Why I’m Glad I Worked Before Attending Law School
Allow me to begin by stating that I am writing this wholly from my own personal perspective. I did not do a Master’s degree before coming to law school and I did not work for a bank or in a job that paid me over $35,000 a year. I worked for almost four years as an actor before attending law school.
I could not be gladder that I didn’t go straight from undergrad to law school. Working in theatre and film in a large city exposed me to as diverse a cast of people and backgrounds as you can imagine. I was never solely interacting with those of my own age, gender, or ethnicity. I worked in a field that exposed me to a wide cross-section of the Canadian human geography, giving me an empathetic eye to the issues of future potential clients.
I was not reading the newspapers for how the daily news would relate to what I was learning in class – I was reading the newspapers because they reflected what actually surrounded me in my daily life. And this directly links to what we as future lawyers are being equipped to do.
Deciding to switch careers and return to school forced me to re-examine what I wanted out of my life. Sometimes feeling unfulfilled can be a great way to stoke the fire of change and push ourselves to pursue what we really want. During my career change, I was forced to identify my goals.
This made me more driven than I have ever been before in my life. Sometimes this gives me a different perspective than my peers: I don’t relish having a class cancelled, because from my point of view I wanted that lesson. However, on the same note, having a bit of distance from my undergraduate degree has also given me the larger perspective that it is okay to let little things fall away in support of greater things, like mental health and time off.
So even a cancelled class can be appreciated by me, even if I don’t like the idea of losing some of that high tuition money I paid.
Overall, despite having slightly less energy than some of my peers, I choose to celebrate the journey that took me to law school and the benefits that followed from spending four years outside the university bubble.
Liz Guilbault (1L) is Staff Writer for Juris Diction.