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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...

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Posted by Hala Furst on 09/15/2008 at 12:00 AM


So as I lay on my futon, reading a literal mountain of cases, watching Raising the Bar on TNT, I realize two things:
1. Zach Morris needs a better hairdresser, and
2. I have gone through the looking glass.

Just as Grey’s Anatomy somehow made the drudgery of spending hours on end covered in other people’s blood, never sleeping, and generally becoming emotional train-wrecks sexy for medical students, so this show attempts to make the grueling hours spent pushing along the machinery of the criminal justice system seem “hot”. I’m not entirely convinced, but that might just be because of Mark-Paul Goessler’s astonishingly bad, even Tom-Hanks-as-the-guy-from-the-"DaVinci Code"-bad haircut. It isn’t the first show that has tried to romanticize the criminal judicial process; it will come as no surprise that many law students are “Law and Order” addicts, if only because of the secret dorky thrill we get when we understand an evidentiary or procedural rule. But this is the year of school when you move away from the words of the law (and oh, how many words their are), and move into the actual practice of the law. We start to try and figure out what jobs we want to pursue, we start to take classes that will maybe help with our specialty. And often, truth be told, we don’t have much to go on other than the stories of our professors, practitioners that we’ve been able to meet, and the likes of the tonsorially challenged Jerry, newest fictional PD for NY. Is that any way to pick a career?

Sometimes. If you’re like me, and you get a charge from being in front of people, of imagining yourself delivering the closing arguments from TV or the movies, if you find yourself reading parts of a particularly interesting case aloud, maybe even with voices, then you know that litigation is probably going to be your cup of tea (or maybe that you need to go to sleep). If the idea of speaking to a jury terrifies you, or even just bores you, then transactional law might be where it is at for you. The law is like anything in life- there are infinite possibilities, and no right way to do it. People will tell you that there is a right way, that there is a path that you should be on, certain things to check off some list as you move through school, but they are wrong. There are many ways to be an attorney, some are just more difficult than others.  And in the mean time, there is really nothing wrong with deciding you want to be a criminal attorney, if for no other reason, than the TV made it look sexy. Just be prepared when things aren’t always, or really ever, as they seem. That is when you have to decide if reality is sexy to you as well.