Blog: Albert Abbou

Albert Abbou is this week's guest blogger. A young intellectual property attorney and native Michigander Albert will be writing about how his personal experiences led him into the law, his Chaldean roots, and why he chooses to make Ann Arbor his home.

Albert Abbou - Post 2: What now?

Notwithstanding the fact that I had successfully earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, I had very little else going for me. While I had interned for my uncles’ firm for a couple of summers as a student, my experience was limited to the business aspect of the company. 

In other words, I lacked any type of technical experience, and I graduated with a mediocre G.P.A. amounting to about a 3.2. What’s worse is that up until my senior year of college, I had maintained a G.P.A. of a 3.5 or higher. Yet I was so eager to finish school and graduate so that I could begin working for uncles, I severely overloaded my final two semesters. 

In addition to the heavy load, I idiotically took on two jobs so that I may save up enough money for my "senior spring break."  Although it did not take long for me to learn that it would be nearly impossible to keep up with my studies and maintain two jobs, I stubbornly refused to drop any classes or resign from either job. Naturally, my G.P.A. plummeted. So after three years of hard work and dedication, I essentially forfeited a G.P.A. that may have compensated for my lack of technical experience in attempting to secure a post-graduate engineering position.

Nevertheless, approximately four or five months after graduation, I caught a break and landed my very first job interview with Alcoa, a large aluminum company. That same day, Alcoa extended me a job offer, which I fervently accepted. I worked for Alcoa for about six months, and then went on to work for DTE Energy for another six months. 

While working for merely a year is obviously a brief duration, it was more than enough for me to realize that I did not want to live the rest of my life working as an engineer. Simply put, I found the work to be very dull and non-rewarding. It also did not help that at both, Alcoa and DTE Energy, the workplace seemed entirely void of any sort of enthusiasm. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the majority of the employees at both companies held salaried positions (i.e., the employees simply may not have cared how hard they worked since they would earn the same amount of money regardless of the amount of hours they put in).  Whatever the reason, in February of 2005, I decided that I was going to pursue a new line of work.

Realizing that my engineering degree left me with few alternatives, I decided to go back to school and obtain a post-graduate degree. Based on my background, I eventually narrowed down my choices to either law school or med school.  Initially, law school did not appeal to me very much, mainly because I had always been more of a math and science oriented student. In addition, I grew up with the belief that I never wanted to become an attorney since the position predominantly involves reading and writing, neither of which I excelled it. On the other hand, I knew that the road to becoming a doctor required courses such as anatomy and biology, which, to be generous, I had never been very fond of.   

Being uncertain of which path to take, I decided to consult my father for advice.  My father is a board-certified doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  That said, I was taken quite aback when my father non-hesitatingly recommended that I become an attorney. In fact, he claimed that if he had the opportunity to do it all over again, he never would not have become a doctor.  Taking his words to heart, I opted to take the LSAT and apply for law school.