I couldn’t agree with this more. I’ve had a fair amount of contact with law students at ASU through moot court judging, hiring clerks and research assistants, and just being an alumnus. I’ve met a lot of bright, articulate law students. I haven’t met a lot of impassioned law students who want to be advocates and truly believe in what they do. Most of the law students I meet, like most of my fellow law students when I was in law school, don’t know what they want to do. They just want a job, and any job will do.
Maybe that works if you want to write wills or review contracts, but in criminal defense, that won’t cut it. It’s a calling. It’s stressful, time-consuming, frustrating, depressing, and generally thankless. A lot of the time, it just flat-out sucks. However, the people who do it for the right reasons wouldn’t think of doing anything else. We eat, sleep, and breathe criminal defense. If you end up a criminal defense lawyer because it’s the job you happened to get, you are probably in it for the wrong reasons. It’s that simple. You should quit before you do a disservice to any more clients.
When people ask me if they should go to law school, my response is always “no.” They’re asking the wrong question. The people who should be lawyers, criminal defense lawyers at least, are the ones who want to know how they can do it, not if they should do it.
If it’s your calling, this very moment is the very best time imaginable for you to become a criminal defense lawyer. If it isn’t your calling, forget about it.