Law is my second profession. Before I went to law school, in 2006, I had been a classical violinist. I performed with the Utah Symphony, the Ballet West Orchestra, the Nova Chamber Music Series, the Park City Festival, and for many recording studios in the area. I also had a full studio of students whom I taught. The most frequently asked question I get from people who know all that, is why law? Why go from something so seemingly abstract, to something so concrete, so unlike music?
Well, to me, the 2 professions aren’t as different as all that, or rather the differences between them aren’t as black and white as people think. For example, musicians are often perfectionists. So are attorneys. Musicians need to have focus and be on their toes when performing. So do attorneys. Musicians are nervous before performing, and so are attorneys, so the same kinds of preparations are suitable for both. I practice what I plan to say as I used to practice what I planned to play. I think about the result I want in both situations. I focus on that result and work to achieve it. In law, as in music, however, the result you want to achieve is often changed by specific circumstances. In a performance, it may be a child crying, a phone ringing, or the instrument suddenly going out of tune, causing you to have to pause and re-tune. In the courtroom, it will be the arguments of the other attorney, or pro-se litigant (the fancy legal term for someone who does not retain an attorney), or the way the judge matches the law in question to the facts of the case. In both cases, you might also make an error which can change the result. In music, an error could spoil the audience’s mood, could shake the musician’s focus, or can end up with a muddle. Sometimes an attorney gets the same results from an error.
Thus, the most important similarity between the practice of law, and the practice of music is that in both cases the practitioner is human - subject to the foibles of humanity, and humbled by them.