I am no longer an attorney…

June 2, 2006 | 41 comments
By

I am not longer an attorney. I’m still a lawyer and always will be; law school does that to you. Still, today was my last day of work at the firm. I am leaving clients and the “real world” behind for the ivory tower. In the summer of 1998, I decided that I wanted to be a law professor when I grew up. I had always thought that I would become a philosophy professor, but I came to three conclusions that summer. First, I was not a particularly good philosopher. Second, given this fact it was unlikely that I could get a job as a philosopher. Third, I decided that at the end of the day I was a dilettante. I love philosophy, economics, politics, public policy, and history. So I looked for a discipline that rewarded dilettantism, and hit upon the law. Now, roughly eight years later, it looks as though it is going to actually happen. I have been looking forward to a small office full of books on jurisprudence for a long time. I am just happy that life, fate, and the Lord have seen fit to let me have it. Sometimes life is very difficult and contrary, but sometimes it gives us just what we desire.

41 Responses to I am no longer an attorney…

  1. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 2, 2006 at 7:17 am

    sometimes and some sometimes we learn to desire what we get.

  2. Crystal on June 2, 2006 at 7:18 am

    Congrats, Nate!

  3. tyler on June 2, 2006 at 7:19 am

    where? (am I allowed to ask–I guess you don’t have to answer…)

  4. DMS on June 2, 2006 at 7:50 am

    Do you know the difference between a squirrel and a philosopher crossing the road? The squirrel might on his way to work.

  5. Russell Arben Fox on June 2, 2006 at 8:09 am

    Does this mean that you’ll start blogging at Akrasia again? I mean, I went to the trouble of linking to it and everything….

    I’m happy for you, Nate. I hope the move and job transition go very well. And Stephen, you’re right: in this world, some get what they want, some get what they need, and sometimes stuff just happens–but in any case, there always remains the work of finding what is desirable and good in what we have in the end.

  6. Lamonte on June 2, 2006 at 8:11 am

    Nate – Congratulations on realizing your dream. I hope it turns out to be all that you desire it to be.

  7. danithew on June 2, 2006 at 8:14 am

    Congrats Nate!

  8. Kevin Barney on June 2, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    I always knew you wouild be a law professor some day. You’ll be a good one. And it sure beats billing hours. Congratulations.

    (And I hope all is going well with you, Russell.)

  9. Guy W. Murray on June 2, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    Best to you and the myriad of students whose lives you will touch.

  10. Guy W. Murray on June 2, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    And Russell, I received your email announcement. It’s good to hear of your new found success as well, and nice to see you commenting, and eventually blogging once again.

  11. D-Train on June 2, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    And that’s NATHAN OMAN breaking down the sideline toward freedom! Welcome to the thirty hour work week! ;)

  12. RoastedTomatoes on June 2, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    Nate: Congratulations! Very nice. Although the publication grind can be worse than D-Train implies… :)

  13. Susan on June 2, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    You have what it takes to yammer successfuly in person and print. You know I’m proud.

  14. manaen on June 2, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    Congrats and best wishes.

    I’m also curious as to where you head: would you be wending your way west?

  15. S. P. Bailey on June 2, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Something tells me that Nate has no use for a 30 hour work week. It’s all about what you get to read and write on late nights and weekends. Congratulations. I think I stand on the right side of the jealousy/admiration line, but I keep having to look at my feet to make sure.

  16. Lynnette on June 2, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    I always thought that attorneys were total workaholics until I discovered the bloggernacle and found them here blogging all the time. ;)

    Good luck with your future; that’s fabulous that things have worked out.

  17. Kimball L. Hunt on June 2, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    If I was a medicine man/ credentialed member of the priestly caste, I’d offer an oracle implying — in super vague language, so I could deny it’s what I meant should I be wrong — Nate to be heading to some small, private/ religious-based school.

    So speaks the Oracle. So be it.

  18. John T. on June 2, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    Congrats. And I’m no longer an investigator. Feels kind of sad, but if feels right.

  19. Keith on June 3, 2006 at 12:28 am

    Nate,

    Good news. Where will you be teaching?

    Keith

  20. laura w on June 3, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Congratulations! I hope you love W&M and Williamsburg. It’s a fabulous place. I just finished an MBA there (and did my undergrad there 10 years ago) and will really miss it. I hope it’s as good to you as it has been to me.

  21. Kimball L. Hunt on June 3, 2006 at 1:34 am

    William and Mary! As a prof? Where the “wikipee” says they’ve got the 2nd-oldest law full-professorship in the world? After Oxford?

  22. Aaron Brown on June 3, 2006 at 1:38 am

    Congrats, Nate. How do you think your new position will affect your blogging output?

    Aaron B

  23. Elisabeth on June 3, 2006 at 1:51 am

    Congrats, Nate! Are you going to dress colonial for your classes?

  24. John W. Redelfs on June 3, 2006 at 10:29 am

    So where are you going to teach law, Nate? Are you going to keep blogging? I really envy people who finally figure out how to make a living doing something they like. So many have to make a living doing whatever they can.

