July 11, 2009

Scaring the kids in law school with real life experience

Okay, not really little kids as in those you see running around the playground or those in school even. Those that I am talking about were the law students that I met on the 7th of July, on request by my fellow alumnus. The coordinator was my junior who now is taking her PhD in my alma mater and is also a committee member of my alumni society. As the call came just one day before the talk, I agreed to it as she said it will be just a 15 to 20 minutes talk and then I was supposed to be free to go. As it was supposed to start at 9am, we would be out by 10am. Yeah, right. Fat chance. 

I was 15 minutes late but the session was one and a half hour later. As the talk was by the 5 of us, it took us nearly another hour to finish it and another half an hour to answer all the questions. In short, I only managed to get back to my office in the afternoon after spending the whole morning there.

However, it was not a really a waste of time as I think we did imparted certain knowledge and gave these law school students some insight what is the real world all about. There were 5 of us (after I managed to get one of my friend who is a lecturer/PhD student to come with me) and the professions that we are in managed to give them a worldview of what law students become if they pursue a law career. My friend is a lecturer. The junior who invited me and a senior from the 4th Batch of my law school are from the judiciary & legal services and Attorney General office, respectively. There was another lawyer other than me. The lecturer who invited us was also from our university. So, each profession got a representation of two persons.

As the students were in their first week of class and are first year students, we did try to encourage them to study and make sure they graduate before thinking of the career that they choose when they received their degree. Some of us did tell them about our friends who did not finish. Those who changed their majors. All the thing that students always hear adult trying to hammer into their heads.

I approached the matter differently as I told them what is business of law is all about. My forte has been different as I had managed my own business since I was out of law school. I was also the only one within the 5 who had had experience in criminal law, family law (shariah) and conveyancing. So, I actually told them like it is. The competition. The camaraderie in small town and the aloofness of big own. The friends who help you. The friends who brings you down. All the reality of practice and trying to have enough to make it through this world. 

As for when I was in college, as the lecturers and civil servants (and even the lawyer) asked them to concentrate in class and always listen to the lecturer, et cetera, et cetera, I told them that I was always playing truant all the time, read books (which does not have anything to do with the subject taught in front) and argued with lecturers about what was being lectured. I also told them that if they fail in law school, do not be dishearten as there are a lot of those who failed in law school, some never have a degree managed to have a successful career. I told them these to the horror of the lecturer who invited us as we know she is one tough lecturer who was even known to lock doors if you are later to her class. She salvaged my attempt to poison their mind with a stern warning that she will not tolerate such behaviour. I was never in her class, so she never really knew me. 

Okay, maybe I was too frank but I always think that those in colleges and universities nowadays are all mature enough to know all these facts and they should also know that college or university degree is a dime a dozen. This is also a kind of a learning experience for them and not supposed to be some BS session where we tell them all is good and life is just peachy when you get to the real world.

Hope I did not scare them too much... ;)

No comments:

Custom Search