My name is Hala Furst, and I am a 3L. Before coming to Roger Williams I received a BA in Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota. In the three years between graduating from college and arriving here in Bristol, RI, I worked as a hotel concierge for a luxury brand, a loan officer and mortgage...
So, the law is a judging profession. You are constantly balancing pros and cons, thinking about both sides of an issue, and utlimately deciding what the strongest argument is. This starts to bleed into your everyday life, in seemingly insignifigant ways at first, and then begins to rear it’s ugly head in ways that are less easy to ignore. For instance, I am currently studying for finals at a local establishment and while everyone around me is perfectly lovely, I am beginning to hear logical fallacies in what they are saying, and it’s killing me. I want to roll my eyes at a rate of about once a minute, and I’m not sure what this says about me. It’s not that you start to think other people are stupid, it’s that you start to have a lot less patience for people that don’t make sense and can’t get to the point. I’ve never really enjoyed mindless pontificating, and I think the law attracts the type of person that likes to discuss things to a point, but likes to be right more. Ordinarily I would just relax and join in the conversation, so I’m going to assume that it is the pressure of finals that has turned me into this person. But, I’m not so sure.
I’ve always had a bohemian side that wars with my reasonable, responsible side, and I think law school is beating my bohemian side into submission. Now when people talk about living out of a van, travelling around the country, I think of the tort implications, not the romantism of it. But that’s part of why I went to law school: I realized that I enjoy being comfortable. Not consumed by materialism, not lost in a sea of McMansions, but happy, content, and able to provide for a family. I want to be able to own a home, and go on the occasional vacation, and still know that I am doing good for my community and my world. These are all things that a law degree can make possible. The degree puts you in a different tax bracket, while still allowing you to do public interest work that let’s you sleep well at night, and hopefully let’s others do the same. I still plan to travel and work abroad, I still want to go to Darfur and work on the front lines of international legal disputes, and hopefully I will get to do that as well. That is the beauty of a legal education: whether near or far, you can do almost anything.
I’m going to be honest, law school does imbue you with a certain feeling of superiority. I’m not saying this is right, I’m not saying it should, I’m just saying that it happens. It’s only natural; you’re around the same group of people day in and day out, all of you studying this specialized knowledge that is different and more complicated than what most people know or have studied. You have professors telling you everyday that you are the front line in the constant struggle of liberty. You are up late every night depriving yourself of food, sleep, and social interaction. At a certain point you have to believe that you are part of this elite band of brothers and sisters, united in common knowledge, or it can all start to seem like a futile, purposeless exercise in masochism. Especially around finals. So instead of feeling like you are repeatedly beating your head against a brick wall until bloody, you choose to believe that you a a demi-super hero. It’s a happier delusion.