  25. Adam Greenwood on June 3, 2006 at 11:13 am

    “Third, I decided that at the end of the day I was a dilettante.”

    This is what I’ve always liked about friend Oman. He’s never too harsh when I make wild generalizations based on a smattering of things I once read.

  26. Nate Oman on June 3, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    “How do you think your new position will affect your blogging output?”

    Kaimi blogs lots, and he’s a law prof. We’ll see…

  27. Bookslinger on June 3, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    This is more of a doctor joke, but since it’s got a lawyer in it I’ll post it.

    It’s based on a similar joke I heard long ago. A while back at one of our stake conferences, a doctor, a scientist, and then the stake president, who’s a lawyer, spoke. The SP said “there’s a joke in there somewhere,” so here’s my contribution.

    Three Mormons die and go to heaven, a lawyer, a scientist, and a doctor. They’re standing in line at St. Peter’s desk waiting their assignment to one of the three kingdoms.

    St Peter says: “What you heard back in mortality, that part about getting to choose the degree of glory where you feel the most comfortable is true. So you each will get to choose the kingdom you shall live in for the rest of eternity.”

    The lawyer is the first of the three and says: “Well, most of my clients and fellow lawyers are going to be in the Telestial Kingdom, so that’s where I think I’ll be the most comfortable.”

    St. Peter says “Very well. You may enter into the Telestial Kingdom.” And the lawyers goes off rejoicing (because he knew most lawyers actually go to Outer Darkness.)

    The scientist is up next, St. Peter asks the same question and the scientist responds, “Well, I don’t feel very valiant. I allowed some of my inventions to fall into the hands of evil dictators who used them for weapons of mass destruction. I think I’d feel most comfortable in the Terestial Kingdom.”

    St. Peter says “Very well. You may enter into the Terestial Kingdom.” And the scientist goes off rejoicing.

    The doctor is up next, and St. Peter asks the same question. The doctor reponds: “Well, I used my skills to save lives and alleviate the suffering of thousands of people, many of whom were among the humblest and most valiant of God’s children. I built hospitals and clinics and founded HMO’s all over the world. I think I’d be most comfortable with many of my former patients who I’m sure will be in the Celestial Kingdom.”

    St. Peter says “HMO’s eh?”, checking his records. “Very well, You may enter into the Celestial Kingdom. But you can only stay for three days!”

  28. Kaimi Wenger on June 3, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    “Kaimi blogs lots, and he’s a law prof. We’ll see… ”

    Yes, but my wife keeps trying to enroll me in a 12-step program at blogoholics anonymous. She keeps telling me, “the first step is recognizing that you have a problem.”

    But I don’t have a problem. No, not me. I can quit any time I want. Just watch me. I’ll quit right now. For good.

  29. Kaimi Wenger on June 3, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Whew! I was, um, just kidding in my last comment. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    (The shakes are starting to subside now. . . )

    :P

  30. Blake on June 3, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    It’s OK Kaimi, all of my law professors were OCD, certifiably insane or inhuman.

  31. Kaimi Wenger on June 3, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    Blake,

    I’m not sure exactly how many of these disorders I currently have, but it’s definitely more than one. . .

  32. Jonathan Green on June 4, 2006 at 10:20 am

    So, Nate, I think this answers your question about whether you need a Ph.D. or not. Congratulations!

  33. Kimball L. Hunt on June 4, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    So this means he ain’t got his peeaichdee yet. Right?

  34. dsilversmith on June 4, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    ” I’m not sure exactly how many of these disorders I currently have, but it’s definitely more than one. . .

    Comment by Kaimi Wenger — 6/3/2006 @ 9:53 pm ”

    some of them can be traced back to Kaimi’s PreBlog days. I know ;^)

  35. Kimball L. Hunt on June 4, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    ( — i.e., a jaydee’s “not a peeaitchdee”?)

  36. Nate Oman on June 4, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Kimball: W&M claims the second oldest professor of the common law, not the oldest professorship of law.

  37. John H on June 4, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Many, many, MANY congrats! No one will do better.

  38. sue on June 5, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Congratulations Nate – I’m so glad you will be able to fulfill your dream! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person ;>

  39. Ken on June 5, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    William & Mary, huh? I see Her Honor Sandra Day O’Connor is the chancellor there … That, I’m sure, is mere coincidence, and the opportunity to rub elbows with a retired Supreme Court justice (arguably one of the Court’s more influential justices in the last quarter century) played no role in your decision to seek (nor to accept) employment there. ;-D And you’re already listed in the faculty directory, although your “list of accomplishments” is rather sparse at the moment … I’m sure that’ll be remedied in due course.

    Best of luck in your academic endeavors.

  40. Seth R. on June 6, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Well honestly Nate, I was surprised to find out you weren’t already in academia.

    Just remember, blog posts don’t usually count toward tenure.

    You ever going to start contributing again for Concurring Opinions?

  41. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 10, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    “I am not longer an attorney”

    May want a quick proof of the front page. ;)

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