// BY CHARLEY GROSSMANN //
PHOTO BY // JENNY LANE STUDIOS
It was the spring of 1970. I had just received a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. There was war and a recession. Protesters were in the streets. My draft lottery number made me basically unemployable and Vietnam likely. Yep, it was a choice time to start a career. So my bride-to-be said I should take the Law School Admissions Test. I did. I got married – but I did not get drafted. I went to law school. Forty-nine years later here I am: with the same lovely bride and still lawyering. It’s been a good choice all around.
If you ever think of being a lawyer, you might first ask yourself, “Why?” If it is because of the prestige, think again. Remember all the lawyer jokes. Nobody likes lawyers but everybody likes their own – but not always. It might make your family proud, but the stress of law is not for everybody. There is a reason why alcohol and drug abuse rates are high for lawyers, and nobody would want that grief for you. Maybe the worst reason is that you want to be rich. It is a tough way to scrape out a living to raise a family, much less become rich. Staged in an ever-changing environment, it’s a multidimensional competition against highly trained adversaries with their own law practices. It’s somewhat like The Hunger Games. All the while your clients’ needs come before yours.
It’s been good for me, though. I have enjoyed the problem solving, the competition of trials, holding government to its constitutional obligations and upholding the rule of law. It’s always interesting and varied. Even with competition there is camaraderie among lawyers. In spite of the jokes and attorney scandals, the vast majority of them are a noble bunch. In the end, the best part is you actually help people.
Law might not be for everybody, but I don’t regret it.