Legally Ranting

Really Should Be Studying Now…but…

Posted in Human Rights, Law School by legalrants on June 13, 2010

I really should be studying right now…but I guess I’m kinda burnt out already. Can’t believe that an entire semester flew by in a flash and its the end of exams come tomorrow afternoon. Well, not that it is a permanent break or anything, but at least I’ll get a couple of weeks off to go home.

But I get slightly nervous just thinking of the day when the results would be out. A lot is banking on this semester’s and next semester’s results because I’ll be applying for vacation clerkships solely based on  first year results.  Job prospects in the legal sector aren’t exactly rocking the socks off anybody right now and I expect very fierce competition to secure the all important summer clerkship. It is all the more difficult for me having moved to a foreign land and not really having the “connections” (so to speak). I’ve heard that, in this field, it’s not what you know that matters, but who you know. I guess I have to work on that aspect of networking.

Although I don’t know for sure, I get the feeling that most of my (much) younger classmates aim to work in ‘Big Law’. ‘Big Law’ refers to the big law firms that have hundreds of lawyers on their payrolls and (obviously) pay the best salaries. They are primarily involved in corporate litigation work, mergers and acquisitions, and especially for Western Australia, mining law.

I had a chat with my study group, a few days ago, on our options after we graduate from law. I think everybody is as uncertain about the future as well. Somehow or other, they all have slight apprehension about finding suitable employment back home.

I’m not really sure if it is a good thing or not that I don’t particularly aspire to work in ‘Big Law’. Some senior associates that I’ve spoken to have mentioned that it is good to join a big firm at the start of your career, as it would really help to build a solid foundation. After one or two years, after you’ve learnt the ropes, you can move off to whatever you want to specialise in.  Somehow, the thought of working in a humongous office building, shuffling papers to and fro, shooting emails back and forth, attending meetings hours on end, doesn’t really excite me too much. Afterall, I’ve done all these before, and perhaps that is why I left the working world to pursue a law degree.

On the contrary, I can see myself working in a dingy office, in the corner of town, advocating for the rights of the poor and oppressed. Not that I’m doing any of that right now, nor have I ever done this before. I guess, the reason why I wanted to do a law degree was so that I could make a difference in some way… even a small difference. Of course, I do not need to work in a dingy office in the corner of town to make a difference, but you get my drift. Deep inside, I’m afraid that I’ll get sucked into the corporate world and turned into a corporate zombie, drawing a mega-huge salary but feeling nothing about the work I’ll be doing. Worse, I could be drawing a pathetic salary and also feeling nothing about the work. Wouldn’t that be a huge waste?

I’ve always said to my friends, in a utopian society, a lawyer is the most useless profession. Unfortunately, we live in a society far from utopian ideals. We live in a society full of strife, angst, unfairness, hate, discrimination, war, oppression, subjugation, inequality… and the list goes on… How can I make a difference? How would one little person coming from another place to a foreign land make a difference?

I guess, the truth of the matter is not thinking about making a difference, but just taking the first step forward in doing something worthwhile, in the hope that you can touch somebody’s life in someway.

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