Building your dream life

Life after law school actually hasn’t been a disaster. I was starting to get pretty bummed; I had started applying to secretary and paralegal positions just to get some money coming in and fill the gap on my resume. One day last month I went on to peruse the listings and came across one for an internship at a local nonprofit. The application deadline was in 2 days, and it only paid a $100/wk stipend. However, it was for a programs and development intern to do grant research and help with the administration of the organizations monthly and annual outreach events and projects. In short, it was exactly what I was looking for! So I went to the interview, and despite being late to an interview for the first time ever in life* they picked me! And two other interns as well.

But I love it! I have several projects planned out for the duration. I’ll get to do some grant research and writing and I’m being trained to run orientations for our mentoring program, as well as career workshops.  I haven’t done very much with these so far because two huge annual events are back to back this year and it’s been all hands on deck. What really struck me is that every day I’m excited to come to work. I’m never watching the clock waiting for 5pm to come, even when I’m doing grunt work like sorting office supplies or putting together charity auction packets. I’m energized in a way that I never felt during my judicial externship or my time interning at the legal aid clinic. I love the people, I love the work and I really hope that this leads to a full-time position here or at a similar organization.

This week, all my law school friends will be taking the bar, and they’re excited about becoming Esquires and formally entering the profession. Me? I’m not in a hurry to take the bar. I originally planned to take it in February 2014, but may have to defer until July due to financial issues (that ish ain’t cheap, y’all, and we’ve still got wedding stuff to pay on top of regular bills). I still plan to go ahead and do it just as a safety net. But even though mediation and family law would be a career I could live with, it’s not the one I really want. What I want is do nonprofit management and public policy. People have asked me, can’t you do both? But the reality is that law is something that’s really hard to do just “on the side”. Even something as simple as a will for a regular working class family could take 40 billable hours to finish–that’s a whole full time week on just one case. Bottom line for me is that I’m just happier not doing law, and I’m okay with that. The world doesn’t need another unhappy lawyer.





*It was in an area I’ve never driven to, I made two wrong turns and then got caught at every. single. light. I called in once I knew I wouldn’t make it though.

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