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The end of the exams: only temporary relief

From law student to "semi-worker"

By Gaia Bencini

"What are you studying?".


"Ah ... But do you know that there are more lawyers in Rome than in all of Germany / France / Spain / America?".

It is with this sentence, which at most can vary at the end, that my experience and that of many others like me with the faculty of law began and it is with this same sentence that it is ending.

Five years full of doubts, spent fumbling over endless books, looking for illegal summary sites, creating Whatsapp groups full of people who do not arrive at noon without Xanax; Instagram profiles where only photos of colleagues who study appear, who are always ahead of you, more beautiful, better, richer.

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But the end comes for everyone, even for me. Last exam done online, I spend the rest of the day with my friends, reminding us of the sacrifices we made.

But here comes the time to go to bed, I find myself alone and there the fateful question sneaks into my mind: what do I do now? Initially I had discarded all the typical professions: “I’ll never be a magistrate", "Notary, let alone!", But the only one that had always attracted me was that mythological figure of the lawyer usually represented in the film by a Victoria's Secret supermodel in Prada suit, super tough, feared by everyone and ready to fight for justice.

Considering that, as my grandmother always tells me, I "would quarrel with the saints", I decide to start legal practice, which consists of going to a lawyer for eighteen months to learn the trade.

I find this studio in one of the central streets of Bologna and when the first day arrives I feel great. I arrive and they place me in a very bright basement, with a nice view of the corridor, which is also very neat, with a desk entirely mine next to the bathroom door: all premises that give me hope for the beginning of a brilliant career.

I start to work and here unfortunately we need to make a premise: working in a civil law firm no, unfortunately I have not witnessed a scene in court with lawyers shouting "Objection your honor!" and not even big “Forum” style discussions.

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You can imagine my surprise when I went to the court for the first time, a room full of people talking on the phone, shouting and arguing, I felt like I was on Black Friday in front of Zara; then finally my turn comes, I give what I owe to the judge and he just tells me "Well dear, see you in December". But it was early February! Well yes, now the process is all written so I will have to return in a few months with other documents and so on until the decision is made.

My typical day in the studio begins with a moment of mystical crisis in which I wonder where all those hard-learned notions have gone and if I really passed those exams or another me who is no longer there.

I continue to nervously leaf through sentences and codes then finally the awaited lunch break arrives, where I find myself alone with delicacies I have prepared, such as spelled with tuna or Simmenthal with cherry tomatoes, while I watch all the members of the studio order takeaway Thai or Veg dishes alla - “Wanna be alternative” but not too much.

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The end of the day comes around six thirty, when the members organize a small aperitif to which we practitioners are obviously not invited, so I leave the building and begin the moment of spiritual retreat with an attached prayer so that my bike hasn't been stolen yet. again and hopefully in ten minutes I'm home.

Shortly afterwards my roommates also return from work, sometimes we invite some friends, we put on some music while drinking the usual "connoisseur" wine (maximum cost of wine three / four euros) and from there my stories about the new ones begin cases of the day.

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They range from the girl who spies on the neighbor from the car, to the little boy caught smoking a joint at the change of the hour, to the quarrels between condominiums which are my absolute favorites.

I remember that once we spent more than two hours trying to find an agreement between two condominiums on where to put the Chihuahua's kennel whose incessant patter on the parquet made the neighbor downstairs go crazy, how to fix the terrace to avoid "the 'visual pollution' of the building and the methods for wetting the plants so that the leaking water does not damage the paint on the windows below.

Not to mention the games they play with each other: Blair from Gossip Girl is a fairy godmother in comparison! There are those who puncture bicycles, those who park in front of the other's garage, those who poison and / or kidnap the cat, I could stay here to list them for days.

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It is really unthinkable how much people like to argue about anything, probably everything they repress during the day and that they should have told a therapist, then leads to these absurd arguments that unfortunately many times end up in a beautiful room with flowers and huge windows. , in front of various lawyers and even some poor practitioners.

Going from a student to a semi-worker doesn't seem possible to me… maybe because I've been studying and going to school since I was six years old? Or maybe because I have not yet seen the shadow of a salary?

Unfortunately, I think instead that moment has arrived, the one we all fear: the time to really make choices, directions, to understand which opportunities to take and which ones to let go, what to follow and who to move away from.

But will I ever become a lawyer as my folks hope? Will I ever marry a billionaire like grandma wants?

In the meantime, I decided to start a master's degree and continue to be defined as a student by the Italian state, how else would I give up all those student privileges that I have always been able to enjoy abundantly? Those two euro discount at the cinema or at the theater, those fifty cents saved on Trenitalia tickets and all the other bonuses that objectively make a difference?

I know, change is scary. When I was nineteen I moved from a Tuscan village, where if I smoked a cigarette they knew it from the hairdresser to the priest of the next city, to Bologna without knowing anyone.

I realize that this experience is not comparable to that of many other people who after high school went to volunteer in Pakistan but for me to be happy leaving my comfort zone is already a success.

I must also say that you get used to Bolo right away, here now I have my friends, my new home, my new comfort zone. While it is sad to think that all this will change in a few months, perhaps on the other it would be sadder to think that all this will never change.

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