Life After Law School

It’s been 10 years since my first day in law school. My batch is currently planning a reunion and I took the time to distribute a short survey. I want to know where everyone is now. The survey was filled by 108 respondents, which isn’t even half of our batch. Some of the results are quite interesting.

Surprise, surprise (not really)

My hypotheses was not a lot of us stay in law firms. Looks like I’m not so wrong. Only 30% work as lawyer associates and notaries, professions of which are commonly perceived as ‘very law-ish’. I’d like to know though how many of us have been in law firms, and for how long (before we give up working that hard). I know that a lot of our batch started in law firms, even if it’s just for a few years. I personally encourage every Bachelor of Law to work in law firms for at least 1-2 years. Law firms are where you’ll get the true essence of what it means to be a legal scholar and practitioner, then after that, you can do whatever you want. Maybe I’ll do another extended survey.

The rest are distributed in a number of fields, mostly still in a legal capacity. The major concern is though: none works in law enforcement. None. And only a few contribute to educational institutions full time. I shouldn’t be surprised I guess. When I was studying, I didn’t remember being encouraged to be a judge, prosecutor, police, or civil servant. Out of the kids I went to law school with, I only know one guy who went to become a judge. One guy. But who am I to judge? I’m a capitalist lawyer myself.

Such a concern.

This is also another personal concern of mine. The number of entrepreneurs seems small. Or is it just me? Did law school not prepare us to be entrepreneurs? Are we destined to be corporate slaves forever? Do we not have the capacity to make jobs for other people? I think something needs to change.

Another interesting result is turns out 44% have undergone graduate studies. Out of those people, 38% studied abroad. Now I feel even more pressured to get a master degree asap. #fomo

I’m still figuring out a way to get the whole batch to respond to this survey. I want to know how much the charts will change. Let’s see if I can get them to show up in our message group.

Share Button

The History of Our Musical

A lot of people know that I’m writing a musical. They know because I keep talking about it. I keep talking about it because I’ve been writing it since 2013 and it’s still not done!

It all started when I got cast into a local production of Les Miserables. Small, ensemble role, but I was glad to participate. Les Miserables is an epic production. It was so epic, the producer failed to produce it (money and management problems). But all that energy I had spent, I had to put it somewhere. And I was crazy enough to think there is no reason we can’t make a similarly epic production. So I started one.

Naturally, I got Pandji to board the ship with me. I can never make a musical on my own because I can’t play any instruments. There are four of us: Pandji, Nico, Sangeh, and me. For now, the main brains are still me and Pandji. Nico will help with musical direction, Sangeh will point out everything that doesn’t make sense.

For the last four years, the objective has been a simple one: finish all the fucking songs. Good lord I never expected it would take this long to compose songs for a relatively simple romantic drama. We made everything piece by piece, line by line, verse by verse. It was also a scheduling nightmare, because Pandji and I were busy. We work on wildly different jobs with wildly different timetable.

But we pushed through. I assume the role of project manager and I manage it with an iron fist. Not iron enough apparently, because it took four years. But no matter! Our labor has finally born its fruit. After four fucking years we did it: we made all the fucking songs.

Cannot contain the emotion for finishing everything.

My friends, I’m proud to announce that we have wrapped Draft 2 of the musical. Now we have a solid material to revise. I’ll be in charge of revising the story and characterisation, Pandji will start arranging the numbers. This weekend, we plan to record the whole thing, because we don’t even know if the whole thing is coherent or not. We have never played the whole thing from start to finish!

Fucking Draft 2 done!

When we have the record, we’d love to share the highlights with you. Please grace us with your comments. We hope you’ll like it!

Pandji said he’s gonna ink the musical on his skin permanently when we fly with it. Thanks for the idea, Pandji.

Share Button

2017, the Year I Attempt to Regain Some Control of My Life

Barry once called me a control freak. I denied it. I’ve always thought that I’m a pretty laid back girl, and I know that micro-managing annoys people. I know it’s unrealistic to think that you can control everything, because life doesn’t work that way. But some things just need some detailed guidance. If you do it right the first time, you won’t have to correct or fix many things down the road. Then it dawns on me that maybe I’m a little bit enthusiastic when it comes to control.

Thinking about things falling apart makes me anxious. Especially when I know that some preventive measures could have been taken, if only one has the oversight to implement it. What if when things go wrong, it’s something that you cannot fix? Isn’t it better to think of all the possible scenarios, just in case? Recently I realise that my being laid back is a conscious attempt to tell myself to relax, you’ve done your best. Remember the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

But praying is easier than practicing the preach.

