Friday, June 3, 2011


I got sworn in as a lawyer. Which just seems freaking ridiculous. "Wait, you're gonna let ME practice law?" That's kinda stupid, right? I mean, me? I hope that doesn't ring of false modesty. You should know by now it's sincere modesty. But just in case, let's review the record:

I went to a nondescript Sunset Catholic grammar school. No, not the snobby one by Tower Market. No no, not that other one by the beach. That OTHER one. Yeah. That one. I was an average student, though I did get put in the advanced English classes by junior high. What can I say? I got a way with words. (Though, then I think it was mostly a way with reading the words.) I recently saw my 8th grade report card (mostly C's) while my mom was going through all that crap that moms save and was all, "Buahahaha! They let me into the uber preppy high school? How? Why?" (The how and the why is probably that freshman "donation", with promises of more, my mother made.)

(Aside: I probably would have been better served by going to the less snobby Catholic high school that my grandfather went to. Oh well.)

I then matriculate at fancy prep school where I do mediocre the whole time. There about 18 million factors involved in this that I can point to but I'll save those for therapy. Just: I wasn't a very good student. I was never motivated by grades, there are certain subjects I just straight suck at (please don't ask me to do math, ever), I wasn't engaged in the spirit of the community there. It's honestly sort of a miracle I made it through the place. But I did manage that and I graduated as a completely uninvolved 2.7 gpa holding student.

(Another aside: By virtue of going to said preppy high school, and since people in this city make such a BIG DEAL about where you went to high school, I have to start virtually every conversation with, "Okay, I went to SI, but it's not like I liked it or fit in there at all. I'm not one of them." And I'm not. But I also kinda am. So I either gotta own it or start lying and saying I went to Mercy.) (And no, going to non-Catholic school is not an option in my family.)

I then applied to a bunch of colleges. Places I had no business even applying to. Wake Forest, Tulane, UC Boulder, UCSC, Chico, and LSU...and maybe SFSU too? I don't know why I applied to SFSU or Chico. I had no intention of going to either of them. As for the rest? The only place that took me was LSU. So I thought, "Why the hell not?" I wanted the whole 4 year college experience with a big campus and big sports. I should have applied to more _SU schools, had I thought about it, but my guidance during the college ap process, by two parents who barely made it out of high school (actually dad only has a GED and mom got kicked out asked to leave one Catholic high school), was minimal. At best.

We all know that the whole LSU decision worked out fairly well for me in the long run. There is very little about my time there I truly regret and even with the mediocre high school grades, I'm not sure I would change that for a do-over and a chance to go to Harvard instead of LSU.

But! I was still not academically inclined. I had this weird idea that college learning wasn't in the classroom but from everything outside of the classroom. Which I actually think is true of the undergrad experience. It's when you form your adult philosophies, at least begin to form them. How to hook-up, how to drink, how to navigate messy life waters without your parents constantly around. Maybe some of you learned how to feed yourself and do your own laundry and such too. I had that stuff down (yay child of divorce!) I enjoyed my English/writing classes but everything else? Meh. I was again mediocre. I'd straight fail classes before taking a withdrawal, which is so idiotic. I'd excel in stuff I loved, even made deans list when I'd pad a semester with straight speech comm/short story writing/some intro theater class. I had professors I LOVED (Hi, Samuels and Roider!) that I did really well under and then every time my English major butt had to take a bio class, I'd just punt.

I had a 1.6 gpa my first undergrad semester and your gpa just never really recovers. Yay for outside of classroom learning! And after super strict Catholic school, no one checking to make sure you go to class was quite an adjustment. I NEVER went to class. I got out of LSU with...wait for it...a 2.7. After six years. (I'd still be there if that was at all acceptable. And I did work full time my last year and a half of undergrad.)

After undergrad I came home because I knew the job market in Louisiana sucked, what was I really gonna do there, who was I? And that's where I've been since. I had a couple grown up jobs here where I made good money and probably could have made a career out of it but I also completely hated it. I never felt comfortable, just felt like I was playing dress up. I'd fly for business at 24 and be like, "This is insanity!" So after hating that and realizing that my potential to move up was hindered by not quite knowing how to play the corporate game yet (nod, smile, agree with bosses, promise to take on more responsibility than you actually can), I had had enough and quit. I spent that winter studying for the LSAT, which I took in February and scored pretty well on (82nd percentile, bitches), a score that no one anywhere ever is gonna care about ever again.

Since I was again alone in this whole admissions process for law school thing, I thought rolling admissions actually meant rolling and figured in March I could still apply for that fall. First day of LSAT review opened my eyes to that reality when teacher said, "You guys are applying for '08, right? Because unless you're a Kennedy, no one gets in if they haven't applied by November." The fuck?

But as I had already quit my job and wanted to move on with my life, I applied to one law school, hastily, that said admissions were still open. I probably spent about 20 minutes total on my application. A couple months later, I got a big fat admissions packet with a healthy scholarship. I'd never before in my life had a scholarship. I didn't know that at the time the school was on probation and in trouble for bar passage rate. Hell, I knew nothing about the school, I applied on a whim (see also: LSU application).

In retrospect, I should have applied to LSU (where I had a friend who had worked for the law school and knew who I could talk to, but look at me with the missed life opportunities!) and gone to school away from home but *shrug* that's the way things work out.

And I tried really hard that first semester, to no avail. I tried much less the second semester and actually faired better. I was middle of the pack, go figure. Not the smartest, not the dumbest, my ability to write an essay carrying me through. I went to Europe, I had adventures, I broke up with my long time...yeah, I'll just leave that dangling. No need to hurl insults. A lot of shit went down in that 3 years.

The whole time I'd look around and be like, "Seriously? I got into law school?" Again, I don't mean this as false modesty, when that acceptance pack showed up I was like, "Hahaha. No way!" I guess I figured law school was like this unattainable...thing. I suppose that's only if I'd try to go to Boalt or Hastings.

But I took the MPRE and passed it. And filled out my moral character app and passed it. And managed to somehow graduate from law school (2.7 gpa! Not even lying), an event I sort of underplayed because it was just another step to becoming a fully formed adult. Then the bar, which I didn't pass. Then the bar again, which I did pass. And now (deep breath), I am a sworn in goddamned attorney. I'd make a joke about not having a soul or a moral compass but I think we already know those things were true long before law school. (Cue rimshot.)

So yeah. Now I'm like officially official. I took an oath to uphold the laws of the state and country. Now I SERIOUSLY gotta get me one of them fancy legal jobs to pay back the insane stupid amount of loans it took to get to this place. I have to grow up and can't avoid life forever and ever. I'd be lying if I said this didn't completely freak me out. How the hell is my completely mediocre, utterly average self supposed to manage that? I haven't the faintest idea...

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