How in the hell did I end up here?
I shouldn’t be going to law school. Should I?
I am the son of a retired cop and a college VP’s secretary. My mother had an associates degree and my father was a high school drop-out who got his GED before joining the police force. I didn’t come from some affluent family with old money. I have cousins who have graduated from law school and passed the bar in the last couple of years, but we aren’t much of a real big family in the schooling sector. That is quickly changing.
My mother and father divorced when I was five. I don’t remember much about it, I just knew my mother wanted me in Catholic school. That’s where I headed. On a secretary’s salary, my mother sent me to private school. Not just any school, a Blue-Ribbon School of Excellence. Both my elementary and high school were recipients of this high honor; my high school was honored three separate times. These schools were the best that my mother’s money could ever afford and she sacrificed like none other to put me through school. She worked at a college and I could get free tuition if she worked for a certain period of time. I got to go to college tuition-free based on her work.
She passed away during football season of my senior year of high school.
My father is a real gem. As the son of a cop, life can be different anyway. He grew up on a farm in the county I lived in. His father was a drunk. His mother was a homemaker. His mother died when he was 18; his father when he was 22. He was pretty much on his own from the age of 14 on. He has many brothers and sisters, all of whom live close by except for Larry who lives in California. There is a reunion every year at the shelter house in the city park on the first weekend of August. I won’t be attending this year.
My father’s side of the family spells our last name in two variations. One has one “l” the other has two “ls” (ll.) This confuses people and in super annoying to deal with at home at times. Speaking of spelling, my father misspelled the state I live in on a card he sent me. Sure, it would be understandable if I lived in a state like Massachusetts. That is a somewhat hard word to spell. See for yourself how he spelled mine.
He has made his own move from North to South. He lives in Florida and works as an ambulance driver; moving patients from rehab centers to hospitals or moving dialysis patients. It is the perfect job for him. He still gets to drive all around town on someone else’ gas and gets to talk to a variety of people. I think he really enjoys it.
My father has been married 5 times. My mother was #3. He has a few kids. I am very close to his oldest son, my half-brother, who is an awesome person. My current step-mother is a great person as well. She is so nice.
My half-brother is in his mid-30s and is married with 3 kids. The kids are great kids who are elementary aged. The oldest plays football, baseball and basketball. The middle child is the only girl. The youngest is a chunk who is going to be a stud in sports. I could see him as a hell of a linebacker. My half-brother coaches a pee-wee football team. I helped out one year and really enjoyed my time with that. It is not much fun to think that living down here, I won’t get to do that or see the games. We look so much alike, that people think we had to have the same mother. It is weird to see us together. We have the same wit and sense of humor so things are usually pretty fun.
My other two siblings are a half-brother and a step-brother. The other half-brother has cerebral palsy and lives in a group home up North. The step-brother lives with my father and step-mother. He is about a year older than me and is a security guard at a bar in Florida. I talk to him rarely, but when I visit we always have a good time.
After my mother died, I lived with my mother’s mother. My “Nana” is the greatest person I know really. I have written about her before, but she is truly a peach.
I went to college at a small liberal arts school. It was the same size as my high school so there was no real difference there. I stayed close to home and could easily visit anytime I wanted to have laundry done or get a home cooked meal. Not anymore.
College was a pretty great time. I was very active on campus in student government and the radio station. My fraternity, other clubs and organizations all took up the rest of my time and the studying was sometimes put on the back burner. Until my senior year in college, studying wasn’t that important to me. I was going to be a journalist. What is there to study once you know the basics? You have to learn new technology as it comes, and the stories don’t give out tips before they happen.
Without the LSAT to help even my resume out I probably wouldn’t be in law school. That, and of course my great resume of internships and experiences that had almost nothing to do with law school. No law school cares that I wrote for a national magazine that had a publication of 72,000. They only care if you spent a summer pushing coffee at a law firm with a good name. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to go out and actually meet some people. My mother spent some time working in our county prosecutors office. If I had wanted a summer job using those connections, I probably could have had one. But, I didn’t. And I feel like that made all the difference in the way I ended up here.
I’m glad I’m here. But I’m going to have to work harder than everyone around me to feel like a success. Give me my books, give me the assignment and get out of the way.