If you are a political junkie like me (and a recovering Obamanic) you’ll love interview of Michelle Obama by the Telegraph. There’s quite a few interesting tidbits about Ms. Obama and her relationship with Barack, but particularly revealing is her attitude toward law school and corporate work.
Obama regrets not taking time off between college and law school, a sentiment I can relate to. My senior year of college I had taken the LSAT and signed up for the LSDAS, but at the last minute decided to do Teach for America. While that experience was the most difficult in my life (and most short-lived - I lasted a single semester), I am exceedingly grateful for the perspective it gave me. I’m constantly being praised for being calm and laid back, but when you’ve been in charge of 120 inner city, under-privileged 16 year olds, being on call in Property Law doesn’t seem nearly so scary.
Obama’s beef with the straight to law school from undergrad experience is how it limited her perspective.
“The thing about these wonderful schools is they can be surprisingly narrowing to your perspective. You can be a lawyer or you can work on Wall Street; those are the conventional options. They are easy, socially acceptable, and financially rewarding. Why wouldn't you do it?”
When her father and best friend died, Obama began to struggle with her decision to practice corporate law.
“It made me realize that I could die tomorrow. I had to ask myself, is this how I want to spend my time? I knew I would never feel a sense of passion or joy about the law. I was on a conveyor belt. Law school had just been the next step.”
She sounds like a few of my friends who have already decided they won’t be practicing law after law school. Still, when I’m honest with myself, I realize that if I knew I was dying tomorrow, the very last thing on my mind would be drafting the position statement for the hearing I have on Monday.