Learning about the unexpected usefulness of a legal degree #1

Growing up, I had it in my heart that I wanted to be a doctor, or maybe a vet. I had been sure from the time I was six that I wanted to help the world by practicing medicine. Then, in college I started to rethink things. Like most pre-med people my age, I started questioning how much I really wanted to go through the debt and stress of going to medical school. I wondered if the late nights were worth it and, after volunteering for the children’s hospital at U of M I realized that all the stress wouldn’t be worth it. This isn’t to say that being a doctor and going to med school isn’t a worth while thing, I just realized that the career path wasn’t for me. I started going into public health and wanting to work for IGOs and NGOs. When I started my summer in the DTE legal department, I never expected to start considering law school. Even though I am a fan of arguing, I wouldn’t want to do it for a living. And, hadn’t I just made the decision not to go to an expensive, stressful post-bachelors school to get a degree that is only useful for one thing? I never wanted to be a lawyer, and just like a medical degree I thought a law degree was only useful to become a lawyer and specifically a litigator, where ones entire life is drained by work. It wasn’t until I started to talk to people I met through networking in the company that I realized how useful a law degree could be for outside of the legal practice.

As I have been learning about the world of public health I have also been seeing the connection between public health and public policy. I have developed an interest in public policy and how one can work with the government, whether local or federal to improve the lives of people. By expressing my interest in public policy with people I have networked with or am working with, they have recommended to me going to law school to learn and understand the law without the goal of taking the bar exam. Having a law degree is something that could be very useful if I want to work in the non-profit field or running a non-profit, as well as working in public policy because I would be able to understand the laws I am trying to change or work with. Overall, although I have not taken the LSAT, I am now highly considering going to law school even though I don’t want to be a lawyer.

Mikaela

Raised in Detroit. U of M class of 2019

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