How Becoming a Lawyer is Like Surfing. Kind of.
I am writing this week from an overpriced, cramped and unairconditioned internet cafe on a computer that appears to predate everyone else in here but me. And maybe the guy working behind the counter. But he keeps leering, so I’m trying not to make eye contact. Rest assured, however, this situation is not the result of an ill-advised computer trade, but rather because I’ve been spending some time travelling, as my life will soon be without fun. Although in many ways travelling was a great idea, it has unfortunately also left me with little exposure to the legal world. Or the internet. Or spell check in English. And of course, as always, I’m not actually attending law school yet. So I had to consider this blog topic carefully.
So I thought to myself, what is a topic that I could write about which requires little to no research, zero actual law school experience, and really small words? So I thought and I thought but I kept coming back to new experiences I’ve had on this trip. Eventually I started wondering how those experiences may be alike or different from my next three years and suddenly I realized I had a bunch of METAPHORS. Bingo.
After all, if great writers use great metaphors, it follows that bad writers should use bad metaphors (Shall we play name that fallacy?).
So here it goes—Dixie’s bad metaphors in all their glory:
Surfing: the obvious choice. The metaphor for anyone who thinks they are too hip to use metaphors. There you are, skirting danger, harnessing the mighty ocean and acting in sync with one of the greatest powers in the world. Could I imagine the ocean to be my future reservoir of legal knowledge, the danger of the ocean akin to the opposing sides trying to make me falter and the exuberant feeling of success while riding a wave equal to that of winning a case?
Absolutely not. Especially since my experience with surfing was nothing like that. I spent two hours eating sand and woke up the next morning covered in fist-sized bruises. Perhaps that would be a more accurate prediction of how law school will make me feel, but certainly not something for which I’m hoping.
Or will my legal experiences be like the time a cab driver tried to overcharge me, and we argued until he kicked me out of the cab. This had some promising aspects. To begin with, a law was broken, (considering the a-hole refused to use his meter). Plus, from watching Casey Novak I’m 110% certain that being a lawyer always involves heart pounding and dramatic debate, which I experienced to the extreme as we screamed unsavoury names back and forth at each other in multiple languages (lawyers are super smart, so that works too). After he drove to a dangerous block to kick me out, I even had the opportunity to avoid eye contact with a “working” woman and her client. Practically field research (I’ve also seen Erin Brockovich so I know how important and common that is in an average lawyerly day). But alas, there is a huge shortcoming in this metaphor. After all, I did get a free cab ride out of the deal. And there is no way I’m going to get through this law thing without financial losses.
At one point I would have predicted that my experience taking a two prop plane would have been a great law school comparison as prior to my flight I was convinced I’d spend the whole time sobbing and trying not to pee my pants. Voila! Perfect metaphor. Imagine my disappointment when I actually enjoyed the flight. Can I hope that it’s an even better metaphor now? Could law school not be as bad as I fear?
Considering these choices, I realize that I have not found my metaphoric masterpiece yet. I suppose I’ll just have to keep looking. I have been seeing a ton of monkeys lately…