2017 has been a rollercoaster ride. My learning curve(s) has been insane. With each drama, I go into full reflection mode and experiment with hacks to make things better. How do I improve myself/situation/environment to make me less stressed or anxious? So I’ve made some drastic changes in my life. It’s been a slow progress but the impact is obvious.

1. My phone doesn’t control me; I control my phone

I started the year by putting my phone on silent mode. It didn’t help much. The vibration and pop up notifications still distract me and give me mini anxieties when I didn’t open them immediately. So I decided to turn off all notifications except for calls. Now my phone doesn’t demand my attention anymore. I unlock my phone when I decide to. If it’s urgent and requires immediate response, people will call. I have always been astonished by the way people expect you to respond to text within minutes, as if you don’t have other things to do other than attending to your phone. Turn off your notifications, try it.

2. Prioritise sleep

I’m still going at it: sleep early, rise early. So far I have succeeded in waking up before the alarm surprises me into waking up. I make sure appointments or activities end before 11pm, because I have to prepare myself to sleep. It’s a drastic change of lifestyle. You can’t expect to sleep early without adjusting your day around it. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I have produced a lot in these two weeks compared to the days I lacked a lot of sleep.

3. Keep track of yourself

I’ve been tracking my mood and menstruation cycle. It’s to be concluded and analysed at the end of the year. But even as of today, I’ve had enough data to make small hypotheses about what prompts my mood swings. I can start thinking of ways to hack it.

4. Admit that you have financial issues

Everyone gets stressed over money. Pretty sure it’s one of our main stressors. But you have to accept that you’re sick before you can start treating it. So now I’m admitting that I’ve been living above my means. And that’s why I feel like I don’t have enough all the time. I had to take a hard look at myself, how much I make, how much I spend. Then I had to make a decision, earn more or spend less? After that I strategised. And I stick with it. I can do this. This is the one thing I can control.

Above all these, I remind myself to not be too hard on myself. That Rome wasn’t built in a day. That it’s okay to make your changes one by one, taking it one step at a time. It’s okay to walk slow and prepare for a long run. Be kind to yourself. When no one else will, you be kind to yourself.

Share Button

Brief Introduction to My Comic

I decided to write this comic for the simplest of reason. I was trying to find a way to communicate the concept of intellectual property, specifically copyright, in a less intimidating way. People doze off on a lecture, especially a lecture about law. So I thought, let’s make a comic. We are visual creatures after all. Bonni supported the idea, and voila! Now I’m writing my first comic ever!

I don’t want to give away too much yet, because it’s still early in the writing process. Things may change down the road. But the main characters are pretty much fixed.

Arman, the comic artist

Eliana, the lawyer

It’s the early designs of Arman and Eliana. They’ve gone through slight changes now. Our illustrator is the amazing Aruni Irinta. She has never officially debuted anything yet, so this comic will be her first. Her illustrations are amazing. It’s also fascinating to see your script gets turned into drawings. It’s like magic.

A picture of my process. I colour-coded my notes, arranged and rearranged them into a coherent story. It took a lot of energy just to write these Post-Its.

Bonni is our resident project manager. He’s extraordinary. None of this would have any significant progress without his constant reminder and gentle nagging. And he knows what he’s doing! I spent only three meetings with him to finish the above outline. It’s pretty much done, the general plot. I still have to write the treatment for everything, revise, then get into writing each chapter.

Right now I’m distancing myself a bit from the comic as I recharge my writing energy. Other than that, I also have to finish pending tasks so I can write in peace. I’ve been sacrificing some social time as well to focus on this. Turns out they’re not kidding. You really do have to leave other stuff to get some actual writing done.

Share Button

Introducing: Studio Darurat Putra Putri

It’s a working name. Hopefully, soon Pandji and I will come up with a much better, commercial name for our band. If we don’t, we’ll just stick with this. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Why this name, you ask? Because we are dirt poor, we don’t have real equipments to record our music properly. So we sing and play, then record everything with our phone, to be processed in Garage Band. Yes, it’s an emergency studio.

Anyway, I’ve always been a huge fan of The Paps. The first time I heard them was in Bandung. I just finished high school. A group of us went to Bandung for university entrance tests. I applied to Unpad and Unpar law schools–I got accepted in both by the way. In between studying for the tests, we explored Bandung. One day we came across an empty school festival. The Paps were playing. It was love at first note.

Pandji doesn’t really listen to them. But we both love The Paps’ ‘Sementara’, anthem for the brokenhearted. We love to sing it loud from time to time.

Pretty sure we were high when that video happened.

Share Button