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Anxiety re: Law School and Not-Lawyering,

I'm putting this out into the universe in an effort to get it out of my head. My boss and I had a conversation today that at the time I felt pretty okay about. I have since come to feel pretty terrible about it.

To sum it up: I am not thrilled about the practicing law aspect of going to law school, and it shows; I am thrilled about energy policy, public policy more generally, research and legislative affairs, and he thinks I would be good at a think tank type research-y position. Things like an attorney in the House Office of Legislative Counsel or a research associate at someplace like the Center for American Progress. But the vast majority of those jobs are looking for someone with experience in policy work already.


For example, take that American Progress job, I would love to have that job, but I'm not sure I'm qualified, or what job I should try to get in order to become qualified. Add in the fact that I will have to pay back $170K in student loans when I graduate in May.

Maybe I just have impostor syndrome? Or a case of the-grass-is-greener about my pre-law school life? I can no longer tell if I am selling myself short or not. To summarize my resume: Education - I graduated with honor from a good liberal arts college, I'm a mediocre law student at a top six school (above a B avg. but not by much). Work history before law school - patent paralegal for one year in DC, more generalized intellectual property paralegal for one year in NY. Work history in law school - continued part-time in my paralegal job for the first two years, spent my first summer working at a patent law firm and at a legal technology start-up, interned during my second year with an education non-profit, spending this summer working on arctic oil drilling issues at a conservation organization, have a externship in the solicitor's office at department of the interior in the division of mineral resources in the fall. Am I actually qualified for that American Progress job and am just talking myself out of it? I do tend to remove the possibility of rejection by not going after things.

I'm having one of those moments where I wonder if I made a giant, expensive mistake. I suppose I should start thinking of ways to fix that mistake rather than just being stressed, and anxious about it. I try not to make decisions based on sunk costs, but in this case those costs are going to follow me for the next 10-15 years. I'm considering a lot of things right now, including leaving my New York / DC background for a smaller city, with a potentially less competitive legal market. Maybe Minneapolis? Maybe Austin (but I hate warm places)? Maybe Charlotte?

Ugh, adulting. I'm only good at the housewife parts, and in order to be one of those you have to be partnered up with someone who is good at the breadwinning part.


I sometimes want to throw it all away and move to... somewhere.

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