I Am The Law
Periodically I get emails from the Obama campaign. You probably do, too. Here's why the ones I get are better. They're always explaining how "attorneys like you [that is, me]" make such a difference in America. They're trying to get me to volunteer as an election lawyer for November. I have no interest in doing such a thing, but the emails always make me feel better about myself. It's like being invited to a big party at the Playboy Mansion; I have no real interest in going, but it's nice to be asked.
This is probably the first time I've felt truly proud of my legal education. Work oscillates between intellectually engaging and day-to-day dullness. But these emails make me aware of the immense power I could wield if I so chose. Like a surgeon wields a scalpel, I too can wield something that might render me powerful beyond measure. I feel like President Bartlet in episode 2F15: "I have set up monumental, unprecedented, unbreakable rules about my children and the press! IT IS THE LAW!" The Law is like The Force: it surrounds us, it penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.
The only other time I've felt proud of my legal education is when I've been arguing with my parents. Last Thanksgiving my father and I were debating Congressional war powers, and after enduring some asinine line of his for about five minutes I finally said, "Everybody in this conversation who's actually studied the Constitution, please raise your hand." That shut him up.
Or take last month, when my mother was trying to explain bankruptcy law to me and I interrupted, "So are you referring to Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Are we talking full liquidation here or just reorganization?" Her response: "Oh, that's right, I keep forgetting you know more than me now." Damn straight.
In other words, my J.D. has made me an asshole. Enjoy.
"My dear Nora, as a lawyer I know what I'm talking about." --Ibsen, A Doll's House