I Wanna Be A Lawyer When I Grow Up
Yesterday my friend Caitlin asked me when I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. At this point, a life in the law is so much a part of my identity that I had to stop and think about it. I’ve become immersed in all the details that go along with practice and now being a professor, so much so that it’s easy to forget what motivated that initial journey down the path of the law.
Of course, if I look deeply at it, I have two serious reasons for choosing to study law: intellectual challenge and social justice. But if I really think about it, practicing law appealed to me before I could articulate those reasons.
I was writing my first client advice letter. I was five. The letter concerned Snuffleupagus. Yes, the shaggy brown-woolly-mammoth-elephant Snuffy from Sesame Street. At the time that I watched Sesame Street, Big Bird was trying to get his friends to believe that Snuffy existed. But when Big Bird would bring Maria, Bert, Ernie, or the other muppets to see him, Snuffy disappeared to talk to his mother, get a drink of water, etc. Then no one would believe Big Bird, and Snuffy continued to be the “imaginary friend.”
Even to my five year old self, it appeared that Snuffy’s existence could be definitively shown by an offer of proof. In that letter (which my mother helped me mail off to the public TV station) I suggested that Big Bird should start taking photographs of Snuffy or set up a precise time when the skeptical friends could come by.
I’m interested to see what motivated our readers to enter the legal profession. And it’s okay to admit that “The People’s Court” had something to do with it.