Why Am I Doing This? A Future Lawyer Pep Talk

posted by Robert Rehkemper on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why am I doing this?
 
Why have I signed my name to a note, promising to repay amounts of money that could easily have bought me a house and a new car with room to spare, simply for the opportunity to earn a piece of paper with my name on it, unsure if I’ll ever be able to really pay it back?
 
Why am I waking up in the middle of the night with cold sweats after having nightmares about the placement of commas or italics in a citation?
 
Why am I up at 2:00 a.m. reading 50 pages of gibberish only for the professor to go through 5 of those pages, when my friends are closing down the local watering hole making plans for after hours?
 
Why am I enduring the gut-wrenching trauma of walking into this room praying that my name does not get called for an hour of merciless interrogation at the hands of a smiling tyrant, about concepts and topics that I really don’t understand?
 
Why am I voluntarily standing up in front of scornful looking strangers to make this argument I know nothing about, knowing full well that they will be skewering me with unanswerable questions and picking apart every little thing I do wrong?
 
Why am I laboring doing menial tasks for menial pay, in this dank, dark, disorganized “office” that had to have been a closet at one time, for these arrogant, curt cusses that treat me worse than my junior high gym teacher?
 
Why have I volunteered the remainder of what little “free time” I have to go cross-eyed, proof reading articles about phantom legal issues that only exist in a few pontificating fools’ minds?
 
Why am I throwing away an entire summer to study for a test that I am all but certain I will never pass thus making the entire last three years of my life nothing but a six digit mistake?
 
Why am I walking into this freezing hotel conference room with hundreds of other fools toting number two pencils preparing to fill in a set of bubbles that will tell me if the last three years of my life were nothing more than a cruel joke and terrible investment?
 
Why am I waiting another month in sheer agony sure that my bubble filling skills have failed me, waking up again in cold sweat attempting to re-analyze a question that has since asked something completely different then the first time I read it?
 
Why are my throat choked up, my heart beating as if I have just ran from a rabid dog that appeared from a dark corner, and my hand shaking as I debate whether or not to press that mouse button, praying to God Almighty that I see my name on the list?
 
HERE’S WHY
 
Because when you have successfully triumphed over each and every adversity that has been set in front of you, IT WILL BE YOU!
 
It will be you, raising your right hand with your friends, class mates and now colleagues swearing to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of your practicing state and to faithfully discharge the duties of an attorney and counselor at law.
 
It will be you, that gets a little extra feeling of pride and accomplishment each and every time a judge calls you “Counselor” regardless of how many times you have heard it before.
 
It will be you, listening to the story of a desperate mother whom others have repeatedly dismissed, before looking her in the eyes saying “I can help.” 
 
It will be you, burning the midnight oil, single handedly keeping the convenience mart cappuccino and coffee industry in business as you scour every last piece of evidence looking for that one little hook that could make the difference.
 
It will be you, waking up before any reasonable resident of the metropolis has finished drooling on their pillow, to put the final touches on your trial preparation.
 
It will be you, eagerly charging up the steps, oblivious to the weight of the clumsily loaded down boxes you are carrying, into the one place where status and power must bow to the opinion of normal everyday citizens.
 
It will be you, standing upon trembling knees, addressing 12 strangers you have never met before, pouring your heart and soul into demanding justice for someone whose cries have fallen upon deaf and unsympathetic ears … until now.
 
It will be you, stands comforting a poor, scared and shaking soul assuring her that “everything will be alright,” while simultaneously holding your own breath and attempting no to pass out, as the jury files back into the jury box and the juries’ verdict is read. 
 
It will be you, engulfed in the sobbing embraces of the vindicated family after traveling to hell and back with them, being given no choice but to claw, scratch and fight, like no one else had fought before.
 
It will be you, whose heart pounds out of your chest as the highest court calls your case as the next order of business on an argument you created and whose groundwork the success or failure of your client now rests.
 
It will be you, who matches the highest of courts, the most intelligent legal minds, whit for whit, legal analysis for legal analysis, not yielding an inch as you advocate on behalf of those that previously had no way of being heard.
 
Simply put, you will be kicking ass!  You will be “riding the tiger.” You will be taking the bull by the horns and staring down the most powerful entities in the world in an arena where hard work and preparation are the ultimate equalizer.
 
All of the uncertainties and questions that are racing through your mind every waking hour of every passing day will become nothing more than an amusing memory chronicled in pep talks for those going through precisely the same perceived hell that you are going through now. 
 
You can do it, you will do it, and it will all be worth your while because you will have earned the title of "Counselor" and "Attorney at Law."
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About The Author

Mr. Rehkemper was selected to the Super Lawyers list for the fourth straight year in 2016, and has repeatedly been named Avvo’s Client Choice and Top Attorney for DUI defense with a Superb rating of 10.0 out ... read more