From Creative Writing to Law: Pivot or Progression?

From early on in my academic career, I was always the kind of student who fared better in subjects like English and History than in Math and Science. I suppose words just made more sense to me than numbers; to this day, I’d still prefer to write an essay than do long division. 

I was also the type of kid who was occasionally reprimanded for “talking back.” It was never my intention to be disrespectful, but more to do with the fact that when something struck me as unfair, I felt compelled to speak up. My childish inquiries were usually met with “because I said so” or some other phrase that did little to satisfy my curiosity. I wanted the logic laid out for me so I could better understand and decide for myself whether it held up.

My preference for classes that centered around reading and writing — coupled with my tendency to question rules and instigate arguments — caused many people in my life to predict that I’d grow up to be a lawyer. On paper, law seemed like a path I could be well suited for, but I wasn’t sure it was the one I wanted to take.

I liked the classes I did because they allowed room for interpretation and imagination. My perception of law was the opposite; it seemed so stiff and rigid — more akin to science than literature. I saw myself doing something more free-flowing and creative, which led me to focus on the fiction writing side of my English major in college. I wanted to replicate the stories I loved growing up — tales about fantasy lands, superheroes, and galaxies far, far away. What could those possibly have in common with a casebook?

Ironically, it was the study of fiction that made me realize there is room for creativity in all forms of writing, and law is no exception. Whether it be a sci-fi novel or an argument for the courtroom, everything hinges on how effectively one’s words can convey their intended ideas. Not only that, but each case is itself a kind of story, and how its told affects the outcome. Classes in law school are also heavily discussion-based, much like the English classes I took during undergrad. All this helped me understand that going from creative writing to law wouldn’t be a pivot to something entirely new; it would be a progression of skills I had already learned.  

Of course, I have yet to put this to the test. As the first week of classes rapidly approaches, I’ll admit I still have some lingering doubts. I’m sure my self-proclaimed creativity is not all I’ll need to understand the complexities of the law. But as I was anxiously combing through the syllabi for my upcoming classes, I discovered that one of my soon-to-be professors included a quote from Albert Einstein that I found reassuring: “Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.” I look forward to proving him right.


Eddie Godino is a first-year student at BC Law and a brand new Impact blogger. Contact him at godinoe@bc.edu.

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