Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Last Post for a couple days

Despite wanting to talk about the Sumpreme Court ruling on "illegal combatants" (go Supremes!) I thought my last post on EST should explain why I am leaving. My essay for Utah Law School really sums it up nicely.

I have spent most of my life trying to get away from Utah and law school. Maybe this seems like a strange way to start an essay for admission to the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, but to me it all makes sense. Let me explain.

My journeys outside Utah began my junior year of high school, when I spent a year abroad in Germany to avoid the state. I had lived my entire life in Utah and wanted to experience someplace, anyplace, else. In my considerations for college, I sought out schools where I could be as distant as possible from Utah. I have spent the last two years working in Washington, D.C. and Boston. For the last seven years, I have been home only for Christmas and a few weeks in the summer.

Furthermore, I told everyone that I would never go to law school. I did this because I thought I couldn’t be my own person if I followed in my family’s footsteps and became an attorney in Utah, so I tried everything else. One summer during college, I worked in Germany as an auditor for a Salt Lake-based company, American Linen. I savored catching the “bad guys” who were trying to cheat the company and other customers. Having had my anti-law school blinders on, I didn’t realize until this summer that this thirst for justice could be applied towards a career in law.

Yet something changed this summer, and I started dreaming and longing for Utah. I realized that I had incessantly talked about it to everyone I had met in the last seven years who wasn’t from the state. I constantly sounded like a travel agent or a tourism official, bragging about the climate, the ethos, the community, the skiing, the environment, and yes, even the easy-to-navigate grid system, especially to my friends from Boston (home of the cow-paths).

For the last seven years I groped in the dark, searching for a place and occupation that made me happy. After awhile, I realized I wasn’t missing just the mountains or the snow, but a part of myself. For all my trying to be different, I was denying who I was: someone is fascinated and excited by philosophical and practical sides of the law. That’s when things started to change. I found myself reading Supreme Court Briefs and Rulings, and loving every minute of it. In my job at the Massachusetts State House I had to pore through the law code for my constituents, I began to appreciate the importance of defining what the meaning of ‘is’ is. It quickly became apparent that the law is simultaneously an art and a science.

I now come before you a changed man: one who is no longer afraid of going back home and becoming a lawyer. In fact, I am looking forward to it, personally, academically, and professionally. I am reminded of the monument I pass by every time I drive home: This Is The Place. And now, I finally believe it.

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