Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Little Leslie is a lawyer (at long last!)

After three years of ... how do you say? ... a living nightmare hell?  Hellish suicide mission?  Rip the bones from your back suicide mission?  Rip the bones from your back suicide mission through hell?

Anyway, whatever words you want to use to summarize one's law school experience: Leslie graduated from law school last month, AND she survived to tell about it ... and to make some money afterward, too!

In true form, Leslie's private school ceremony beat the pants off of my pathetic state school graduation two years ago.  While I was hooded in some random lecture hall in North Philly, Leslie had the pleasure of being hooded in the Kimmel Center.

Not as pretty as the Academy of Music, but I guess it'll do.

There is nothing better than a graduation ceremony--not even a wedding ceremony.  It's like every birthday you've ever had combined with every New Year's Eve you've ever had times ten (minus the regret and Times Square). It's all promises of new beginnings, new projects, new titles, new paychecks ... just clean slates all around.

There's Leslie getting hooded on the left.  Her best friend is the blondie in the center--her baby girl was born in October.  Can you finish law school with a new baby?  I don't know if I could ... but Eileen did!!

Ron later said to me, "Wow, I haven't seen Leslie this happy since ... since ... umm, well ... since before law school, I guess?"

My uncle is thrilled to get as much free legal advice as he wants.  I told Leslie that she is officially my "phone call" if I ever get arrested.  She rolled her eyes and was like, "You know I would get someone else to represent you, right?  And why are you joking about getting arrested?"
I'll give you one guess regarding who I'm scowling at in this photo.  *Hint* It starts with "R" and ends with "-on."

Leslie's friends referred to me as both "golden haired" (that's a new one) and "Leslie's mom" (also a new one).  I'm taking them both as compliments.  In fairness to Jordan, I was all the way across the auditorium when she asked Leslie if I was her mom.

Leslie's friend Jen once said my celebrity lookalike is Stacy London ... yeah, I see it.

OMG it was so crowded and loud in that lobby--people were just juggling cameras back and forth, realigning people in various permutations of group photos, trying to find people who had wandered somewhere else ... craziness.

There we go.
Ahhh ... the smiles of the happily employed ... a rare sight in these recession-esque times.  Leslie and her best friend will be at the same firm in the fall.  Can you smell those dollar signs, ladies?? Sure looks like you can!
Apparently, my parents have started telling people who ask that their daughters are "a doctor and a lawyer," which is totally false advertising because we all know that adjunct profs aren't saving lives any time soon.
My grandmother and her mother worked endless waitressing shifts to make ends meet for several decades.  My great-great-grandmother boiled wealthy people's laundry in her tiny 4th floor walk-up in Chester.  No doubt, every shift they worked, every cup of coffee they served, every stranger's dirty underwear that they washed, every dirty plate they cleared brought us one step closer to becoming "a doctor and a lawyer" years and years before they could've known how much their work mattered.  Every degree we have we share with them.

I guess I may as well copy and paste what I wrote two years ago on my graduation day and edit it for the occasion:

"You know, I spend a lot of time rolling my eyes at the beautiful beast that is The United States of America: there's a lot of stuff about our culture that I simply don't like, and on bad days I alternately try to a) avoid the stuff I don't like, b) politely dismiss it, and c) flat out call it for the crap that it is. But on days like this, it's sorta nice to be able to say, "Yes, we are the quintessential American story: Our ancestors came here during the 19th century on some crappy ocean vessel with no money in their pockets and no education to rely on.  They couldn't speak English when they came here, and they worked as coal miners, poultry farmers, housecleaners, and waitresses in the hope that the generation following them would have more security, financially and otherwise.  And, not only did we get the chance to go to college--one of us at a school that pretty much refused to admit women until 1968--but we have officially received 'the highest possible degree in the liberal arts' and a 'juris doctorate.'"  It's completely crazy. Stuff like that should (rationally) be fiction. I guess it just doesn't get more American than that. What can I say? It was a great day."

Congratulations, Leslie!  We are all so thrilled for you, mostly because this means you finally have the money to move into your own place!  You'll be fine with the bar in July--I know everyone worries about it like crazy, but I just refuse to believe that it's harder than what you've already done.  Let me know when it's time to go apartment hunting ...!

1 comment:

Jane said...