No, you dopes. I’m not dead and waiting for eternal salvation. I don’t even believe in that. What I am is a waiter-on-bar-results. Which, frankly, feels more like hell than purgatory, but whatever. Work with me.
Texas is one of the last (if not THE last–I could look it up but I don’t wanna) states to report bar exam results. Of course. The bar exam was July 24-26 and results come out November 2, officially, but actually they’re published on the magical interwebz on November 1, or at least that’s what’s expected. It magically coincides with the end of automatic deferment periods on student loans. Neat.
If you’re already a lawyer or law student or you know one well, you already know this. But for the benefit of people who don’t know, here’s what this means: August, September, and October are purgatory months. You have a degree, you know some stuff about lawyering (but not nearly enough–more on that another day), but you’re not one yet. You can’t pretend to be one. You can’t even really get ready to be one by setting up your bank account, etc. You are in a holding pattern.
Some firms will hire you contingent upon your passing the bar, and during the purgatory months you will do the same types of things that clerks do. But then, if you pass the bar exam, they hire you as an associate and then you do lawyerly things.
I thought I would be spending my purgatory months in my pajamas, but thankfully I’ve had a couple of things kinda fall into my lap. The week before the bar exam, I got an email from one of the assistant deans at the law school asking if I had any interest in temping in the dean’s office while her usual assistant was out on maternity leave. I accepted, of course, and I started when we got back from The Most Fabulous Vacation of all Time in early August.
I have enjoyed the heck out of this job, and I’m a little bit surprised by that. For one thing, it’s not really at all related to the law apart from the fact that the office is inside the law school. I’ve been mostly helping the people in external relations, so it’s been a lot of event planning, label making, envelope stuffing, and publication editing. My melted brain has really appreciated the sortof mentally nontaxing nature of this, and I haven’t been bored for more than a few minutes on a couple of slow days. Plus I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new people and I’ve gotten a behind-the-scenes look at how a law school runs. Hint: it’s super complicated.
And can I just say how weird it is to be on a first-name basis with professors? It’s super weird. Like, at first I couldn’t even bring myself to do it. Now, though? We’re all BFFs.
Anyway, so that got me to thinking: would I want a job like an assistant dean of something or the other? Not that one was offered and not that I’m qualified, but if I were, would I take it? I mean, I have to admit, it would be tempting. The money is decent and the stress level seems lower than that of a practicing lawyer. The benefits are fantastic. And I think it’d be pretty fun, actually.
But the truth is that I went to law school because, well, I want to be a lawyer. I pretty much always have. (Shut up. I know everybody says that and I don’t care.) And my heart is in criminal defense, although I never ever would have predicted that before my 2L year. I always thought I’d be a prosecutor, but like so many things I used to believe before law school, that seems as contrary to my nature as kicking puppies.
So, dear minions, the answer is no. Despite the attractiveness of the ivory tower, I’m afraid I must turn down any offer (of which I have had exactly zero) of employment that doesn’t involve me with clients who need legal help and my helping them. Which sounds so scary. EEP.