Lawyer influences

July 24, 2009
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I wonder if interest in the old TV show “Perry Mason” has increased since news stories about U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor have mentioned how influential the show was in her becoming a lawyer.

After being told she couldn’t become a detective because she had diabetes, she realized maybe she could be an attorney. This decision came after watching hours of “Perry Mason.”

Is it that simple to pinpoint the moment in your life when you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up?

For years, I thought I’d enter the field of sports medicine. I was convinced it was what I wanted to do. I loved sports and the workings of the human body – it was a perfect fit. Then I took chemistry in high school and realized I’m more of a liberal arts girl. Writing was something I always enjoyed, which is how I ended up majoring in journalism.

My decision to enter my profession wasn’t related to a specific moment, person, or influence. It was a gradual realization as I found myself enjoying history and English classes more, and math and science courses less.

But some people have that “ah-ha!” moment when they realize what they’re meant to do. It may have come after watching countless hours of “Law & Order” or “Ally McBeal.” Perhaps a parent is an attorney and you’ve always admired their work. It could be you experienced a situation that made you want to help those wronged by the law.

Maybe you can’t say TV made you want to enter the legal profession, but when did your realize you wanted to be an attorney?
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  • I think this should be a two part question.

    One, what caused you to enter law school?

    Two, what made you decide to stick with the profession once you finally understood what it actually entailed? This latter point was a rude awakening for some of us.
  • Brian - you bring up a good point in sticking with being a lawyer. Perhaps I\'ll explore that more in a future post.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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