Ever since I was about three years old, my parents told me I should be a lawyer. I have rejected this thought many times, saying how I wouldn’t like having to know all the laws and deal with everything lawyers do. More recently, I haven’t been hating the idea of going to law school quite as much as I used to. This could be for a variety of reasons, as I have decided I want to go into the field of forensic psychology, which beautifully intertwines the law with psychology. It could also be because I’ve had to participate in a few debates over my academic career, including three this past semester alone, which I have actually enjoyed a lot. Or, as the title of this piece suggests, it might be because I have watched Legally Blonde. As every girl with a dream knows, Legally Blonde is an absolutely iconic, must-see movie where Reese Witherspoon gets into Harvard Law, despite looking, and sometimes acting, like a stereotypical “dumb blonde.” I had seen the film when I was younger, but have recently re-watched the original and, for the first time, seen Legally Blonde 2.
In learning more about the law and law school in general, becoming a lawyer doesn’t seem quite as intimidating as it used to. Looking back, I think part of the reason I was hesitant to go to law school was because I wasn’t planning on going to grad school at all after I completed my undergrad. Now, my plans have changed, as I need to complete at least a PsyD in order to be a forensic psychologist, which means just as many years of additional schooling as if I were to go to law school. Another factor in swaying my decision is that I want to be part of a positive change in the world, and I feel an important aspect of that is in the law. By fighting for what is just, real change can happen. Something more enticing for my particular career choice that I have recently discovered is a dual degree in law and psychology. There are four to seven year programs that exist to receive both your JD and PhD or JD and PsyD. Programs also exist for a JD and an MA. Various dual degree options are available, not only for psychology, but for a range of fields of interest including business and international studies. These programs offer a breadth of knowledge and open many doors in the professional world. They are definitely something I will consider as I enter my graduate school search, as a dual degree in law and psychology fits in well with my mini existential crisis of possibly wanting to go to law school instead of getting a PsyD. Why do one or the other when you can just do both?
While this may seem trivial, watching movies can truly influence your life decisions. Now, I’m not saying that just because you think Legally Blonde is a fabulous movie, you should become a lawyer, but if it’s something you’ve considered before and it persuades you in one direction or the other, why not listen to it, or at least weigh your options perhaps more heavily than you have before? As a young college student with my whole career and life ahead of me, I want to be sure I know that I want to spend another at least four years of school before I dive right into it. Watching Legally Blonde, I saw the possibilities of law school in a new light and it invigorated me. I knew forensic psychology involved law, and with my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, I have the background for it already. I most likely will not stray so far from my original intentions of getting a PsyD, however, a dual degree in law and psychology now may be the way to go for me. And yes, part of it will be because I watched Legally Blonde again.