LIFE OF A DISTURBED LAW STUDENT
I’ve been studying law for three years now. Each day as I drag my tired body from bed at the sound of my alarm, I wonder ‘how did I get here?’
For a long time, I did not think I deserved to be here. I’d heard stories from lots of people here about how they had always wanted to study law and help people and prevent injustice and strive for equity. Then I read Harper Lee’s ‘How to Kill a Mockingbird’. It was and still is one of the most insightful books I’ve read. Atticus Finch is the kind of lawyer I’d like to become. His resilience, his bravery, his commitment, his passion. It made me wish I was Jem or Scout and his influence would rub off on me.
Studying law has its perks. I get much more allowance than my brother studying Arts. I get to look different and wear a suit while others wear jeans. It’s a good life, really. But, sometimes, I feel like I’m going to end up being the kind of lawyer Holden Caufield described saying;
‘…All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink martinis and look like a hotshot. And besides, even if you go around saving guys’ lives and all, how would you know if you did it because you really wanted to save guys’ lives or you did it because what you really wanted to do was to be a terrific lawyer with everybody slapping you on the back and congratulating you in court when the goddamn trial was over… would you know you weren’t being phony? The trouble is you wouldn’t…’
I never had a passion for studying law. I can’t remember ever having a passion for anything. I was the average child. Not too good and not too bad. I guess I kinda ‘stumbled’ into law.
In my family, there were only four career choices open to us; medicine, law, engineering, and failure.
I was definitely not science-worthy, so medicine and engineering was out of the question. So, law it became.
When I made my decision known to members of my family, the first thing my uncle did was to cackle and say ‘You would literally break down in court’ in a condescending manner. And I remember thinking ‘I’ll show you’.
Over the years, I’d tried to be committed and passionate to this field which I have found myself. It is one thing to be in a difficult field. It is another, entirely, to struggle with finding the passion and commitment to succeed in it. Some days, I wake up in this dark and crazy place where I always think ‘I’d screw this up and someone would go to jail or be killed because of me.’
But day by day, the society plunges into despair and decay and misery. Injustice, abuse, oppression and inequality become the order of the day. Criminals are walking away without punishment and non-criminals are being punished.
And day by day, I’d look around and think ‘if only things were done in this way’ or ‘it would have been better if so and so was to be done’. Or ‘I’d like to do this or that’ ,’if only I could do this or that.’. And, just like that, I found myself looking forward to classes and graduation and giving back to the society.
And that was when I knew that I had gotten there. To that passion. To that commitment.
And this time, it was real.