Monday, July 11, 2011

Career Paths Not Taken

Photo: Alec Baldwin, from

Have you ever wished you were a TV star and frequent host of SNL? Maybe going to law school is better than that (and not just because you weren't discovered as a great actor).

Alec Baldwin recently said he wishes he'd become a lawyer. Addressing law students on the eve of their graduation, he said: “If I had it to do all over again, I would choose differently….I believe that I would trade what I have for what you’ll have tomorrow afternoon." Alec Baldwin: Legal Envy, Harvard Magazine, July-Aug. 2011. He told the graduates, "I want you to leave here and save this country, because this country needs your help." Id.

A few years ago, coming out of a rancorous divorce, his sentiments toward the profession were chillier:
One of his ex-wife’s lawyers, Baldwin wrote, “had a bad case of the intellectual vanity that afflicts most attorneys I had known. Since my own college days, most lawyers had always struck me as men and women who were not smart enough to become doctors or engineers. Therefore, they opted for a career wherein rote recitation of the legal code and a gift for bullshitting people amounted to a profession.”
Id.  A few weeks after this speech, he had apparently forgotten the dream of practicing law in favor of singing in a Broadway show. The One Unfulfilled Wish of My Career,, June 20, 2011.

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