In the past few weeks, we’ve brought you two stories about would-be lawyers trying to make critical life decisions. There was the first-year law student who was considering dropping out of law school after just one semester. And there was the prospective law student who wanted to take the LSAT instead of attending his grandmother’s funeral.
In the former case, the Above the Law readership overwhelmingly voted for the 1L to drop out of law school. In the later case, I strenuously argued that the person should go to the funeral and take the LSAT later.
We have updates on both people. It appears that Above the Law readers are more persuasive than I am…
The 1L decided to drop out of school before paying one more dime to his law school. That law school turned out to be UC Davis. Here’s his email to Above the Law:
Thanks for posting my situation a bit ago and explaining it so well. It made me feel more comfortable with a very big decision. I submitted my withdrawal forms a few weeks ago. It felt weird.
I’m still having a tough time grappling with my fear that I will regret dropping out in the long run. I’m at UC Davis, which people keep telling me is a very good school. A lot of my classmates are from Berkeley and UCLA [undergrad]. A few are from Stanford. How can these people be making such bad decisions?
However, my family and friends are in the Midwest. Not only is California one of the toughest places to find a job right now, but if I wanted to return home after graduation, the alumni network in my home state is nonexistent. It would be just another hurdle I’d have to overcome if I chose to keep going.
Well, thanks again!
Good luck, young man. There’s an awesome scene from the West Wing where Bartlett explains that the hardest thing to do is to go in at halftime and admit that your gameplan is not working. Even the climatic halftime scene in Remember the Titans involves Coach Yost asking Denzel Washington for help. If you are not happy doing something, if it’s not working out for you, it’s okay to change things up.
Meanwhile, I thought that my argument in favor of respecting the dead was fairly airtight. I said that the would-be LSAT taker would do better by his family, and do better on the LSAT, if he went to his grandmother’s funeral, then took the LSAT at a later date.
But, as per usual, my arguments are meaningless in the face of God and/or hairspray. The person who called himself “Funerals and Such” responded to Prudence to let her know what he decided:
Hi Prudie: I was the person last week who had to make a decision between taking my LSAT and going to my grandmother’s funeral. I just wanted to update you that I took my test and did very well. There was a moment during the test when my mind drifted to her funeral and melancholy began to overtake me. At that point, I noticed a scent of hairspray – the same one my grandma used for the past sixty years. I teared up, knowing that she was right there with me and she was proud of me. Afterwards, my mother called out of the blue to ask for my forgiveness and tell me she was so proud of all I had accomplished, and she merely acted the way she did because she was irrational at losing her mother. It was a wonderful act.
In her own way, Grandma gave me peace of mind taking the test and my relationship with my mother back. I am not surprised. She always made everything look so easy. I can’t wait to see her again and tell her about my life. Thanks Prudie for taking my question – in her own way, when I was lost and confused, she gave me you.
Umm… okay. Okay. I’m not going to critically break down this argument (hairspray, dead people are communicating via HAIRSPRAY now). I’m not going to make the obligatory Regent School of Law joke. I’m not going to quibble with the choice of the phrase “out of the blue,” as if he hadn’t talked to his mother for years.
I’ll simply point out that once people start bringing religion into the argument, all rational arguments for dissent become powerless. His grandmother was with him during the LSAT, cheering him on and happy with his choice. Okay buddy, whatever works for you. When I first started writing I used to bounce ideas off my dog, and she’d give me some tail-up, tail-down feedback. Whatever works.
And who knows, maybe this kid will get into a law school, and after one semester he’ll email Above the Law asking for advice on how best to get a job. And then I’ll be able to say something like, “Well, first things first, you need to make sure you bring your dead grandmother with you to the interview…”