Friday, October 30, 2009


Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3

I've gone through several periods in my life that I would categorize as rebirths. I experienced my first rebirth in my mid-teens when I became converted to the gospel. My second rebirth came when I reached adulthood. I received the ordinances of the temple when I was 19, partly because I used this as a symbol of my rebirth as a grown woman. I experienced another rebirth on my mission. This was perhaps the most striking rebirth of all. I can honestly say I am a completely different person as a result of that experience. (Some of the change was for the better, and some of the change was for the worse.) I experienced another rebirth during my hiatus from law school. This was a painful rebirth, but I drew nearer to God through that experience than through anything else I've experienced in my whole life. I gained a new and greater understanding and appreciation of the Atonement.

I'm standing on the cusp of another rebirth, and it frightens me. I'm at the point in my law school career where I need to start figuring out what I'm going to do with my life. I know my goal, but I don't know how to get there. When I've asked for advice, I get conflicting information.

Some of my professors have told me that as long as I persevere, get good grades, and write well, I should be able to get a tenure-track position, but that it will take a while. A few of my professors say that since I didn't go to an elite law school, the best I can hope for is teaching legal writing and research. If I could pick one subject in all of law school that I don't want to teach, it's legal writing and research. The dean of career services is convinced that I can't become a professor, and she's trying to track me into litigation. If there's anything I want to do less than teach legal writing and research, it's litigate.

Since my call to teach came from God, I know He'll tell me how to get there, and He'll help me become the person He needs. It's a scary process not knowing what's ahead, though. I've been drowning in schoolwork, and I haven't been as good at spiritual pursuits as I should be. I still pray and read the scriptures and go to church, but my pondering and temple attendance have slipped. I don't remember the last time I went to the temple, but it's probably been several months. I made time in my schedule to go tonight after work. Hopefully I'll get some more direction.

I know this is a rather rambling, disjointed post, but that's how I'm feeling right now - rambling and disjointed. I tend to grow the most when times are uncertain, but it's unnerving in the moment. I'm sure I'll be able to look back on this time and see the Lord's hand in it, but right now, I'm feeling a bit like I'm just hanging.


CJ said...

I felt exactly the same way during law school. Honestly, I think everyone does--but not everyone has the courage to admit it. Like, the firm route is touted as the "best" route, but a lot of people choose it without really knowing why. It might be the "best" by some lights, but it's not the best for everybody.

For what it's worth, my thoughts are these: when you're in law school, the range of possible career plans is pretty narrow. It's tough to perceive much beyond what we're taught to want: working for a big firm, going out on your own, or maybe teaching. The truth is, there are a lot of different kinds of law out there--and it might be that, before you truly know what's best for you, you might need to experience them a little more.

For me personally, I was sure I wanted to litigate--but the path to litigation was, for me, the path of most resistance. It didn't feel natural, and I wasn't happy. I ended up taking a year off after passing the bar, and volunteering. Ultimately, at the end of that year, I took a job in an area of the law I never would've considered before.

I'm sure you've heard this from everybody else, too, but maybe take your concerns to the Temple? I think, if you make a commitment to spending time at the Temple, it might help you perceive how Heavenly Father is directing you toward, not necessarily what you think you want right now, but what will make you happy.

Kaimi said...


You want to get a job in legal academia?

You should look at some of the very good web pages that people have assembled with information on how to do that. Check out Eric Goldman's collection of very good links, at .

And shoot me an e-mail. If you're serious about getting into legal academia, you need to start writing, now. A tenure-track job is going to require a minimum of two published articles, probably more. (Unless you're in tax, or maybe bankruptcy).