Monday, March 31, 2008

I say high, you say low

I've always had an inherently rebellious streak in me.

When I was 9, I opened one of those little packets that protect things against humidity. Because the packet said "do not eat," I ate it. I was fine.

When I was 16, I bleached my hair. When my parents told me to get rid of it, I shaved my head. When my parents got pissed about that, I told them that I merely did what I was told.

My rebelliousness has also led me to eschew labels. I'm the same guy who has voted for both the Governator and Barack Obama. And think that Coastkeeper is a great organization but drives a gas-guzzling SUV at the same time. My rebellious attitude of defying convention has also been taken by some in law school as arrogance.

But how rebellious can I be, you ask, if I went to law school because I was just another English major with no employable skills or job prospects, and did what a million other liberal arts kids have done before me? Or went through OCIP merely because it was what everyone else was doing? I'll admit--you've got me there.

But I doubt that many other law students have ever answered an OCIP interview question about his greatest weakness with a response of "cheap beer." (I still got the offer) Or have taken the managing partner of his summer firm out to eat dollar street tacos from a cart in South L.A. Or turned down an offer from Boalt solely because he wanted to be able to surf while in law school.

I did not start this blog to earn money. (I have not earned a cent). Nor did I start this blog to satisfy my inner fame-seeking exhibitionist (I purposely avoid writing about my personal life) or to get laid (I have only hooked up once as a result of this).

If I don't blog for money, sex, or fame, the traditional motivators in life, then why do I do it? I started this blog to poke fun at as well as to criticize mainstream legal education, as an act of rebellion. The same rebelliousness is also why I am calling it quits. Despite a loyal readership base, I feel that that it is time to go out while I'm ahead. Its purpose has been served. Time for a new generation of law school bloggers to step up.

What's next, in my life you ask? I will be spending this summer at White Old Rich & Male. And take the bare minimum of classes and spend as little time as possible in the law school as a 3L. And enjoy life to the fullest as a 3L.

My rebelliousness is also why I will definitely apply for a clerkship after the summer. Not because I necessarily want to clerk, but because I want to show the establishment that a non-Law Review rebellious surfer-type (though admittedly with a good GPA, the ability to chat up just about anyone, and dashingly good looks) can be in the same position to clerk in the highly traditional federal judiciary as my classmates who carefully made sure that they did all the "right" things in law school.

After that, I'll probably go back to WORM to be a document reviewing drone. While I purposely picked WORM because it is known as an overall "fun" firm, I know that my lack of deference to authority and my tendency to resist being told what to do will not do wonders for my longevity in the law, no matter now "fun" the firm. Which is why, probably after two years there, the best decision of my life will be made when I quit/get fired.

My inner beach bum will then probably take over, when I move to the beach and start a surf school. (What's scary is that I will not be the first biglaw turned surf school owner UCLA Law has produced--but this should come as no surprise given who and where we are.) I will then also get my chance to write the next great American novel, something I have always wanted to attempt. Maybe I'll set up a small legal practice for locals on the side, run out of my beach bungalow/surf school. The greatest part: even after my detour into the formal world of the law, I will not even be 30, and have my entire life in front of me.

Everyone knows that lawyers are generally a risk-adverse bunch who are envious of bankers. Most will roll their eyes at my life plan and scoff at how unrealistic it is or how I'm an idealist. But I'm rebellious enough where I don't care what others, especially lawyers, think of me. At the end of the day, I don't measure personal success via a 7-series or a S-class sitting in my Pacific Palisades driveway. I am not afraid of falling off the "track" simply because I was never on the "track" to begin with.

And I'm comfortable with not getting a secure paycheck if what I get in exchange is the freedom to be my own boss and having the the rush of being solely dependent on myself. And it gives me great comfort knowing how many lawyers will be secretly jealous of my plan, but cannot imagine doing the same because "they're too afraid to" or "they can't afford to."

So, with that, I am officially hanging up my spurs. I had fun. I hope that you did as well.

Given that this is L.A., it would only be appropriate to end with a movie quote. The last scene from The Sum of All Fears.

Grushkov: "I will miss terribly my conversations with Cabot. Perhaps from time to time, we can talk."
Ryan: "I would like that."


Blogger Butterflyfish said...

A nice ending to a great blog.

I wish you well.

Best regards.

3:10 PM  
Blogger nicolle said...

i'll miss you.

good luck.

9:16 PM  
Blogger M said...

man! i'm sooooo sad. thanks for your blog! it has helped a lot. good luck.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Counsellor in Cultivation said...

sorry to see a voice of positivity in the legal world go. good luck!!!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Beanie said...

Excellent life plan. I've had a great time reading this. I wish you the best, and good waves.

2:44 PM  
Blogger The Fox said...

thank you all!

12:40 AM  
Blogger Dave & Chels said...

this is a great april fools joke. come on fox, end the misery. I can not bear another day with out the "foxes trot" on daily law school issues.

3:09 PM  

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