Cheating on Your Law Degree
Being a law student is like being part of an exclusive club. We live for clerkship season, attending Kirby’s book signings, complaining about the price of textbooks, cramming for our 100% weighted exams, surrendering our lives to LSS social activities and making puns that only our fellow law students would understand.
I must admit that I have been a textbook member of the unspoken law student society. I subscribe to Survive Law for my daily fix of law-related gossip and memes. I participate in all of the LSS competitions. I work part time in the legal industry and volunteer for a CLC. Yet in the last year, I’ve slowly but surely found myself falling for my other qualification. As a Commerce/Law student, I had always seen my Commerce degree as serving no other purpose than as a safety net if I ended up hating Law (which never happened).
Last year, I studied abroad. For the first time ever, I spent a whole semester studying non-law subjects. And I loved it. It was a relief not to learn the rule for every situation, the exception to the rule, and the exception to the exception. My brain wasn’t filled with case names or their factual backgrounds. In the second semester, I only took one law subject to ease myself back into it. Then clerkship season came around, and I emerged victorious with…a 12 week internship in…the FINANCE DEPARTMENT.
The thought of having gone a whole year with little to no law related activities had me feeling worried. Am I a poser? Am I less of a law student for doing an internship in my other degree?
I feel guilty every time I type out journal entries, process invoices or work on budgets. I have found myself wondering whether I was even eligible to watch Suits anymore.
I’ve now almost completed the internship and am looking forward to returning to four law subjects this semester, but I have come out of this experience with a deeper understanding. I’ve realised that being that law student doing the same thing as everybody else meant that:
To potential employers, we are no different from our peers; and more importantly
We are not opening ourselves up to new experiences that can shape us and prepare us for our future.
I’m still unsure whether I want to practice law, but having a diverse skill set and developing a new way of thinking means that I will be more prepared for my foray into working life once I graduate from The Castle re-runs and downing coffee like no tomorrow.
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