I started out as a software engineer. In college I wanted to build mathematical models for a living. For instance, I wanted to develop airplanes using mathematical models or solve traffic congestion by modeling traffic patterns mathematically. I always wanted to be on the cutting edge, working strictly with emerging technologies. I needed these kinds of challenges, because I wanted to be one of few rather than one of many. I spent almost 20 years developing software to process telecommunication and voice signals. I hated it, mainly because the engineers that I worked with everyday were some of the most narrow-minded and uninteresting people I had ever encountered. They joked a lot, but they weren't funny. They told stories they thought were interesting, but they were anything but. The work was dry and mechanical. I was never given work challenging enough to hold my interest. Being one of the few minorities in the field, my credentials were continually questioned and met with skepticism. I was often penalized for unknown reasons and tasked deceptively. It was quite a subversive environment to devote 9-10/day to. I had to break out.
I was sued after selling a home by the buyer of the house. He claimed I didn't fully disclose the condition of the roof. I hired a lawyer, fought 5 years, paid $100K for my defense, prevailed in a counter-complaint as well as a cross-complaint against my real estate agent. A transformation occurred during the 5 years. I realized that I found the challenges of law, the solving of legal problems, far more interesting than developing software with a bunch of geeks. I found the 12 lawyers that I consulted with to be far more educated than I was, far more professional, far more in control of their time, far more respected, and much better paid. They were true professionals. As a software engineer, I was simply a "blue-collar" professional and this didn't fit right. I needed to feel educated, to be in a position to solve problems that were more meaningful and more worthy of my time and of me. Software engineering could never accomplish this for me. But becoming a lawyer and being a lawyer could. So, I take great pride in becoming educated as a man who is legally-trained. This is the ultimate intrinsic reward for me and I love it. To be in a position as a highly-educated lawyer, to help solve some complex legal problems is a goal worthy of me. It is a profession that will grow with me as I grow older.