In my criminal procedure class years ago as a 2L at UC Hastings, we were visited by an undercover policeman who patrolled the nearby Tenderloin neighborhood. He described to us in detail his day-to-day tasks, experiences and routines. He talked to us specifically about the legal procedures he followed and we were able to ask many questions about his real life encounters to supplement the cases and theory we discussed in class.
And right before he left, he used the old combat adage to describe his job: Being a policeman in San Francisco involved suffering through long periods of boredom punctuated by short moments of excitement. There was a lot of drudgery and monotony, he said, but it’s the moments of challenge and adventure that made the job worth it for him.
While leaving the law is not nearly as risky as being an undercover cop, what the police officer said that day in class has always resonated with me. When we leave the law, there are a lot of unglamorous elements: We need to talk with our spouse about money issues, we need to actually forecast our living expenses on an Excel sheet,