I have an appreciation of The West Wing that can be easily characterized as “slightly unhealthy”. I have been a fan of the show since it came on the air, if not sooner, counting the first time Aaron Sorkin sunk his dirty witty hooks into me with Sports Night.
Although I never thought it possible, over the last few months, the show has become even better for me. Maybe it’s just the convenient 8-10 AM viewing block that the show has, right before I leave for class. More likely, though, it’s the fact that I actually understand more of the show. Not that the main aspects of the show were ever lost on me, but there are certain intricacies that are better appreciated with a legal education. Ideas like the effects of international law on asylum rights and America’s position on war crimes tribunals become more complex as your new-found ability to answer “maybe” to any legal question lines up with the development on the show. Above all, it’s just nice to see a television show that does not seem less accessible once you become more educated on its context.
I’m sharing this story because I have found it very important to look for what I have gained from law school up to this point. It’s the half-way point, too close to the beginning to see how far you’ve gone and too far from the end to really see where you’re going.
Most people go to law school for one thing – to start a career. This could mean a lot of different things: some people want to be litigators, others want to make million dollar deals, and even a few honest people admit they just want to be really really ridiculously wealthy. But in the current job market, a lot of these plans are going to be delayed or put off entirely. In the meantime, you had better take stock of the other benefits that law school has for you, because whether you’re starting, finishing, or stuck in the middle, law school is still worth the time and effort. You’re going to learn how to write better, read better, argue better, and do whatever you end up doing for a career better than you could before. And, if that’s not enough for you, then I hope you’ve found yourself a good television show.