Before law school, you had hobbies.
What was that, Attorney? You’re familiar with the word but can’t recall what it means? Hobbies are activities you do regularly not out of compulsion, but for the sheer joy of it. You had them. Then law school came along and killed changed your priorities.
Let’s jog your memory. Here are five hobbies that law school ruined for you and a few thoughts on why you might want to bring them back:
- Writing for fun. Remember those college papers you wrote on Theroux back when you were wide-eyed and idealistic, wielding a pen in a clenched fist? Don't look at them. They will make you sad. During law school, your clenched fist traded in the pen for a PBR. You're not a scribe, you're a fish. You should feel comforted by the fact that even if you did have the energy to write for fun, it would probably be verbose garbage that Bryan Garner would mock. But it's not too late to get your monologue mojo back. It could improve the writing you still have to do for work.
- Reading for fun. If you're not getting paid to do it, you may have opted for voluntary illiteracy. From your evidence casebook, to doc review at your 9 to
59, leisure reading sounds anything but leisurely. Watching TV and movies is so much easier -- except for foreign films. Ain't nobody got the patience for subtitles.
- Movies and TV shows about lawyers. They wear fancy suits and spread the sass around, spitting out jargon that runs roughshod over the Federal Rules of Evidence. The BigLaw folks on TV seem to live in a magical realm with 40 hours in the day, brimming with fascinating work, emotionally satisfying conversations during happy hour and ritzy parties -- topped with a dollop of personal drama. You think to yourself: In real life, you'd be working, sleeping and/or crying quietly under your desk. Also, "The Lincoln Lawyer." Need we say more?
- Taking risks. Gone are your days of illegally downloading music or speeding. Law school has shaped you into an incredibly risk averse creature. Perhaps livin' life as Honest Abe is a good thing. But even your Facebook page isn't fun anymore: Whatifmybossseesthis?! However, bringing a touch of risky business back to your life might encorage you to go out on a limb for your client. Well, it could help ...
- Philosophical debates and waxing poetic. Any lofty discussion that takes a topic to its logical extension warrants an immediate eye roll. From metaphysics to morality, many of us have lost our "free will" to have the patience for (circular) discussions on questions that test the limits of our comprehension. Non-Lawyer Friend: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Post-Law School You: "Sorry, billing. Don't talk."
Fortunately, it's never too late to reacquaint yourself with your hobbies. Rediscover thyself and grow a little -- off the clock and maybe even on.
- Law School Is Good Training for Novelists, Lawyer-Authors Say (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
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- 99 Things to Do With Your JD, Besides Practice Law (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)