Inevitably, one of the questions a law student (or future law student) is asked ad infinitum is, “what kind of law do you want to practice?” Mostly, people are looking for an answer like family law or criminal defense. The question is deceptively simple, but for the first two years of law school I mumbled something about “immigrants’ rights on the border” whenever someone asked me.
Now, at the start of my last year of law school and after two different full-time legal jobs, I think I’ve found my answer.
I want to practice human kindness law.
There are bits and pieces of various “types” of law (as if legal issues always arise in discrete, easily categorized bites instead of big tangled piles of real life) that appeal greatly to me. I love the adrenaline rush of preparing for big impact litigation, I love the nerdy economic theories of property law and contracts, I love the implications of constitutional law, and I love the passion of criminal defense. And most of all, I love the day to day heart-wrenching humanness of immigration law. But none of these things alone satisfy me. I don’t want to be a public defender or just do affirmative immigration claims; I came to law school because I wanted to change the world. (Even I am rolling my eyes here, sorry.)
But truly, I want to change the way we interact with each other. I want to practice the type of law that doesn’t alienate people from each other, but instead builds bridges to create sustainable, safe, and diverse communities. And the important thing is that I know that this is possible outside of NPR sponsorship ads.
So, how this relates to Gay Department of Justice and the site redesign: what started off as a place where I could control my online identity and write about legal issues in a personal way turned out to be really restricting and I kind of hated it. And as I come up on the rigorous bar review and fellowship application processes, I am wary about how I am perceived online. So I want a website with my name to be associated with my professional identity, and not so much with my creative/project/writing side.
Here is what you will find at GAY DOJ:
Writing. Not content, not NINE WAYS TO BREATHE SUCCESSFULLY WHILE ALSO WALKING AND WATCHING MY VLOG: A FREE E-BOOK -- SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER, but writing about how I am constantly trying and succeeding and failing to transform law school and lawyering into human kindness law. Which mostly just means, this is a place for me to write about all the hard and amazing and ridiculous things I have learned over the last two years and document my life as I struggle through the last year of law school and the process of finding my place as a lawyer in the real world.
So, that is it. This is me: practicing human kindness law and eating vegetarian hotdogs. Welcome to my blog, I think you might like it here.
(The name, by the way, comes from when Alec Baldwin freaked out a few years ago about being called homophobic for saying a bunch of homophobic things and blamed what happened to him on Anderson Cooper and others "in the gay department of justice." And, since I am a lesbian law student, I like to think of myself as the gay DOJ.)