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TheFray99

Making a tough decision

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Hi everyone,

I'm going to try to keep this post vague on details for anonymity purposes.
 
I was accepted this cycle to an Ontario law school, and I am so torn on if I should accept the offer and attend. 
 
I currently work in the policy world (in a field where I received my Masters in) and I am making great money in this role. There is certainly room for growth, job protection, fantastic work/life etc. There are parts of the job that I do enjoy, but I largely feel "empty" in this role. 
 
I always had aspirations of practicing law, even when I graduated from grad school and accepted this job offer, I knew that I still wanted to attend Law School in the near future. My judgement isn't clouded with the "prestige" narrative of being a lawyer. For the last several years, I have been intrigued by immigration law/policy, but I understand that these interests may change. However, I truly do feel that I would be fulfilling my professional dream by becoming a lawyer in this area. 
 
I am just so torn on this decision. I realize the ridiculous opportunity cost associated with forgoing 3 years of income and attending law school, but I just don't want to live a life where everyday I regret not attempting to pursue this dream. I feel like staying in my current role and field would be the "safest" option, but like I mentioned, I don't want to live a life of regret.
 
Any advice, insight, and critical feedback would be very much appreciated.

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It is weird to me how so many people look at being as a lawyer as a "dream." I always think, you guys need to aim higher because a "dream" should be something much harder to achieve.

You can feel empty as a lawyer too. Immigration lawyers don't generally deal with policy or change policy, unless they get elected as bar association section chair or have the rare case that goes to the FCA or something. They are going to be dealing with the daily grind of how the stupid policies affect their clients with little ability to change it. What exactly do you think will be different?

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Congratulations on your acceptance, It sounds to me like you feel that pursuing law may be the only road to fulfillment, and if that is the case then "safe" isn't really so safe after all if it makes you feel empty. However, you mention that there is room for growth within your current career, is it possible that a future roll in your current career would be fulfilling? Maybe look ahead and really consider your options, because although you may regret not pursuing law school, you may also ultimately regret giving up what sounds like a great career path.

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I should add to the “feeling empty” part - a job can and should fulfil you, but at least for me, it’s not really where I get my ultimate sense of fulfillment. If you’re feeling empty, look to the other parts of your life to make sure you’re not assuming that this “dream” of law is going to make you happy if everything else is not in order. 

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3 hours ago, providence said:

It is weird to me how so many people look at being as a lawyer as a "dream." I always think, you guys need to aim higher because a "dream" should be something much harder to achieve.

You can feel empty as a lawyer too. Immigration lawyers don't generally deal with policy or change policy, unless they get elected as bar association section chair or have the rare case that goes to the FCA or something. They are going to be dealing with the daily grind of how the stupid policies affect their clients with little ability to change it. What exactly do you think will be different?

Thank you for your input!

To answer your question re what I think will be different: I think that working with clients facing hardships in the immigration system and having the opportunity to mitigate these hardships would really satiate my sense of "career fulfillment." This is sometimes possible to some extent in the policy world, but not to the same extent (I think) as it would be in a legal capacity.

I might just be at a different stage in my life, but so far, I have gained the most fulfillment from doing well in school, and now, doing well in my job. I'm not sure that this will hold true as I get older, but it's certainly the feeling right now.

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10 hours ago, providence said:

It is weird to me how so many people look at being as a lawyer as a "dream." I always think, you guys need to aim higher because a "dream" should be something much harder to achieve.

 

Depends on your frame of mind. For some people they go through great lengths to become a lawyer. For others it's easy. 

On one end of the spectrum you have a white male from a upper class household that's gone to private school their entire life and could pay for tutors and never had to work a day in their life before graduating law school and they can get articles and jobs through their parents' extensive networks.

On the other end of the spectrum you may have an visible minority applicant who has been negatively impacted by systemic factors. Had to work all throughout their education - maybe they had to do it part-time to pay for everything. Perhaps they did jail time or had arrests at one point... 

Then you have all situations in between these two extremes.

Point being you never know peoples' stories, and for some people becoming a lawyer and breaking the cycle is their dream. I wouldn't call becoming a lawyer "easy"

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