Friday, April 28, 2006

I made it

It's been awhile since i've posted, but that is mostly because of my lack of internet than anything else. I arrived here last Friday (the 21st) and have been setting up shop ever since. the trip was mostly uneventful, with the one exception taking place in eastern montana/western north dakota. it was a blizzard and in minutes, while driving, i was in a complete white out. very scary. fortunately for me there was a hotel within a couple miles of hitting this spate of bad weather, so i was able to pull off for the night. the next morning i struck out again, and within about 45 minutes it was raining instead of snowing, and another hour of driving led to sunshine. the rest of the trip was easy.

i start school next monday (may 1), and i hope that i'm prepared enough. i will post my impressions of early classes as they go. My first class on monday is Torts I. stay tuned!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

On the Road

today i leave for school. it's about a 2400 mile drive, i plan on taking a week. it's odd, the notion of all i have fitting in my car, and the cargo carrier on top. about 85 cubic feet if my math is correct (although i was never great at math). sure i'll get some cheap used furniture once i'm there, but in the end my existence, starting today, will be very minimal.

it's a bit surreal so far. it hasn't really hit me quite yet. my wife and i will be apart for more than a few days for the first time in nearly 4 years. my son and i will be the furthest apart we've ever been. i won't see my dogs for 4 months, will they even remember me? all of this is for me. it's rather humbling, when i think about it.

anyway, enough of the existential blathering. off i go. it will be at least a week before i am able to post again, possibly more, depending on internet availability. no matter, i'll post an update as soon as i can. bon voyage to me!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Why Law School #2

it occurs to me that the entire diatribe below fails to answer the question i posed at the top. i suppose that means i'll make a great lawyer, but hey.

the short, simple answer is this: law school actually sounds like fun to me. crazy? perhaps. i enjoy the notion of the intellectual back and forth that goes on in a good lawyer's mind. i like the challenge of defending untenable positions (or people). i like the nitpicking approach to legal issues that law school requires. i like outlining, briefing, detailed case analysis, and i'm fascinated by the legal issues that are put forth in every case. i have been reading a book about contract law (something that, on face, seems rather boring), and am finding myself fascinated by the real world issues presented. i like the stories that lead to cases, that further lead to decisions, that further set legal precedent. i love the malleability of common law, and am finding myself in awe of our legal system.

in short, i'm a fan of the law, and i want to be a player in the legal game. finance is, well, finite. it's limited. sure economies ebb and flow, but ultimately it's the same rules to the same game played over and over again. comparing it to law is like comparing a game of war (the card game) to 3-D chess. the complexities, the intricacies, and the pure, reductionist, detailed analysis of legal thinking is what i'm after, and i believe i'll get it in spades.

that's it. i have been reading plenty on law, legal theory, how to prepare for law school, etc etc, and all of it excites me (perhaps more on that part later). today i received one of my textbooks (i ordered them through the mail), and it contains the UCC (uniform commercial code) and part of the restatement on contracts (if you don't know, it would take me awhile to explain what that is). i got all excited. maybe i'm nuts but hey, that's why i'm doing this in the first place, right?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why Law School?

one of the questions that i have been tackling for the past few years, is why, in my late thirties, am i now deciding to go to law school? it's a good question; after all, i have had a fairly successful career up to this point (in finance, if you must know), i am married, have a son (from a previous relationship), a home, dogs, etc. i have all the trappings of life that suggest that i'm moving forward, not backward. i'm not stagnating, at least not superficially.

but that's just it. am i happy? in a nutshell, do i enjoy my job? i spend 40 odd hours a week working, am i satisfied? the short answer is no, i'm not. in fact, i hate it. it's mind numbing, intellectually bankrupt work. i am constantly fighting just to maintain a good attitude about work, and have been for the past few years. if i stay much longer in this business i'm going to either get really depressed or go nuts (or both). so what do i do?

when i was fresh out of college, 1992 or so, i took the LSAT and scored very high. i probably got lucky, and maybe there was even a bit of skill too. nevertheless, i had a great opportunity to go to just about any law school. my undergrad transcript isn't all that impressive, but my test scores more than made up for that, so i applied to schools all over the country. i figured i'd be good at law school, after all i had been good at intellectual games for some time now (i was involved in academic debate for ten years, and pretty good at it too). it seemed law school was the next logical step, but i had no idea why. i got accepted at some, turned down by others. why didn't i go?

honestly the simple answer is that i wasn't ready. i was obstinate about where i might go to school, and one school in particular caught my attention - Northwestern University. they turned me down, and i got pissed and even appealed the decision (to no avail). i really had no idea what i wanted to study and was attracted to NWU because i thought (who knows if i was actually right) that i could just study philosophy and con-law there and teach. probably true but i had no evidence that it would be better there than any of the schools i did get in. it was almost as if i used NWU as a lynchpin excuse to NOT go to law school. i didn't really think it at the time, but in retrospect i probably made the right decision to wait.

so i slogged through the real world, and finally ended up in a growth industry and built, like i said, a relatively successfull career. and now, after almost 9 mind numbing years in finance i have finally decided that i want more, that i miss the game that intellectual stimulating study provides. i don't know what i'll do with my JD but i do know that whatever i decide, at least i will be happy doing it.

it's taken me two years to prepare for this. i have an entire life to upend, and it's much more work than the typical "fresh out of college" student who has very few ties, and can just head off to school (provided they can finance it). more on that later, but this week is the culmination of years of waiting followed by the past two years planning and preparing. in four days i'll be leaving. it doesn't quite seem real, but i'm sure it will soon enough.

Monday, April 10, 2006


welcome to my blog. i'm heading off to law school as an old man, at least by law school standards, and thought it would be fun to record my thoughts and experiences for anyone to read. or nobody. i don't really mind either way as i'm doing this for me, to blow off steam, to speak my mind, or to blather on incessantly about various nonsensical items that may or may not invade my brain. as you can see i don't much care about capitalization, you'll have to live with that.

as i write i am preparing to drive halfway across the country to a new state, new city, and plant relatively shallow roots while i attend law school. school for me starts in may, and if you are discerning you might figure out where i'm going to school based on just that. i'll leave that for your clever mind to figure out. i'll say that i'm not going to a prestige school, and about that i couldn't care less. i'm not going to law school for prestige anyway, but other, more ambiguous reasons. i suppose i'll get more into those later as this little blog grows. suffice it to say that after fifteen years or so in the real world, it will be a huge relief and grand adventure to plunge back into the world of academia. unlike many, i am looking forward to law school; i intend to enjoy the game and play it well. i plan on making the most of my second career (did i really have a career before this? WHOA!), wherever this adventure takes me.

so. i can be crass at times, boring at times, i can fail at attempts at humor. but i will always be me, so if you like, read on. if you don't, move on. either way, welcome aboard. i'm very excited to begin, and i'll do my best to keep updating this weblog as much as i can.