Questions from the field by Danica L. Eyler
So, I often get asked the question why? Not just from my kids, but from the community and clients alike. Why did you become a lawyer?
My family will tell you that I have been saying since about 9-10 years old that I would become an attorney when I grew up. I knew that was my goal.
Around the ripe old age of 8, I had decided I was going to be a teacher. Not long after that my 8-year old mind decided teachers don’t make enough money. (My 39-year old mind KNOWS that they are grossly underpaid!) Next, I decided I would be a chiropractor because as I went to my appointments, I thought surely, they make enough money for me to drive a different car each day of the week. For whatever reason that seemed important to me at the time. But what happened next sealed the deal. My mother started attending college to become a paralegal. She was a single parent so, 1 went with her to study groups and the law library. I can still remember being at the Vincennes University library, walking through the aisles looking for whatever book my mom needed. There were volumes and volumes of cases. I remember searching through them, flipping the pages and reading the cases. I am not sure how much of it I really understood back then, but one thing was sure I loved it. Reading about property disputes, criminal trials or family law cases peaked my interest. I became fascinated by the opinions, the analysis, and unique facts of each of the cases. It caught me hook, line and sinker. All of a sudden, I no longer cared about having a different car to drive each day of the week, I cared about those cases, but more importantly, I think I cared about what those cases represented.
After high school, I worked my way through undergrad at IUPUI, studied for the LSAT, applied and was accepted to Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis, graduated, studied for 8 hours a day for 6 weeks for the Bar exam, passed it and here I am over a decade later. I have told my 8 year old story many times, but recently I really had to think about it. Did I do it because I was so geeky that the cases really interested me that much, or was it because I wanted to be a part of something that is bigger than myself? Part of the history of our country, where people could gain rights, change laws and impact the future through research, writing and analysis. Part of change, part of helping others, part of a community that fights for individuals who don’t know how to fight for themselves…that was what I really loved about the law. There was a consistent theme through my child aged “career” choices (teacher, chiropractor, lawyer) they all help people. One way or another that was going to be my route! Now, I have to admit rarely do we get those cases that impact broad swaths of people or communities. That doesn’t mean my career choice has let me down, rather now, when I am speaking to a client, the question in the back of my mind is always, how can I help? What does this person, family or business really need?
At the end of the day that is what we are here for, that is what I studied for and that is what I work for, to help. I recently joined Webster Legal, in Westfield and as a Westfield resident myself I look forward to helping our community in many ways. At the end of the day, if I helped someone, then I have done my job.
Are you considering law school, need some advice? Shoot me an email, I am glad to have a chat with you or grab a coffee, [email protected]. Danica L. Eyler.