Law School on the Municipal Dime
September 5, 2008 in How to Get a Job, Personal Reflection
Tags: best, building, burnout, company, connections, degree, easy, famed, fired, for, frugal, highly, infamous, job, kentucky, law, male, network, offender, on, pay, paying, photography, presidency, programs, qualified, satisfied, school, sex, single, sometimes, states, student, study, sweet, taxpayers, tenure, track, union, united, way, work
I’m seriously considering law school. Not because I want to become a lawyer — Ambrose Pierce defined a lawyer as one skilled in the circumvention of the law, and I’d like to keep my soul intact — but more because I find fascinating the balance between tedious paperwork and long-winded decisions founded on purely hypothetical arguments. In other words, I’d like getting a law degree because I’d like the process.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I’m going to pay for it. Student loans are a racket, especially for law school, and the local law school doesn’t have much in the way of scholarships and grants. There are 83 units; each costs $750; the costs continue to increase every year.
Then it hit me: Teach.
Teaching is perfect for some future law student eyeing the five-year law program at the local school. The best part speaks for itself: teaching brings automatic pay raises typically after every 15 graduate units, typically up to a maximum of 60 units or higher. Further reasoning follows:
After just two years, when a teacher gets established and gets a routine going in the classroom, there needn’t be very much prep time spent outside the normal work day. After the same, concurrent two years of at least adequate service, that same teacher becomes tenured — you’d have to have sex with a student to get fired after that, and sometimes not even then.
After tenure and routine set in, more time is available in the weeknights and summers for law classes from that special five-year program. Even before tenure, all summers are wide open for the sake of teaching or taking summer school and, after taking these few units, teachers get yet another automatic pay raise. It’s a lucrative cycle for a young, frugal, single male with custody of zero children. The pay raises won’t completely cover law school, but they’ll make a sizeable dent.
I’m set to snag a position as soon as I’d want, mostly because my school photography company sends me to schools four days a week. On its dime, I can very easily start making connections throughout the better part of three counties, spreading the word with a well-placed business card — one highly qualified social science intern is all too ready for hire.
It’ll be hit and miss, mostly miss. I don’t mind — I need just one hit, one home run, and I’m perfectly satisfied to stick around my company until I make that fluke. Then, I’m set to re-enter the preliminary stage of a profession famed for militant unions and infamous for high burnout.
And why not? I’m not all that tired of teaching. After a year of training in front of a classroom and just as long theoretically learning about teaching as a credential student, I had only just begun to start. I would have continued it, too, if it hadn’t been for my meddling hubris.
I have all the time I need, and I’m in just the right position to make just the right move. My CSET scores are still good for a few more years, and, chances are, my existing units will more-or-less transfer. From here, it’s a matter of timing.
If nothing else, yet one more route to fame, fortune and the presidency of these United States just uncovered itself. Sweet.
Every day, we experience a thousand moments, each of those moments setting in motion a thousand slightly different possibilities in the future. When we make these choices, we are thrust toward another day's crossroads, where we have another thousand choices.
Given the infinite number of choices we make in a lifetime, why do we choose so many of the same routes and make just as many of the same mistakes as our parents and grandparents?
I plan to learn from their mistakes. Let's see how far I get.
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