At the time I was relieved that I didn’t have to write a “why law school” essay for my application. I had a hard enough time answering the question persuasively for myself, and had settled on an explanation of the ways a law degree might help me do all the other things I wanted to do with my life.
But in my 1L year I wondered if I had really come to law school because I was afraid of pursuing those other things. In the middle of a panicked night I wrote a declaration to my college writing professor:
I like law school, but firm recruiting is looming and I’ve been feeling like a senior again wondering what I’m going to do the day after tomorrow. I’ve been watching friends become brave– one in LA trying, really, to make it; another finally deciding not to follow her parents into dentistry but to go to med school; another, who’s a whole other type of brave, getting on stage as a stand-up comedian. I keep telling them that I’m proud they’re following their dreams, and I keep finding myself thinking that when I was younger I always thought I would be a writer. And, well, I’m going to be. Because my middle of the night anxiety is getting worse, and the fear of never trying to do what I’ve always wanted to do finally outweighs the fear of the blank page. So, the tipping point has come, and I’m not sure what my next step is, but I’m damn excited and I wanted to tell you.
My next step was to take a job at a law firm. Afraid that I was deferring my dreams again, I confessed to a fellow summer associate that I was hoping to forge a third path that didn’t include making a decision between corporate and litigation. I came back as a 3L with a mission to forge that path. I wanted to muckrake for CLS, but mostly for myself.
As I finish editing my last issue, I hope that those who work on the Muckraker in the future will use it as a place to combine interests and passions and to make law school an education that broadens personal opportunity. I think it is already doing that. Since we started, the 18 staff and over 50 contributors have given our future contributors inspiring examples of the creative opportunities that the Muckraker can provide.