What a week it has been. From school events and field trips to an inauguration, this week has been exhausting… but it’s also made me really think about the world we live in and how law school is starting to change that world view. A lot of people come into law school with a positive view on life. We think we can enact change in our careers. We aren’t necessarily in it for the six-figure salaries (which are always a perk), but we feel like we can make a change of more worth than any huge dollar amount. The thing is, we don’t always leave law school feeling that way. It’s the end of the first semester, and I can admit that at times I’ve lost that positivity, that purity of being on this journey to change the world and not much else.
But I have more hope after this week than any other week in this journey.
In our chapter of Harry Potter this week we find the Golden Trio with Mr. Filtch, Dumbledore, Snape, Lockhart, and McGonagall. They had just found Mrs. Norris petrified, and the words “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware” painted on the wall. Lockhart ushers everyone to his office to discuss what has happened. Harry fibs as to why they were all in that specific corridor at that moment, ashamed that he is hearing voices no one else can hear. As the weeks pass, Hermione has started investigating the Chamber of Secrets by reading books, asking professors about it in class, and then leading the trio to talk with Moaning Myrtle. The school is buzzing with fear, despair, and intrigue as to what the chamber of Secrets could be and to the identity of the heir.
In this chapter we see a lot of emotions flying around Hogwarts. One of the key moments is when Harry, who hates Flitch most days, feels extremely sad for Flitch and Mrs. Norris. When Harry should be upset because he is being accused of something he didn’t do, he takes a step back and realizes that in this moment someone else is hurting. It’s easy to become apathetic. It’s easy to point the blame away from you and lash out at others. It’s easy to forget that people are hurting on both sides of a confrontation. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in being upset that you forget to look at the big picture still. Yet, the key is to keep your eyes open for little glimpses of Pure Emotions.
People show up in different ways all the time. In moments of despair, people my act frantic and out of character, and it’s because they have no other choice but to act in this manner. In moments of fear, people may point fingers, shy away from confrontation, or even get angry. In moments of feeling inadequate, people may lash out or overcompensate. In moments of feeling apathetic, people may withdraw or become “lazy”. Every time a person changes how they act, it’s based on a pure emotion. Harry saw Filtch upset, frantic, and hurting. Harry only had a glimpse of this when he decided to look for it and process it.
The second semester of law school changes how people act and interact not only with each other and professors, but with their dreams and ambitions. Grades, competition, and fears start to tear people down. Law students start to become tired, start to feel inadequate, start to feel the need to overcompensate, or start to feel the need to push themselves even harder because staying at the top is hard. Our main focus though doesn’t need to be on grades and competition, but truly, our main focus needs to be on the human side of the law. It needs to be on what makes us human, what makes each other human and how we still want to have an effect on humanity.
If the women’s marches all around the world yesterday proved one thing, it’s that we need to remember that we are fighting not each other, but together. We all have a responsibility to each other (one that should not be taken lightly nor abused by others) to fight for one another. So this week, whether you are in law school or not, look around you and see the human next to you for a moment. Take a step back and look at their behavior and reflect on it. Maybe that human next to you needs a word of encouragement, maybe they need a hug, maybe they need affirmation or maybe they just need someone to tell them a joke. Whatever it is, remember this is why many of us came to law school… to make a difference in the human lives all around us.
Until Next Time,