Friday, December 3, 2010

Why law?

The first question anyone asks you when you first set foot in law school is,
“Why do you want to be a lawyer?”

Set aside other occupation options such as a legal advisor, judge, legal consultant or even a journalist, its common perception that the main reason you applied and was granted application to law school is because you have dreams of prosecuting. Being prosecuted is of course another case.

Before approaching the end of your studies, it is imperative to re-ask yourself this question, before falling into that sea of zombies who just do just because. Why would anyone have dreams and hopes of being a lawyer? Perhaps arguing is a passion, what more in the elegant interior of a court room. The suave cut of a lawyer’s robe brings about all the confidence within. Or the adrenaline rush of standing before the judge itself and presenting your case. It could be those simple things which make a person choose to be a lawyer. Maybe some people get a rush from lack of sleep and preparing BOAs till the wee hours in the morning. Different people, different strokes.

The Leo Drummonds of the world answer smugly of the monetary compensation. Money buys power. And power, well, power is what empowers some men. The legal profession pays handsomely, provided you know how to go around it.
In contrast, the Rudy Baylors of the world aspire and aim for justice, equality. A fair outcome for the oppressed. To defend victims of situations.

Then again, I guess we all started off as Rudy Baylors, optimistic and hopeful of justice being served, the wrong being punished. Eventually, however, we get jaded by experience. Forget that. Even four years of law school can make a person jaded. The hours put in, the workload, files being slammed in your face, the convict escaping, the victim crying, the judge shrieking, the frustrations building up. And then you question yourself, how long can you stand doing this? Can you really go on every single day of your life working like this? And for what? What do you get in the end? It’s all questionable when you no longer get that satisfaction of a job well done.
From then on, the material promises is probably the only thing that keeps you in the game. Though deep down inside, everyone knows, the material goods don’t last forever. If you can get bored of a profession, you can definitely get bored of the pay, especially when there’s too much and you don’t know where else to put it.
Intentions are personal, I suppose. To each his own. You can either be the saint lawyer or the ‘shark in the dirty water’.

My point is, maybe its time to reassess the reason one is in law school. To help the deserving? If so, how do you determine who really deserves it? Some lady can come to you and claim she’s broke and she needs free legal assistance. Turn around and you see the woman driving away in a Z4. It could be rental, you tell yourself. Well what about the beggar on the street who turns around the block and jumps into a Mercedes Cabriolet?

The world is a deception on its own.

Being a cynic is not that bad after all. A clear mind can assess the case better. But sometimes thinking with your heart gives it the extra passion.
Enough with my rambling. Go get a cup of coffee and a copy of The Rainmaker. So you’ve read it before, there’s no harm in reading it again. And while you’re at it, think, why are you a law student? What’s your purpose as a law student?
-By Atiqah Juana-


  1. Good question. I ask that to myself all the time...

    Have you found your answer?

  2. lol, you have graduate lyana. no point asking anymore ;p