An Ask E. Jean Classic
Dear E. Jean:
I'm twenty-nine, I just finished NYU law school and moved to California to take a tax program. l've invested a lot of time and money (more than $220,000) in pursuit of this degree, but I'm dispassionate about the idea of spending the rest of my life in a law firm.
Why? I don't like how attorneys view the world. I don't want to work around people who want to stab me in the back. I want to enjoy a job where integrity is more important than competition. And I want to have fun! I'm smart and motivated; but I'm feeling stupid, inadequate, lonely, scattered, and uncertain about why I'm headed where I'm headed. I'm more interested in fashion, films, and music than the Rule Against Perpetuities.
But here I am up to my ears in the country's hardest bar exam. What should I do? I've devoted all this time and money and still have doubts as to whether I should even be in the law. Please help!! —Stressed in the West
Stressed, My Schnitzel:
Doll, are your briefs so tight they've cut off circulation to your brain? Law school has given you energy, perseverance, scrappiness, discipline, powerful friends, and the urbanity to write to Ask E. Jean. It has taught you to win an argument, flex your reasoning powers, and that when you stab someone, stab them in the front, not the back. These skills are worth far more than $220,000.
Take the bar! Whatever career you choose, you’ll get a nice bump in your starting salary because you possess a law degree and passed the bar. And, by Gawd, if you don’t get a bump, you can sue them. And then sue me.
But forget the money for a moment. You want to really “have fun”? You see this guy?
This is Rudy Giuliani. When Trump lost the 2020 election and tried to stage a coup, and then put old Rudy-Tooty in charge of filing lawsuits in state and federal courts seeking to overturn election results, The Big Drip lost all of them: 62 suits were filed, and Trump lost 61 of them. Why? Opposing lawyers were having “fun” saving America from a nascent dictator.
Let’s see what other hilarious opportunities are available to a young attorney who wants amusement:
E. Jean’s Four Funnest Careers for Legal Beagles
1. Suing Republican-Controlled Legislatures Stomping on Our Voting Rights.
Just watching Ted Cruz explaining why Texas’s new constrictive voting law is not racist, may cause you to move to Texas just so you can interview at firms fighting it.
2. Appealing Every Law in Every State which Deprives a Woman of Her Right To Choose.
The Supreme Court is hearing a Roe v Wade case December 3rd. Be afraid. Be very afraid… and start thinking about interviewing with firms disputing the right of men to control women’s bodies.
3. Hauling White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis into Court
You see these boys?
You see this woman?
This is Robbie Kaplan. Having paved the way for gay rights in America by winning Windsor v United States in the Supreme Court, she’s having a very good time these days raining down justice (and hell-fire) on the 24 neo-Nazi and white supremacist leaders who marched in Charlottesville and caused riots. Watch Robbie meet them in court this October. Here’s a link about the upcoming trial:
And here’s the link to the big pre-trial event this Thursday.
P.S. Robbie is also my attorney, Mary Trump’s attorney, the NCAA’s Gender-Equality attorney, and is currently shellacking Donald Trump in the ACN fraud case.
Speaking of whom . . .
4. Donald Trump Needs a Lawyer. Bad. (Even a lawyer who’d rather work in fashion … he’s desperate.)
I know, I know, you’re just out of law school, Ms. Stressed, and you thought odds were good that if you took a job as a first-year associate, you’d be spending your days and nights and weekends looking up case law. Not true!
At a time when Donald Trump has more criminal and civil law suits pummeling him than at any other time in his extraordinarily litigious life, his big-name attorneys are dropping away like suck fish off a dead whale. Trump will be so glad you showed up, he may put you in charge of defending him in California Representative Eric Swalwell’s lawsuit claiming he incited the January 6th Assault on the US Capitol.
Yes! Trump needs you, Ms. Stressed! If I, an elderly, unlettered woman, beat his hotsy-totsy attorneys and the DOJ four times—so far—in my case, imagine what a brilliant first-year lawyer would be able to bill him! $20,000 a day would not be out of the question! So step up, Ms. Stressed! Help out the former leader of the free world. (But I have to warn you—after Mary Trump and Robbie Kaplan get done with him, all he’ll be left with is his greasy makeup compact, his Gorilla-Glue hairspray and his second-best set of golf clubs. So bill him early and often!)
And if you don’t like the idea of handling Trump’s filthy briefs, perhaps you can spare a couple of hours a week volunteering your lawyerly skills by fighting to keep our voting rights. Otherwise, he could be back in the White House in 2024. You’ll not only be helping your country, you’ll be meeting wonderful people and discovering that you are not “stupid, inadequate, lonely, scattered, and uncertain”... and that you know exactly what you want! Good luck!
But, if I am wrong, the Conflab will set me (and half the world) straight!
The Conflab is where we hash over the questions sent to Ask E. Jean—and where our boisterous community regularly rescues mankind. Today, we’re solving the problem of Ms. Stressed, who has spent $220,000 on a fancy law school education, and now wonders if she should “go all the way,” and practice law.
She likes music, fashion, film, hates “competition” and “back-stabbing,” and wants a job with “integrity.”
Is it just me, or do most of you Conflabbians suspect that a little more experience in the world will enlighten Ms. Stressed and show her the way? And meanwhile, can anyone tell her about working in the music business? The movie business? The fashion business? Do you remember trying to decide what you wanted to do with your life? Have you decided yet?
And what about the art of back-stabbing? How do you do it? How do you pull the knife out of your back if you’ve been stabbed by a work colleague? And . . . who do you want to stab lately?
What in Blazing Hell Is this Thing?
Was this email forwarded to you and you are now wondering what the heck it is? Ask E. Jean has been solving snafus since 1993. Now the Conflab is pitching in and we’re the #2 Health Substack in the United States. Click here.
You can get me on Twitter, or send me your questions by using the Voice Memo on your phone (I may run the recording on Ask E. Jean), or shoot a video question (again—I may put it on Ask E. Jean), or write to me about what’s driving you crazy: your career, your wardrobe, your love affairs, your lusts, your languishing, your politics, your finances… at AskEeeeJean@gmail.com.
P.S. I don’t know a single thing about finances. But I love your pet photos!
If you are one of the 382.2 million people in America without a subscription to Ask E. Jean, click the link below:
Photo of Amy Coney Barrett and other Justice Thomas, Tasos Katopodis / Stringer, Getty Images; photo of Rudy Giuliani, Tom Williams / Contributor, Getty Images; photo of woman holding sign, Tom Williams / Contributor, Getty Images; photo of woman in mask,Michael M. Santiago / Staff, Getty Images; photo of Donald Trump, Andy Jacobsohn / Contributor, Getty Images; photo of Joshua Matz, E. Jean, and Robbie Kaplan walking into Federal Court: Jefferson Siegle for The New York Times