I spent the better part of the afternoon picking out an outfit that said “casual, per your request, but a very professional casual, don’t you think?” In the car on the way, I had a brief panic attack about whether I should ask the receptionist for Mr. Jones, or whether I was confusing myself by thinking of Señor Jones from my Pimsleur Spanish CDs. While I was waiting in the office, I stared at a window decal that said, “NO DEALS. Hard crime does hard time!” and wondered if I was in the right place. I pulled a hangnail and my finger bled. I freaked out for a minute about the fact that I might get blood on his hand when I shook it.
Things went better when I met Señor Jones.
Q: So, what are you doing? Tell me about yourself. Have you taken the LSAT? Are you going to law school?
A: Yes, actually. I took the LSAT last summer, intending to apply during the last cycle. But when I got my score back, it was much higher than I expected, so I hadn’t been looking at the right schools…
Q: That’s not a problem I’ve ever heard!
A: A good problem to have! And, you know the price begins increasing and I’m staring down the barrel at hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. So I thought I could also use this time to make sure law was the right path for me. I’ve only ever done fun stuff: moot court, mock trial. But I want to get a feel for the tough stuff, see what I think. If I could be happy doing it.
Q: Well, let me ask you this. Why the law?
A: There’s never been a question about the law. But, by the same token, I thought I was going to marry my first high school boyfriend. So I want to test my conviction, which is this: I feel very fortunate. Through chance, through the genetic lottery, through whatever, I was born with skills and strengths and raised in a good home… And I feel like, no matter your belief system, most people appreciate the significance of the phrase “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” I feel extremely fortunate, and at the same time extremely obligated to use what gifts I have to improve the conditions of those who, through no fault of their own, went without. Or who were the victims of crime, something I have never had to face.
Q: I can definitely understand that.
He went on to explain in great detail how the system at 201 works. General sessions is “downstairs,” criminal court is “upstairs,” how cases move from downstairs to upstairs… He explained that internships were generally reserved for 2L’s, but that because I had such an “unusual” resume, he was sure I could be of help in the Victim/Witness Division, in which department there has never been an intern. He explained that this would allow me to see a wide variety of cases, that I could work whenever, that I could start whenever. He told me I could have two weeks for my trip.
I don’t know if I’ll do it, though. No free parking.