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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why Did I Become a Lawyer?

On this surprise snow day I found a reminder of the answer to the question , Why Did I Become a Lawyer? in statements written to supplement my application to Columbia Law School's Juris Doctor Program in March, 1982 for admission in September, 1982.

I ultimately, for 4 years, attended St. John’s Law School as a night student from 1982 to1986 while continuing to work... at the Comptroller's Office.  I was admitted to the NY Bar in March 1987.

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Question 16. (Has there been or will there be an interruption of school attendance for more than five months during the time between graduation from high school and enrollment in Law school.  
If yes, please attach a statement explaining the reasons for any interruptions and describing your activities during those times.)   

An interruption in school attendance began in January, 1981 when I graduated from Queens College with majors in both Music and English and a minor in Philosophy.  That interruption continues on into the present day as I am currently employed full-time at the City Comptroller’s Office in Financial Analysis, a division that produces a monthly cash flow projection and analyses financial date to evaluate City spending plans.  Its Bureau Chief, Dan Rosen, is Assistant Comptroller.  My title is office Aide, which means I do anything from stocking the supply cabinet to decorating the Christmas Tree.   Mostly, though, I type and proofread reports, often for press release and publication.  I submitted a resume for a summer job and was placed here on June 15, 1981.  Prior to that date I was at work on a novel that I began writing several years ago and that weighed heavy on my mind – it is called Stormcloud.  I was also busy pursuing a renaissance in songwriting that was to escape me for a time.  Songwriting is an area of expression where I have found immense personal satisfaction as well as an effective means of compressed communication with a large crowd of people.  However, after five months, many songs were still to be written and my novel remained unfinished.  Fortunately for my well-being, steady employment was to follow.

Other activities during the restful months from January to June included teaching private piano lessons (I had and still have five good students), writing arts criticisms (usually one a week) for the college newspaper, Phoenix, and participating as a member of the Bench and Bar Law Club in moot courts where I and a partner researched and argued famous cases.  I was also involved with a band, “Equal Temperament,” which performed rigorously composed music to the commands of a conductor at such esoteric havens as Inroads and the Columbia radio station, WKCR.  Another activity which I found sensually invigorating was doing camera work for videotaped versions of plays and revues (school plays, piano recitals, cabaret entertainments, parties and talent agency showcases).  But, as mentioned, my work on Stormcloud – that novel I had hanging over my head, and on my songs, was at a low.  I was writing and composing more while taking nineteen credits and working nights at the school library.  It was not until after I became employed that I valued my time enough to complete the novel and begin a new cycle of songs.    Now, my creative work, no longer forced by leisure time, has reverted back to a therapeutic necessity and I am ready to broaden my mental horizons to include the study of law.  I am intelligent, and the more pressure and responsibility I have, the more I get done.  I look forward to accepting the challenge offered by Columbia Law School. 

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Separate Statement to Question 20, "You may wish to attach a separate statement describing any circumstances the knowledge of which you think would be helpful to the law school in acting on your application, such as reasons for applying, personal experiences, background talents and factors, or any matters tending to indicate why your application should be favorably considered.   Are you attaching a separate statement?  

As I hope to have demonstrated in my answer to Question 16, I have a great deal of ability and energy which wants to be challenged and needs to be channeled into an exacting field.  I have chosen law because it involves the study of a complete and thorough way of thinking which not only sharpens the analytic skills of the mind but has a broader "extroverting" application to people and society; and I have chosen Columbia’s Law School because I have heard it renowned for its philosophically oriented, universally applicable approach to that study (Also, Columbia is in New York City which remains the center of my universe.).

My unique course of study at Queens, with its slant on the arts, provides an excellent background for the study of law.  In music I excelled in theory and analysis.  In English, my most insightful papers were those of comparative research. In the Humanities program I was required
And the Queens College Humanities program provided a liberal arts survey of western culture with a stress on political philosophy from Plato and Aristotle to Marx and Engels.  It required its humanities students to take 48
It assigned its student to a total of 48 credits of classes
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And that's how it ends.  


Also listed is my summer employment:  6/81-? NYC Comptroller Office Aide
7-9/76-80 NYC Dept. of Trans. College Aide, 6-9/75-80 Candlewood Isle Ass. Film Programmer, 7-9/75 B'nai Torah Field Worker

Sorry this is simply a transcription but it says something about a condition which simply always existed, which I see as a tendency to lose interest in myself...OK, keep going... It's not a bad idea, it's a good idea... to maintain an "up" attitude. 
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