Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm a lawyer now

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

I started law school in January 2005, fresh off my mission, with $77 in my bank account. Since I had no money and no job, I lived with my parents in San Jose. I was going to school in San Francisco. My daily commute was 2 hours each way. My dad dropped me off at the train station at 6:30 in the morning on his way into work, and he picked me up at the train station around 5:30 in the evening on his way home from work. It was thoroughly exhausting.

I kept that up for a year before I was fed up enough with the commute that I moved out. I ended up in Fremont, which was still a 45 minute train ride away, but it was much better. A few months later, my law school education was unceremoneously interrupted due to a whole bunch of bureaucratic nonsense that was out of my control. The day that I found that out, I also lost my job.

I spent the next two years working and trying to figure out what to do with my life, and then I went back to law school somewhere else. (At a school that was far better run and treated the students as respected colleagues instead of as obstacles.) Then I graduated.

Then I took the California bar - and failed it - three times. (Seriously, if someone reasonably intelligent with a law degree can't pass the [expletive deleted] test after three attempts, maybe there's something wrong with the test!) Then I decided that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So I took the Arizona bar in February. I found out in May that I passed it. In fact, I knocked it out of the park. It really was California and not me.

I've been waiting for my background check to clear, and I found out yesterday that it did. Most law schools have big ceremonies a few weeks after exam results are released where all of the alumni who passed the bar are sworn in en masse. Since I'm being admitted to the bar in a different state, and I'm being admitted off schedule, I don't get that.

I went to the UPS store on my lunch break today to get sworn in. So, nearly eight years of toil and effort was culminated by signing a piece of paper in front of a notary and dropping it in the mail. I'm practically allergic to ceremony, but it still felt a little anticlimactic.

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