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OP-ED: I'm Only Working as a Private Military Contractor for a Year Before Law School


Photo by babeltravel / CC BY 2.0

I've always known law school was in my future, but, after four years of Penn, I need a change of pace. Jumping straight into three more years of school just isn't right for me. That's why I'll work for a year before I go to law school as a private military contractor.

Taking a year to work between degrees makes a lot of sense. I can make some money, see the world, and get a taste of life outside of academia. I'll go to law school richer, more prepared, and more interesting. 

It's true, the private military company life isn't for everyone. It isn't perfect. The hours are long, the work is thankless, and sometimes the morality isn't clear, but is being a mercenary really so different from consulting?

Yes, my life will constantly be in danger. Yes, I will operate without significant oversight in conflict areas, often for questionable causes. Yes, I will be armed to the teeth and prepared to kill at a moment's notice. But I'm only doing it for a year. 

It's to make some money and get some real-world experience, just like I said. Is that so wrong? I'll be protecting VIPs and officials, guarding sites of strategic importance, and training local military units. That's going to look great on a resume!

PMCs get a bad reputation, but they don't deserve it. Everyone remembers the little mistakes (a misplaced bullet, etc.) and forgets the great work these companies do every day. 

And again, I'll only be there a year. Then I'll be at law school, and it'll all be behind me. 

I have my whole life to do things that are meaningful, that will save lives and improve the world. Spending a year as a hired gun is just a pit stop, before I get a law degree and fight for the downtrodden and the oppressed. It's temporary!

Anyway, hit me up if you're going to be in Afghanistan next year. I'd love to get together when I'm off the clock.