Sticking with it

August 24, 2009
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Back in July, I wrote a blog about what inspired you to enter the law. That post got an interesting comment from a reader who suggested I ask why people stick with the profession after finally understanding what it actually entails.

I don’t know if that reader has had a bad experience in law school or once he became an attorney, but he does bring up an interesting question: Why do you continue to be an attorney?

It seems nearly each profession is struggling right now; the legal community is no exception. While Indiana hasn’t been hit nearly as hard as some of the larger firms in bigger cities, we’ve seen our share of layoffs in recent months. Do you worry about your job? Hope to ride it out until prospects are better, or are you considering packing up and trying your hand at something new?

Even if you take the economy out of the equation, being an attorney isn’t easy. You put in countless hours, have tons of debt right out of law school, and maybe have to defend your choice of work to some. It’s a high-stress job that can demand more than you always want to give and can keep you from spending more time with family, friends, or pursuing hobbies. Ever think of throwing in the towel and trying to find another job outside the legal world?

Maybe the feelings of that reader are very rare and most are quite happy with how their career has turned out. Perhaps you’d care to share why you have continued to work as an attorney.
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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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