LIFESTYLE ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE LAFF is a publication of DuPontWealth Solutions andThe Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel, blending original and curated content and is intended to educate the general public about investing, finance, estate planning, personal injury, and small business issues. It is not intended to be legal or financial advice. Every situation is different.The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed, as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.
LOOKING BACK AT 30 YEARS OF LAW The “back-to-school” marketing campaigns are hitting me particularly hard this year. It’s not that I need any more binders or mechanical pencils — they just remind me of exactly how ROUGH BEGINNINGS
long it’s been since I was a student, in the traditional sense. While I always make a point of being a life-long learner, the truth is that this month marks 30 years since my first day of law school. As it turns out, three decades gives you a lot to reflect on. It was 1989. Chicago’s “Look Away” was on the top of the Billboard charts, the Soviet Union was disintegrating, and I was receiving one of the most ominous lectures of my life. As part of the “orientation” at Capital University Law School, a veteran lawyer was brought in to set the expectations of first-year students, and, boy, did this grizzled attorney set them low. “Those of you who become lawyers are going to be alcoholics and hate your jobs,” he told us, flatly. Unfortunately, this warning had come
too late — I’d already dropped off my student loan check at the tuition office. For better or worse, I was going forward with my education.
courtroom dramas (and our web series, The Pilot Mysteries), for many of my bretheren, practicing law is a lot of drudgery for very little gain. Most lawyers make the same as your average plumber, and plumbers aren’t swimming in student loan debt. Those who don’t care about the money and simply want the thanks and admiration of their clients have it even worse. Few people hire this type of a lawyer because things are going well in their life. To practice law is to be in an industry where almost no one is happy to see you — that sort of life can be soul crushing. So, thank you. I am grateful my clients add joy and energy to my practice and have allowed me to avoid the type of life I was warned about some 30 years ago.
I think this dreary opening message affected me less than many of my classmates. Unlike my more idealistic peers, I hadn’t come to Capital U with an Atticus Finch complex. I wasn’t there to become some white knight for the downtrodden — I came from a small business family, and I knew that was the world I wanted to go back to. I just felt being able to think like a lawyer would be beneficial. Still, while I wasn’t disillusioned by this “alcoholism and self-loathing” speech, it was sobering all the same. Looking back now, with a job I love and a perfectly healthy affinity for martinis, I still think that old lawyer had a point. So many attorneys really do hate what they do. For all the romanticizing you find in
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