Here’s what we asked you last week: If you could go back and attend law school again, what opportunity do you wish you had pursued? Or what seemed like a big deal at the time but, looking back on it, you would not pursue again? Well, judging by the volume of responses we received, there’s no shortage of regrets from law school days. Many regret not making law review, others bemoan missed opportunities for clerking gigs, and some simply reflect on personal relationships that could have been. Because there are so many responses worth sharing, we’re going to run about half this week and the rest next week. (more…)
I still regret deciding not to apply for a judicial clerkship upon graduation. My fellow litigators who clerked found the experience to be invaluable. While I was still in law school, however, I thought my abysmal finances and impending student loan burden would drive me into bankruptcy or worse if I accepted a low-paying clerkship rather than a more lucrative junior associate position with a large firm. Even when a professor suggested I apply to clerk for a federal judge friend of his, I declined. So off to private practice I went. Dumb move, as I discovered when I got a great job in the public sector a few years later at not much more than a law clerk’s salary. Turns out you can live just fine without the big bucks if you really believe that you are doing the right thing.
I wish I had done some work! I didn’t study that much for class, but I worked hard on things I was interested in. I wish I had joined the Federalist Society and engaged in debate more. I wish I had reached out to conservative professors more. (I went to the University of Virginia, so there were one or two.)