Law School or a Mission?- Advice Needed
Last night, I got my first acceptance letter from one of my major law school choices. It was a thrill to get an acceptance from Georgetown Law. I sent applications to 17 schools and will be hearing back from the rest over the next few weeks. With my pretty good LSAT score ( 173), solid GPA and good mix of extracurricular leadership positions, I am in a competitive position for all of the schools I applied to. The standard path for me would be to begin law school in the fall of 2010. I would likely have to fund school through a mix of scholarships, help from my father and loans.
I am really torn about whether or not this is the right direction for me. I really feel compelled to serve a full-time mission for the LDS church and know this would also be my only good chance to do so. I am already 22 (just turned) and would be unlikely to go and serve a mission after finishing law school considering that I would then be typically looking to be married and looking for a full time job. This seems like the only time in my life where serving a mission could be possible. It is likely that several of my top school choices would allow me to defer for two years in order to serve a mission
As anyone that has read my blog would know, I am a recent convert to the church having been baptized six months ago. I wish I could leave right now for a mission, because that would make the timing significantly easier. Instead, I have to wait until the summer in order to be able to do that. Even though I want to serve, there are several factors against it. My father would be absolutely aghast at the idea of my serving. Nothing would upset him more than having me spend my time doing proselytizing work. As a culturally Jewish individual, he views the idea of missionary work to be among the worst actions humanly possible. My father has been gradually accepting my membership in the church and appreciating how important it is to me. As such, I am worried that serving would turn him away from it even further. On a more selfish reason I am also fairly sure that serving would mean that he would no longer be willing to pay for any part of my education which would be a significant burden. I am also worried about his health and real possibility that he might get sick or worse while I am serving. Likewise, I dealing with all of the usual concerns of a potential missionary compounded by the fact that I’ve not seen most of my relatives for over two years since I was last in Israel and am not pleased about not seeing them for another two.
I wanted to write this post in part because I really want to hear the advice of any readers. Did any of you have to make a similar choice? How did your family react? What do you think? I have a lot to think and pray about over the next several months. Your feedback and commons could be very helpful in my decision.