Suddenly I See…
This isn’t what I want to be.
The precise reasons why I chose law are still a mystery to me. With the exception of LAWR, I actually do like my course, contrary to popular opinion. And I really cannot imagine doing something else, especially not engineering like my parents wanted me to. For the first time, I actually feel like I belong in a course and with the other people taking the course, as contrasted to my two horrible years as a double maths student completely out of her depth. I used to like maths, and actually be quite good at it until F Maths [Now I’ve completely forgotten how to integrate or find vector spaces].
About five minutes after people learn I am a law student, the inevitable question that comes my way is “what kind of lawyer are you going to be?”. I’ve answered this question with a patiently evasive technique, saying I don’t get to choose my modules yet. Or I tell them I’ve two years to make up my mind, and I haven’t yet. And that is indeed the truth. I haven’t made up my mind. The only thing I know what I potentially will not like. The only thing I know is that I am not interested in an economics degree, nor in any business/finance crap. Law of Contracts kinda beat that out of me. I am really really not interested in figuring out complex financial dealings or corporate mergers, or spend not just my April 15th, but the entire year filing taxes. I won’t deny I am interested in human rights laws, but it is not like it pays a lot.
My parents are putting pressure on me to take a double degree in economics and then go for a analytical/consultancy position, as they are not very interested in me practicing. *I* am not sure whether I am going to be practicing in the future. LAWR isn’t exactly making practice look extremely appealing. I do not want to work 12-14 hours a day until I am 40. If there is anything I realised lately, is how I really want a family of my own, with kids and all. And if I do have kids, I don’t want to be missing their childhood, or growing distant from my partner, while slaving away in the office over some stupid brief. I think its the combined effect of Grey’s Anatomy Season 3, and Street Lawyer by John Grisham, that brought me to this revelation, when all this while, I had been mentally putting my career at the top of my priorities when thinking about the future. And my commitment to activism is absolutely life-long – this is not a adolescent/young-adult phase, and I would like to continue making a difference.
The second consideration is financial independence. I am not going to live with my parents until I am 35, in the vain hopes of being able to buy a HDB flat then [thanks to another one of our screwed-up laws]. That’s just sad and pathetic. I plan to move out as soon as its possible, preferably right after I graduate and get a job. But if I am going to be striking out on my own, I cannot be subsisting on the non-existent salary of a human rights lawyer. Seriously, why is it so hard to find a specialty that is sufficiently rewarding, but still pays adequately?
Am I asking for too much – trying to have it all?