Law in Contemporary Society

Not Following the Masses: Taking Charge of My Education

-- By Genesis Sanchez Tavarez - 26 Apr 2018

Breaking the Mold

During this first year of law school, I have learned that I want to be the sort of lawyer that doesn’t blindly follow the masses.

When I came into law school, I had an idea of what I wanted my law school experience to be like. I had a vision of the sort of person—the sort of lawyer—I wanted to become prior to starting, yet while in law school this year I felt like I wasn’t walking in the direction of my vision. Rather, I was walking away from it and following the direction others were taking.

Instead, I was trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t intended for me.

A mold I never intended to fit into—but that will be no more.

Nothing is Mandatory

“Nothing is mandatory,” is a statement that will remain with me during the remainder of my time in law school and hopefully in life.

When I started law school, I participated in everything because I was told that even the things that were “voluntary,” actually weren’t. I filled my time with everything I thought I was supposed to do, which really was just what everyone else was doing, but when I return in the fall things will be different.

I became overwhelmed, stressed, and the relationships I had prior to starting law school had begun to suffer, to cease. I didn’t have time. I was too busy. I was unhappy. When law school starts again, I hope to do things differently.

I will question things often and follow them only when I believe it’s the right thing to do. The right thing for me.

I will be taking the driver’s seat when it comes to my education. My money. My time.


I have already determined that post-graduation I will be working at a law firm. That’s the road I wish to take, but I refuse to do it in the way the school wants me to. I refuse to set up shop in a hotel this August and walk like sheep to the slaughter. I will not do the Early Interview Process because I don’t think I need to. I don’t want to.

I will find another way.

Additionally, when I return to law school I have decided that I will be more intentional with my time. I will be participating in activities that truly interest me and that will mold me into the lawyer I wish to become. These activities include the Latino Law Student Association as Vice President to help create a community that I feel is lacking here at CLS. I will also be participating in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic where I hope to expand my knowledge of immigration law and help others. I will also be applying for a the JLM Journal because I believe in the practical effect it has.

As advised, I have found professors that care about my success, and wellbeing. I have identified them and will make it my mission to have them serve as my mentors throughout my time at CLS. I know that with the right people on my side, I can make sure that the years I spend here are not wasted but help me get a step closer to becoming the lawyer I envision.

Lesson Learned

Law school is really what I make of it, and while that may sound like a cliché, I have found that it’s true. I’m grateful for this class because while I didn’t come in believing that I would get much out of it, I did. Being completely candid, this is the one class that has made me stop and think about the fact that I have choices.

We’re all adults. We’re all paying to be here. We don’t have to just follow what the school says because we have a very valuable voice.

Similarly, I think that my ability to think about the role I have in law school will help me determine the role I’ll have as a lawyer. I don’t want to be the person that sits down quietly, and waits for others to tell her what to do. I don’t want to be someone who just follows orders. I want to be someone who questions them, communicates her opinions, and has a legitimate seat on the table. A seat with a voice and a vote.

I’ve made it this far with the choices I’ve made, no need to let others make every choice for me now. This is something that I have learned as this year comes to an end and that I will apply in the coming one.

I Still Want to be a Lawyer

As my last essay would indicate, I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a lawyer. I’ve never contemplated following a different career path, doing something else.

I wanted to be a lawyer because I cared about justice. Because I loved the idea of being an advocate, and because I wanted to make a change. In the years to come, I aim to continue to push myself to search for the things that initially drew me into the law. My plan is to continue to figure out why I’m here for myself and not let others push me in a different direction.

Being a lawyer was always a dream for me and I’m going to use law school to make that a reality. I want to use law school without letting law school use me.

I don't think you could have said what you wanted to say better. I think the draft, in that sense, won't benefit from revision. But there is one place where you could push your thinking just one step further: if you want a seat at the table with a voice and a vote, what kind of law firm, or other sort of practice, should you be joining when you leave law school?


Webs Webs

r3 - 01 Jun 2018 - 14:11:46 - EbenMoglen
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