Three white paper boats on a straight line path, one red paper boat on its own unique path
Three white paper boats on a straight line path, one red paper boat on its own unique path
Source: Getty Images

From Georgetown Law to Amazon: Foreword

Dan Park
Dan Park
Jan 15 · 3 min read

Opening thoughts to a detailed, yet casual personal account of pivoting a career in law to software engineering entering my 30s

When I first started writing the following series of stories, I had every intention of keeping it a single post. After I hit around 4,000 words and upon realizing I was just halfway through, I knew that was not meant to be. And so here I am writing a foreword to my own post. This isn’t an exercise of ego though… I promise.

I think it is helpful to say from the beginning that this is really just a story. I didn’t write this to tell the reader on how to make a career change but to simply share what happened. Primarily descriptive, not methodological. That isn’t to say that there are no lessons to be learned in the following. I am quite certain that there aren’t too many “lawyers-turned-software-engineers”; as such, both sides could get a taste of what the other side is like through this somewhat lengthy account. Or perhaps you don’t identify with either one of those professions and are simply interested in a career change story. This isn’t a tech or software engineering story, neither is it one discussing the finer points about law school or the legal profession. It is just an extremely casual autobiographical snapshot of the last 10 years of my life. There ought to be enough tidbits of information drawn from my experiences sprinkled throughout this story for the reader to chew on. And though my audience demographic may vary, I do write for those like myself, keen but not too ambitious, a past track record of underachieving, and all too familiar with the feeling of perching oneself on the cliffs of mediocrity just barely hanging in there. And to top it all off, this isn’t exactly meant to be read as a success story. It is a real story of a guy navigating uncertain waters. And as you will realize by the story’s end, the present time, he’s still out there and that’s okay.

Social media would have you believe that people have their lives figured out or are well on the way to success but there are no such guarantees in life. One day you will be doing one thing and the next you might be reevaluating your life’s decisions. I’m just here to say, that’s alright. I hope that the reader will find some parts informative, and other parts insightful, and maybe, for some odd reason, even inspiring; but most of all, I really hope that by the end, it was enjoyable end to end. This is a story about how a guy went from receiving an acceptance letter from Georgetown Law to waiting on a decision to hear back from Amazon after a software engineering interview. And I am happy to say, this is my story.

Read the next article in this story: Part I: “Pre-law”: The Blunder Years

Dan Park

Written by

Dan Park

Husband, student of JavaScript, love React! ex-attorney with J.D. from Georgetown Law

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