Monday, March 14, 2005

Would I do it over again?

I'm not sure. My answer to this question has less to do with law school than it does with legal practice. When I decided to go to law school, it was more of a decision not to get a PhD -- which, at the time, was really more of a practical consideration (though not exclusively so). There's a lot I've liked about law school--among other things, it's made me think about American democracy in a different way--but I miss reading and thinking about other things. There are times I regret not getting a PhD (in philosophy); I regret it the most on two occasions: 1) when I find myself wishing I had the time to read a particular book (often); and 2) when I think about the fact that I will have even less time when I'm a litigator at a big firm (more often recently).

As for Duke, there have been really great things about it--small school, have gotten to know my professors--that have made it worthwhile. I have criticisms (sometimes feels like an anti-intellectual place), but my suspicion is that that has more to do with law school than it has to do with Duke (I might have prefered the intellectual atmosphere of a school more known for "theory" -- Yale or Chicago -- to the intellectual atmosphere of Duke, but there might have been undesirable tradeoffs).

I don't share Scott's concerns -- I have no interest (aside from wanting to be closer to family) in returning to California -- and so I can't say much about the regional/national school tradeoffs.