Monday, July 24, 2006

Growing Up

Even as narcissistic as I can be at times, I can easily get wrapped up in admiring people, especially those for which I have much respect—my friends.

Sometimes it is hard for me to actually grasp the idea that I am a grown-up and capable of being a full-time adult with a career and all. Granted, I do not have that career yet, but I am of age too.

Over the past year or so I’ve gotten more and more acquainted with the idea of being an adult as I’ve gotten to watch many of my friends move into full-time career positions. I admire how they have made the transition. I can find myself sitting in awe and thinking how cool it is to have friends that I’m so close to that are real “professionals” now.

Specifically over the past year I have gotten to watch and listen to stories of some of my closest friends who experienced their first years as teachers. There truly isn’t many jobs I admire more than teachers! It’s so cool to be at our get-togethers all sitting around and just hanging out like old times and then look over at one of my friends and think to myself, “Goodness, she is a real teacher.”

We truly are all growing up…

And while over the past year I have watched many of my friends take on the true “professional” lifestyle, that has only been the beginning to the transition. Soon enough I’ll be making that transition. That’s when it will probably really hit me, but still I am appreciative of the gradual transition process I am having right now as I watch friends I love make the transition.

What I see happening now over this up-coming year is another form of transition. Now I am beginning to see friends step into the “professional” world at another stage. These are the friends I have who have gone about a route similar to my own, in that they have decided to continue their schooling on beyond their bachelors degree.

When I look at these friends it isn’t that I look at them as any “better” than my other friends, but rather as individuals who are about to take a job in a setting that is known for taking “some time” to get to—basically careers that require a masters degree or so forth.

Some of these friends will include my friends in my Masters of Social Work program who will be moving into social work and counseling positions. Being a true counselor…that’s cool to me—I just feel too young! HA! Then I have other friends who will be professionals in other areas within the year.

I am honored to say I have several friends who have taken on the law school route. While that is something I would NEVER consider, nor do I know enough about it to know what all the possibilities are in that route, I can say this, I admire those who are willing and capable of taking on that challenge.

I can think of 7 friends I have who are currently in law school and 3 who will be starting this fall. More than half of those seven who are currently in law school will be in their final year this year. One of them recently sent me an email sharing about her experience interning in the professional world of law. I found the experience that she described in the email as so cool and “grown-up” that I wanted to share it.

(I still can’t believe that there are people my age who are old enough to be doing “law” and things of that sort…I feel so young…HA!)…

[Some identifying information has been taken out of the below email.]

Of course since it's summer, I'm not actually in classes (whew!). But I do have an internship in the _______________ Prosecutor's Office. Because I've finished two years of law school, I was able to be certified by the __(name of the state)___ Supreme Court to practice as an "attorney," with actual attorney supervision, which is awesome. Some days I'm just down in traffic court dealing with tickets and traffic related things like DWI's. A lot of that is just amending tickets for the defense attorneys that come in, which isn't a blast, but it's useful information and practice. Occassionally, though, I get to negotiate with the defense attorneys and talk with the people that are incarcerated and have tickets or the people who just don't want to hire an attorney. It's really weird and a little sad that some of them know the system so well and will say things like, "but that's not the usual deal they offer." On the other hand, some of them just say really funny things, like I was told by a woman that was in jail that I was too "little" to be a lawyer-hah! I was just thinking, "okay, but you ARE in jail, so maybe you have bigger things to worry about than how little I am!" On the days that I'm not in traffic court, I'm either in misdemeanor court or felony court, which are basically the same except one deals with "softy" crimes and the other deals with the really bad stuff. Those days are more exciting than traffic days, but then it's also much more serious. So far I have gotten to argue the State's case to the judge in a probation revocation hearing and gotten to conduct a preliminary hearing, where I questioned witnesses and submitted an exhibit and everything. While they're not the biggest deals ever, they were pretty cool to me, and it was a great experience to actually be up in front of the judge and have to think on your feet when he asks questions. Right now I'm trying to talk one of the traffic attorneys into letting me do her traffic trial for her, so we'll see how that goes. Anyway, I'm there for about 25 hours a week, not including the one hour drive in traffic there and the one hour drive in traffic home three days a week, but the experience is completely worth it!

After the summer is over, I'll be doing a clinic with the ___________ Prosecutor's Office, which is where I interned last summer part-time. Along with that I'll have the regular classes for a year. I'm also soon to be published in the upcoming Public Law Review issue, which is way cool for me, since a lot of people from the legal community read the law review and it's ranked as one of the top 5 law journals in the nation for constitutional issues. I'll also be serving on the Board as the Lead Articles Editor, which will be a lot of work but will also come with class credit and resume value. It should be quite the busy year, but at least it (let's hope!) will be my last year of school ever. Let me tell you that graduation cannot come too soon, although that in no way means that I am looking forward to looking for a job, just looking forward to actually working.

Wow…that’s just so cool to me. I have friends who are doing internships acting as real attorneys…impressive!

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