Bittersweet Partings

July 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm (0L Summer Prep, Personal Thoughts)

In preparation of the next chapter of my life, I have parted ways with the firm and attorneys who have served as my mentors and without even knowing my goals, encouraged me to follow my dreams.  If you are just stopping by, this may not make sense to you (what does she mean “without even knowing my goals . . .”?)

I was a Dreamer. I didn’t have the self-assurance to know with certainty that it would be possible for me to begin and complete an undergraduate program (3/4 of which was achieved thanks to night school and online classes), nor the confidence in myself to study for and take the LSAT. To get up the nerve to ask for a Letter of Recommendation from my boss (and professors I admired, who in turn, seemed to admire me too). I wasn’t entirely sure I would be accepted to law school, and even then, be able to afford it and sacrifice my income.  I wasn’t sure I could make the giant leap of faith and leave my security blanket (the quid pro quo of a full-time, stable job) to enter law school. Therefore, I kept my aspirations of becoming an attorney a secret.  The first person at the firm I told about my goals was the boss who wrote my LOR (and even then I swore him to secrecy). But yet, the attorneys encouraged me by congratulating me on each step of my academic undergraduate career, exposing me to new things, and by encouraging me to take on greater responsibility via leadership roles and projects (thereby building self-confidence and learning more about the legal profession).  Once I had been admitted to several schools, the secret came out.  Feelings were mixed. My five years with them were life-changing, fulfilling, and a major part of my journey. This made my parting particularly bittersweet.

I plan to stay in-touch but I know it won’t be the same. There is also a finality in leaving a job as a paralegal to go to law school. I will never again be the support staff, but this doesn’t mean I can’t continue to be the student. I have learned so many things from the wonderful attorneys I worked with and I hope that mentor/mentee relationship will continue through law school.  One female partner at the firm (who graduated from Dreamer School of Law) warmly welcomed any questions I may have about the law school, legal profession, etc. It was in conversing with her that I realized a new relationship is also emerging, that of colleague.  As she shared stories about her days at the law school, “Professor Dread is very intimidating but you will learn the most from him . . .” I felt a closeness that I hadn’t felt before.

By the end of my last day I packed two banker’s boxes containing the contents of my cubicle, ate far too much cake, and said my goodbyes.

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