In law school I learned to see every side of every issue. This was a many-edged sword. Clerking for a judge who wanted me to recommend how he should rule on a case, I’d read a persuasive brief for the plaintiff and think, Yes, this is the way to go. Then I’d read a persuasive brief for the defendant and think, Hmm, this seems like the way to go. Maybe I had no position. Maybe I wasn’t interested enough.
All that legal argument could drive a person crazy. And the truth was that I didn’t care about every issue that came before me. I cared about civil rights and sex discrimination, but I didn’t care what the State of California did with Mare Island. I didn’t want to have to take a position on EVERYTHING.
I tried to love the law. In the years that I practiced, I did every aspect I could think of —poverty law, corporate law, teaching, clerking — you name it. I won my cases, but it never felt like the right fit. It was as if I were running a marathon with one leg shorter than the other.
I like to create something new, not something that fits into precedent, as required by most legal cases. I enjoy helping others leave their legacy by writing a satisfying piece or book.
I can’t say I regret having a law degree, even though I no longer practice. Now, as a writer and writing coach and as a public relations consultant, I am taken seriously, not viewed as a fluffy coach or PR professional. But it was a long detour through the law that brought me home to my own writing and helping others write.
Writing prompt: Write about the work that suits you best.
Copyright © 2015 by Laura Deutsch