an opportunity to pursue a very dynamic field, because I was not persistent or on a quest to better understand my options.
I am glad now that I made the choices I did, because I studied advertising, met my husband because of connections I made following that career path and then became a successful entrepreneur with my husband. We are living happily ever after and it would not have happened if I had pursued law. But I would have enjoyed law!
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