Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beginning with the end in mind

Folk tales and other narrative devices that utilize the expression "Begin at the beginning" have a sort of folksy wisdom that I find appealing. This is a personal preference, obviously, and stems, I'm sure, from my tendency to do the exact opposite. For example, at work, when I write a 2 or 3 sentence email in response to someone's query, before I hit Send, I review it quickly. My review almost always reveals that I've started my response with the final point, and ended it with background information that would lead you to the final point. In other words, I write backwards. This is not good. People often do not read my emails. This is annoying. It causes me to have to repeat the information in a hallway conversation. It feels a little like my input is invisible, at least initially. [Note: which is (just one part of) why I can relate to Shelley's recent post.] This is why I spend time re-writing my emails, even simple ones. That also is annoying.
But necessary.

I was struck last night by a thought, a moment of hope and inspiration. To wit: What about Policies and Procedures? What about "Contracts"? These are seemingly things that I could get truly excited about. If only I knew how they translate into a real-life job! I am seeking information about this. I will post more specific questions (and email my questions) later, because work is actually needing me to pay attention to it now.

Why Contracts/Policies-n-Procedures: I know the local law school has a course entitled "Contracts" that is required for 1L's. I bet all law schools do. I always enjoy knowing there are rules, or wanting to establish policies/procedures/rules if there aren't any, and so...and so...and so wouldn't it be cool if that were my JOB? I wonder if that means employment law would interest me. I wish I knew more!!! Or business law? Crap. Someone help me. Tell me what to read. Fine. I'll find it without your help, you invisible-reader-that-doesn't-really-exist. I'm like a one-act play, performing in front of an empty theater.

Point of this post: my whole law school should-I-or-shouldn't-I quandary MUST BE PREDICATED ON the final outcome: working as a lawyer. And so, like all goal-oriented people, I will focus on the end, in order to decide if there will be a beginning.


ambimb said...

Gee, it seems that any aspect of law will be about rules and policies -- that's what the law is. Based on my experience, I would recommend criminal law or labor law. Working on the side of the underdog (the accused or the worker, respectively) will put you in the position of constantly working to see that the established rules and policies are followed to the letter. On the other hand, it could be said that working on the other side of things will have you always trying to find ways to bend or circumvent the rules. Of course, prosecutors and employment lawyers would probably tell me I've got it backwards...

gudnuff said...

Hi! It took me a second to "place" ambimb. I LOVED your post about the timeline twins post. In fact, it occupied my thoughts during my morning commute today. I place inordinate value on where my brain goes while commuting, as you may have already seen. Anway, very cool to see you here. Thanks for the comment.