Passion for English Literature and writing?

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pollywolly88
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Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby pollywolly88 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:21 pm

I have a passion for English literature and writing. I won awards for my writing and I am a voracious reader of all types of literature (from classic literature to contemporary literature). If these are my interests, would I enjoy law and being a lawyer?

Thanks

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sublime
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby sublime » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:23 pm

..

pollywolly88
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby pollywolly88 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:25 pm

sublime wrote:Probably not. The whole point of legal writing it to suck all the creativity out.


Why not just be an English teacher?


Teaching English to high school students is not particularly intellectually challenging, in my opinion (sorry if that sounds arrogant). I was interested in pursuing a PHD in English Literature but I've heard the job prospects are very dismal and most can't find Professor positions. I considered law because it is more challenging intellectually but I am not sure I would enjoy being a lawyer....I also don't have a cut-throat or competitive personality (do you need this type of personality to be successful as a lawyer?)

Nomo
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby Nomo » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:30 pm

Take a look at the briefs coming out of the Solicitor General's Office. These guys generally have some of the most interesting work of any lawyers, and they are thought of as among the best brief writers in the country. Do you aspire to write these kinds of documents: http://www.justice.gov/osg/supreme-court-briefs

You should also ask if you're interested in doing legal research, factual research, digging through documents in discovery, etc.

pollywolly88
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby pollywolly88 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:50 pm

Nomo wrote:Take a look at the briefs coming out of the Solicitor General's Office. These guys generally have some of the most interesting work of any lawyers, and they are thought of as among the best brief writers in the country. Do you aspire to write these kinds of documents: http://www.justice.gov/osg/supreme-court-briefs

You should also ask if you're interested in doing legal research, factual research, digging through documents in discovery, etc.


Reading the cases is actually interesting, haha

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Skool
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby Skool » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:26 pm

It's not all brief reading. It's a lot of excel spreadsheet building. A lot of photocopying. A lot of calendaring. A lot of formatting and pointless administrative rule following.

Do you have work experience? It's not going to be reading for pleasure, although sometimes the cases are legit going to be interesting. You're going to have a job, and you're going to have to invest a lot of time an energy to be successful (if not money). Why don't you find an internship in the field, see what you think.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:34 pm

Yeah, don't get a PhD in literature.

You can read literature on the weekend when you're a lawyer.

More seriously, it depends what you like about writing and reading. If you like writing to express yourself, and to create beautiful prose, and you like reading beautiful prose and figuring out its meaning, you probably won't like being a lawyer.

If you like writing as a craft - you enjoy revising, and editing, and carefully building the structure and organization of a longer piece - and you enjoy really close readings of literature paying attention to the minutest differences in meaning, you might like being a lawyer. If you like rhetoric as a scholarly subject, you might like law. You still may not, but chances would be better.

Law is very technical and pretty rigid. It's about operating within previously-defined boundaries. Litigation can have a strongly narrative quality to it, so if you like telling stories, it can be appealing. Just keep in mind that a lot of the time your main characters are going to be things like insurance contracts.

Moneytrees
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:38 pm

I'm a 0L, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

I've worked as a paralegal for almost 2 years, first at a small firm and currently at a large lit firm. My experience working as a paralegal is a mixed one- there are some aspects of law that are really interesting and others aspects that are boring as hell. At my current job, I've been lucky enough to have worked on some pretty interesting cases in a variety of practices. For instance, I've had to read and summarize the "auto-biography" of a drug addict, help draft pleadings related to sexual harassment cases, do research for white collar crime cases, etc. I also have easy access to court transcripts, which can be relatively fun to read depending on the case. These tasks are challenging and interesting to me, so I can say that I've had a positive experience working at my current job.

However, my experience probably is not typical. The type of work you do as a practicing attorney is very contingent on the size of your firm. My first job as a paralegal was for a very small firm that basically only focused on one area of law. It got boring very quickly, and I'm sure the attorneys at that firm were not intellectually stimulated by their work.

Also, I think that being a good writer definitely helps if you want to be an attorney, but it's important to be aware that you will mostly be recycling ideas and verbiage from previous cases. There's little creativity that goes into legal writing.

ub3r
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby ub3r » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:48 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yeah, don't get a PhD in literature.

You can read literature on the weekend when you're a lawyer.

More seriously, it depends what you like about writing and reading. If you like writing to express yourself, and to create beautiful prose, and you like reading beautiful prose and figuring out its meaning, you probably won't like being a lawyer.

If you like writing as a craft - you enjoy revising, and editing, and carefully building the structure and organization of a longer piece - and you enjoy really close readings of literature paying attention to the minutest differences in meaning, you might like being a lawyer. If you like rhetoric as a scholarly subject, you might like law. You still may not, but chances would be better.

Law is very technical and pretty rigid. It's about operating within previously-defined boundaries. Litigation can have a strongly narrative quality to it, so if you like telling stories, it can be appealing. Just keep in mind that a lot of the time your main characters are going to be things like insurance contracts.

cool response

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crazycanuck
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Re: Passion for English Literature and writing?

Postby crazycanuck » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:52 pm

Keeping your passion for lit as a hobby and find a position that will actually pay you. Hobbies like literature rarely pay anything.




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