I read an article on Vox.com recently, entitled “7 Reasons you shouldn’t go to law school (unless you really, really want to be a lawyer)” by Amanda Taub. You should most definitely take a read; it’s excellent and completely on-point in describing many of our experiences in making the decision to attend law school and become a lawyer.
One of the themes in the article – perhaps one of the unstated themes – is that if your decision to attend law school was based on at least one of those seven reasons, then that decision may not have been the right decision for you or was somehow “wrong”.
But here’s the thing. This was not a “wrong” decision because there are no wrong decisions. Concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are based in our ego; they are not part of the true meaning of life. In reality (yes, the real reality) there are no wrong decisions because the trials & tribulations you have encountered along the road to the law are all part of the universe’s plan for you. The emotional and mental pain & suffering you have endured, and the sacrifices you have made – and especially the self-doubt and inner conflict you may be experiencing now as a practising lawyer – were put in your life to teach you something about the universe, and, by extension, about yourself. It was something you had to go through.
The reasons why you have had to deal with this pain & suffering are as varied and unique as your very being. Perhaps you needed to learn the value and meaning of being your authentic self; perhaps you needed to learn that you have spent much of your life acting out of anger and fear – fear of not being “good enough”, not measuring up, not being “safe”.
This is probably a really tough message to swallow; you may not even be able to accept this yet. And you may never – in this life, at least – accept it. And that’s OK, too. But, if you want to discover the reason (and there is a reason) you just need to look within. It’s all there. It’s hard to do, and you may not like what you find. But it’s all there.
And because it’s all there, it’s all good. It’s all good that this decision is not working out in the way that you thought. It’s all good that you made the decision to attend law school, to incur a mountain of debt (read: a huge time-money sacrifice), to suffer through dozens of difficult exams, to go to the library to draft that mock factum only to find out that the book you (and all of your classmates) need had the relevant pages ripped out. It’s all good that you have to suffer through the self-loathing, doubt and inner conflict of your decisions. This is part of the plan for you.
It’s. All. Good.