ON A LUCID INTERVAL: MUSINGS OF A LAW STUDENT
I did not expect the study of law to be this exhausting. Sure, there are already many stories about it. Some are funny and pleasant, but more often than not, the stories are heartbreaking. Still, you will never know what a heartbreak really means until you are in law school.
Not so long ago, I graduated from college; perhaps the first completed book of my lifetime. I decided to savor it first, knowing how much I invested to achieve it. However, with no absolute control over things, I found myself being in law school. Almost four years in, and still, I feel that I have not adjusted well. There are times when I would just stare into space asking myself if this is the right path for me to take; if this is really what I would like to do. I appear to be prepared most of the time, but I know myself better than anyone else. I know that so far, what makes me survive law school is luck. As they say, it is better to be lucky than good. But I feel sooner or later, it will run out.
Perhaps what convinces me to continue despite my constant doubts is the beauty of studying the complexity of the legal field.
Sure, it is draining – to the last ounce of energy, confusing – as hell, and frustrating – to the point of breaking, but once you understand the wisdom of the text, or the message the law, there is an immense satisfaction; a feeling of unexplained joy. It is as if you have discovered another part of yourself, a part of you, you’ve never known to exist until that moment. Once you finish reading an entire law book, all 600 or so pages of it, knowing you have turned each page and scribbled notes, or colored the entire page using different highlighters, there is a feeling of contentment, knowing you have fought until the end and it was one damned good fight. While results may vary, the consolation that you accomplished something despite multiple internal battles is something to treasure.
Nevertheless, there is something in the study of law, even though complicated, to say the least, that you just get fascinated by.
It always tests one’s limit. It is a common joke in law school that students pay fees to make them suffer.
Obviously, the study of law is more of a mental torture than any other. It puts you in a spot that exposes your cognitive limits, only for you to discover more of your mind’s dimension. It appears to break you only for you to realize that it actually expands you. Bad recitations are mostly taken as a sign that a door closed when in fact, it really opens one; a door of redemption. Failed quizzes are things one would like to forget, but in the long run, these fuel you to do better.
The study of law’s reputation as a notorious heart-breaker (it really is), once deciphered and wholly accepted is more of a character-builder. It shows tough love to the point that (we) law students hate it. While the distinction is hard to identify, for those who were able to do so, and did not surrender to its challenges, now have a healthy relationship and continue to grow with the law.
Another reason would be the nagging feeling of wanting to help the field be appreciated by many. Despite the difficulty, it beholds a unique brand of beauty.
There are many misconceptions about those who work in the legal field. Before entering law school, I shared in some of it, and until now, there are still questions that are yet to be answered. However, I realize that not everybody is inclined to have an in-depth analysis of the system nor interested in studying such. What dictates other’s interpretation is just pure logic and a set of morals, which, sad to say, no matter how righteous, is not always just.
If in the eyes of those already interested in it, the study of law is already one big mess, what more will it be in the eyes of others? I think this is the biggest problem that the legal world faces. All need it, most misunderstand it, and only a few are interested in it.
There is a part of me which wants to make others appreciate what I appreciate in it. There is a portion of me that wants to explain to everybody the beauty of the industry they wrongfully construe. However, that would be impossible. Even the law does not require the impossible.
Still, I feel that by learning more, I can share knowledge even with just a handful of people, with the hope that someone will share the same interest, will study further, and do the same. The method is slow, unassuming and does not guarantee success, yet there is a possibility and probability. And that is enough.
Consequently, to study law is to invest not just money, time, and effort. To study law, you need to offer a part of yourself. Whether or not you will love each other back, or find another that will love you even more, the study of law will already be part of your history. The feeling of being called in a recitation, the little prayers muttered every shuffling of the class cards, the tears, sweat, and smiles, are all part of the memory—- be it distant or fond.
There’s no assurance what will happen tomorrow. My uncertainties might overpower my reasons to pursue law, but still, I will not regret the day I entertained the crazy idea of doing it.