Gee, Fiver-Rah. You barely write in your journal. And now there's been about a billion journal entries in the last week. What's up with that?
Good question. I'm having the "why am I in graduate school?" crises. Let me review the reasons I wanted to go to graduate school.
- I like learning lots of interesting new things.
- It would be way cool if I were Dr. Bond.
- I didn't want any of the stupid jobs I could get with a joint Math/Chemistry bachelors degree.
Alas. I don't want any of the slightly-less-stupid jobs I can get with a Chemistry PhD, and I'm spending all my time doing basic research on a project that bores me. Furthermore, there aren't all that many other projects that are more interesting (aside from all the cool stuff the Santa Fe institute does, but they just have cachet). So my reasons for being here are somewhat less than stellar, and another 2-4 years for a PhD is looking like more and more of a drag.
Of course, without a viable option, this is all stuff and nonsense anyways. And then I came up with a viable option. I was talking about a friend from high school who went to Harvard Law and has since been traveling around the globe (last I heard she was brokering a human rights agreement with the UN in Sri Lanka) doing wacky and fun things. And it occured to me: Hey, I could go to law school.
Now it's undoubtedly true that I think it's interesting. I read every legal brief filed by the EFF and the DOJ in the Sklyarov case up until December of 2001 or so, and many of the ones filed in Felten's case. And DeCSS, and a couple others. For one. I have something like a clue in matters pertaining to biotech/bioengineering (I'm doing theoretical chemistry--I've *taught* a class on the subject). And frankly, there are probably far too few people who give a damn about an intellectual commons who go into intellectual property. I could do it. I could probably do it well, which is more than I feel about basic research. And I could enjoy myself.
Problem is, while I would love to be "Dr. Bond" I would hate to be a lawyer. Bad associations and all that. I've been thinking of this for ... uh ... 4 days now, and I've essentially made up my mind to do it. Or at least, I've paid money to register for the LSAT, which is the next best thing.
So ... what do you think? It's not selling out if I don't do go to a boutique IP firm and make six figures, right? Can I actually do any good as a lawyer? Or is this just a Really Dumb Idea?