banjo wrote:jselson wrote:I was doing a PhD in English when I decided to apply. My interests and research fell heavily within political/legal history/theory, and I'm pretty good at close reading texts. My individual field of specialization seemed to be becoming less and less relevant than when it was at its heyday in the 60s-80s, but I didn't know that 'til I after I started the program. I figured that I'd rather let literature be a hobby/pleasure for me, and move into a field with a better job market that still was square within my interests and abilities. I'm very satisfied with the intellectual and practical training I got in grad school, tho.
More or less the same for me. I also like that law has a significant impact on the world, and that the stakes are high. I also often tell aspiring academics that a year working at a law firm has shown me that the life of the mind is not confined to the academy. If you watch attorneys at oral argument on a complex litigation (not at all an unrealistic goal out of the T14), you'll find that there is a great deal of grappling with abstract ideas and vigorous interpretation of texts. I've seen hour-long argument over the interpretation of a single word in a contract. This is the real deal -- not the kind of circle-jerking you see in most seminars.
I do like that it's pretty much the only field where you can get paid real money to close-read texts.