anxiety & ardor

so i’ve been perusing a book lately called “law school essays that made a difference.” it’s full of stories about the meaningful, poignant accomplishments of law school applicants that are my age. they impress, they dazzle, to be honest, they make me want to throw up.

one that sticks out is darren, a magna cum laude grad of Duke with extensive work experience at a law firm & the US Senate. darren’s a guy about my age who also attended a school in Copenhagen on a Fulbright Fellowship where he wrote a book on Denmark as the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. i mean, wow.

there’s ashley, who got a 179 on the lsat (one short of a Perfect 180 – deserving of a capital P). ashley was an officer of her school’s pre-law fraternity. she competed in countless mock trial tournaments. she was a messenger for the texas state senate. she worked as a felony court clerk. she worked for Bush’s campaign. i mean, i guess she belongs in law school.

then there’s bryan. he scored a Perfect 180 on the lsat. he’s going to yale, and that’s because he’s simply too perfect – they couldn’t possibly deny his application. bryan had a 3.89 gpa. he mastered japanese & he translates short stories from japanese into english for fun. he engages in the arduous process of translating stories from japanese for humanitarian purposes for the heck of it.

can we say inferiority complex. yeah, cause i think i have one right now. i do have to admit, however, that i guess the essays have been helpful: they’re well-written & beautifully organized. and although they made me a little upset that law school applicants as perfect as darren, ashley and bryan exist, they’ve inspired my own idea for an application essay. and as a journalism major, words are important to me. (perhaps a little too important sometimes – i’m the type who can’t help but correct the church bulletin on sundays because i simply can’t stand the common misspelling of separate or a who where there should be a whom.)

so, alas, with the help of the crazy book and a kind friend, my essay topic is nailed down. i’ll be centering it around a project i worked on for a weekly newspaper in texas, researching and writing a story about gentrification in fort worth & a poor, hispanic neighborhood’s plight amidst it all. the city council meetings & legal issues i had to immerse myself in & wade through to complete the story got me excited about the law. the helplessness i felt after writing the story & seeing the problems that my story could do nothing to help change led me to realize that the legal profession fit my desires to directly create societal change more than journalism. the story was important; it needed to be written, but it did not save the poor neighborhood community that so desperately needed a spokesperson.

journalism has extremely important societal functions, but they don’t fit me & my passions as well as the legal profession does. i want to defend justice on an individual basis & stand up for the rules that govern our communities with each case. after my stint at the fort worth weekly, i couldn’t imagine myself as a journalist any longer. all i could think about were the laws around us & how they effect each one of us – from the wealthy right down to the forgotten communities that are too often ignored & taken advantage of. i’m so excited to get this all down on paper. the details of my life aren’t nearly as impressive as the accomplishments of the harvard/yale/standford attendees in my book, but they’re honest, they’re real and if nothing else, they help me confirm my own passions.

i am so excited for law school. i am elated to use that law degree when i’m out. i just know that this passion will ooze out into my essay, or at least i hope so.

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