“Have You Ever Considered Law School?”

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lawyer

“Have you ever considered law school?”

If you are a performer in your late twenties or early thirties who hasn’t managed to hold down steady work as an actor,  you may begin to hear questions like this from your family.

My parents have always been supportive of my desire to be a performer, but after all the ups and downs on the bumpy road of an actor’s life in New York City, I think they’d be pretty psyched if I finally chose a path that might guarantee good money and a respectable, steady career. To have a child grow up to become a doctor or a lawyer is a parent’s dream, but since the image of me performing open heart surgery makes them feel uneasy, becoming a lawyer is the next best thing.

“You are such a smart girl, and you’re certainly good at arguing,” my Mom says on a weekly basis. “A law degree can help you in any field and you’ll be able to become financially secure, maybe even rich!,” my Dad says hopefully. They both stare down at me as I pretend to be absorbing and considering their words of wisdom.

Inside, however, these words stir up a profound nausea. A churning, if you will, of heart, mind, and stomach. While I always loved being in school, the thought of sitting through three years of studying torts and contracts makes my soul hurt a bit. Whilst I respect those who have worked hard and passed the bar exam, I often wonder what made them choose that particular path. Has it always been their goal, or did they choose it by default because nothing else worked out for them? Maybe they were pressured to do it? Maybe they just didn’t know what else to do?

“The Artist vs. Lawyer” debate is what I have dubbed this discussion with my parents. It happens on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. But my mother is right about one thing, I am a good debater. So far, I have managed to win my case. As time marches on, however, the stakes get higher. I have to fight harder, and find new angles and loopholes to save myself from a life of legal briefs.

It’s true, I would make an excellent lawyer. But I’d make an even better actress portraying a lawyer in a starring role on Law & Order. Hear that, Mr. Casting Director?

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9 responses »

  1. I definitely know the feeling.

    I’m just starting out, but I’m already hearing rumbles from my dad about it. My mom, on the other hand, can’t figure out why every Asian girl she sees in a movie is not me. Hahaha! Bless her.

    I know they want what’s best for us, but sometimes it can be incredibly discouraging to hear them ask those kinds of questions.

  2. Law school is a scam. The gravy train has long left. The debt is huge and if you ever get your ass into a firm – the hours are soul-crushing. Oh, and the money isn’t all that great too (considering the hours you put in). Take this from a person that has finally paid off his law school student loans (parents partially paid for my degree so it didn’t take too long for me to do that) and turned his back on a legal career. Unfortunately when I finally sniffed it out, it was too late for me. Ask any lawyer what their working hours are. When the managing partner messages your blackberry at 9pm at night and wants that contract done by 12pm tomorrow eastern standard time, there goes your beauty sleep. Its just not worth it. Unless of course, you truly have a passion for law and don’t mind dedicating most of your waking life to it.

  3. Thank you so much for this blog! I can totally relate to many of your experiences and I found it very comforting and supportive. I live in LA now and grew up in NYC.. Both towns ate my dreams! Did a lot of theater and a few low budget films in NY. Moved to Florida where I got my SAG card from doing commercials but I felt even though I was working, I was not where I wanted to be career-wise, plus I was in Florida. LA is a rougher town than LA, because there is such an emphasis on the outside. If you’re over 30, it’s a crime! LOL.

  4. Thank you so much for this blog! I can totally relate to many of your experiences and I found it very comforting and supportive. I live in LA now and grew up in NYC.. Both towns ate my dreams! Did a lot of theater and a few low budget films in NY. Moved to Florida where I got my SAG card from doing commercials but I felt even though I was working, I was not where I wanted to be career-wise, plus I was in Florida. LA is a rougher town than NY, because there is such an emphasis on the outside. If you’re over 30, it’s a crime! LOL.

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