TL; DR: Writing this helped me make up my mind…

I bring it up in a lot of casual conversations these days.

I post about it on Twitter, Facebook, and have made references to it here.

I borrowed a stack of books from the library to read up on it.

It’s pretty much all I think about.

Law School?

I know, I know. It all started innocently enough. I wanted to go back to school. That started pretty much right after I got my B.A. I thought about it a lot. And then I did the whole “create a family” thing. But then it came up again. Go back to school.

It wasn’t an easy decision though. How do you decide what to go to school for? The first time around, I chose something that would be relatively easy for me, where I would get to take a whole bunch of literature classes and spend all my time reading. Originally I was going to be a teacher, but by the time graduation rolled around, I just didn’t feel the desire for it.

And I got that feeling. If you have a degree like mine, then you might know what I’m talking about. That feeling that this degree might be just a little worthless if you don’t want to be a teacher.

Or maybe it was just because I couldn’t seem to get a job that actually utilized the little degree.

Or maybe I sold myself short. Took too many easy roads. Convinced myself that being an administrative assistant is a good job for me.

So I started talking about it again. Going back to school. It seems like an easy enough idea, until you have to choose a major…a path… And if you’ve already built up a couple thousand dollars in student loans that feel like they’ll never be paid in full because you have to keep deferring them for financial hardship, then you get a little uneasy with the idea of taking out more student loans.

But this time, if you think hard enough, you can come up with a path to take that would lead you to something a little more specific. And if it pays well enough, it will be easier to pay off those student loans.

I thought about accounting, nursing, paralegal. I thought about paralegal studies a lot. I even registered at the community college and met with a counselor.

Surprise! She’s the same lady who counseled me at my last college. And she’s concerned about why I’m going after an AAS when I already have a BA.

And then suddenly it doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. It feels too much like a step back.

So…law school?

Yeah. Law school. The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that this could be it.

So I’ve posted about it on the networks, and I’ve been reading. A lot.

I have rolled it around in my head over and over.

It’s a huge decision. Not just because it’s freaking law school, but because this biggest little city I live in doesn’t have a law school. The city 500+/- miles south does. The city that I almost moved to after graduation until that one boy broke my heart and I moved to Oregon instead.

Las Vegas. The University of Las Vegas has a law school. And apparently it’s a pretty good one.

So the possibility of moving then becomes an even bigger decision.

Because the ex-husband lives here. And I would want to the kiddo to go there. To be with me.

And (if I get accepted for next year) the semester would start in the Fall of 2012. Which is the same time the kiddo would get to start kindergarten. So then, how does one coordinate joint custody and visitation and all that loveliness when the parental units live so far apart? It’s not exactly as if you can have him split his time evenly, because the kiddo can’t be enrolled in two different schools and just alternate back and forth. It just doesn’t work that way. So…what happens then? That’s a conversation for the ex-husband and I. It’s a conversation I don’t want to have to participate in. Can I hire a stand-in?

Moving on.

So I keep posting about this future possibility, especially on Facebook. I mention it to people a lot. And most of my family members and friends have pretty much told me that I should go to law school.

But I keep contemplating it. Why?

I figured it out the other night. I know what I’m looking for, by constantly asking others their opinion.


Most of these people are saying I should go, but they aren’t really telling me why. Not really.

I’m looking for just one person to tell me – truly – that they believe I would not only excel in law school, but that I would be able to find a satisfying and lucrative job utilizing such degree. I know that I shouldn’t need this outside validation. But I’ve always looked to others to validate my choices.

Why is this such a difficult decision? Because I have too often seen myself as a failure, and I’m terrified of the risks I’m going to have to take if I choose this path. I will have to move. I will have to be a single mother in school full time (or possibly be away from him for an extended period of time?). And this isn’t going to be like it was with my B.A. I hear a lot about how the first year of law school is pretty much the toughest year. I’m reading One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School, and even though it’s Harvard and is based on a student’s experience in the ’70s, it’s still an accurate portrayal. First years are discouraged from holding even part-time jobs because of the workload involved. So, am I strong enough to make it work? Am I strong enough to make this decision so that we will have a better future?

Just sitting here writing about it, and thinking about it, is difficult. I’ve made so many “wrong” decisions, how do I know this one won’t just blow up in my face?

I don’t.

I just have to accept the risk, and do what needs to be done.

Because I want to be responsible for wonderful things to happen in my life, and in his life.

I want him to remember that his mom worked hard to make our lives better.

If you made it this far, I’m impressed. And kind of grateful. Writing this helped me make up my mind.

I’m going to take the LSAT in October. And then I’ll just take it from there.

Reading material. This is only the beginning…
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