Law in Contemporary Society

JustinPerez's Journal

The past three weeks have been extremely trying for me. One of my family members has become very sick and two others have exhibited mild symptoms to the virus that is affecting us all in one way or another. Reflecting on myself as the student, son, brother, and friend this period has led to a collision of these several personalities. Throughout my 21 years, I have never mixed these several statuses, and never thought of them to be different. Learning in this environment is a struggle not because of the Zoom structure (although it is annoying), but because I feel this period is teaching me things I would not otherwise learn in a classroom. On the other hand, listening to your lectures in this format is more helpful because of my ability to reflect without the everyday worries of whether I am performing how I should in my other classes. The move to Pass-Fail has also allowed me to actually feel like I learn in law school for the first time. I am no longer reading the casebook to find what my professor would like me to take from it, but what the principles and doctrines that I will adopt for my career and how I see them affecting me today. This past week as I have started to enter into a routine, I have also reflected on how I would like to see in my career. Your point of who I would like my clients to be has led to a lot of reflection on how I envision my life. To this point, I believe I want to serve youth from underserved communities, who represent someone I could have easily been if I had made different decisions, or simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I find happiness in watching people develop, and turn their lives around because the only thing that separates most people between failure and success is opportunity. Providing legal aid to juveniles in some capacity will be part of my work in the future. As I continue to think about what my career or livelihood will consist of exactly, I do envision personal relationships with my clients that extend past a legal relationship.

Today's discussion about injustice and justice made me think about the prisoners being released early within the U.S and in other parts of the globe due to the threat of Coronavirus. The states released many of these individuals fairly easy and without public uproar for the most part. These events led me to think why did we have them in prison in the first place or even for the sentence they were facing if the only circumstance that changed was the fear of Coronavirus. The governing bodies of these states decided these individuals were not a big enough threat to society that they can be free. My belief up to this day was that justice is difficult to obtain and that most of the work lawyers do is fighting to stop injustice. The two are different in that justice is an uphill battle to reach an objective, while injustice is persistent and present in every aspect of the law. The prisoners being released in this case succeeded in avoiding injustice from poor and unhealthy prison conditions, unlike those in Parchman, Mississippi. They have not succeeded in obtaining justice in that they likely served sentences that would have been better served in alternative rehabilitative settings that actually reduce recidivism. I myself am motivated by injustice because it is the war I can win a few battles in my lifetime. I hope to one day reach a point in which, I have fought enough injustice and my colleagues have done the same to the point where we can turn our efforts toward obtaining justice, But at this moment I see too much injustice , and my fight for justice would leave those helpless without a voice.

If 40 million people suddenly became enslaved, I am not sure the U.S would erupt in protest if the government somehow justified its reasoning.Today, we see thousands of Americans dying from Coronarvirus, but no one is protesting the handling of the virus by the government. There are over two million people in prison, and their incarceration in inhumane conditions is justified, with divided feelings over its acceptability. I would think a fair amount of Americans would rise up, but the government through hits military power could effectively quiet this unrest. The thought of those events occurring seem like an impossibility to me, but could be quite feasible under the correct circumstances. When we say never again, we really mean not so obviously.
I would like to believe I have courage, but one does not know they have it until its put to action. Having too little courage makes you a coward, and having too much may likely lead to your death, as it has for many of our great revolutionaries like Malcom X and Dr. King. I fear being put into action, and not reacting how I envision and hope I will. My courage has not been put to the test to the extent that I would say I have unwavering courage, but knowing who I am, I do not stray from my principles. My hope going into law school was to develop my ability to use my courage through speech and counsel, but that experience has lacked. What I have learned in law school so far that has translated to my everyday life is understanding. Understanding my brothers and sisters and parents in a way that reduces tension and barriers. Having courage to be honest with my family members and express how I feel has come out of this pandemic. From all the negative this pandemic has brought, I feel much closer to my loved ones, and hope this understanding lasts far past the end of this virus.
As this class is ending, and my home state of Florida is in the beginning stages of reopening, while thousands are dying, I find it appropriate to reflect on endings. A topic we discussed in this class was death and the human instinct to distance those thoughts and that reality. This psychological distancing is a privilege I and many others share, in which death and suffering is not an everyday reality. Corona has put death to the forefront of my mind, with its uncertainty in who it will take next. Although this constant shadow is dimming my vision of what the "post-corona" world will hold for my family, friends, and selfishly me, I have begin to feel a calmness around death. My fear of that eventual reality, hopefully decades from now, has slightly faded similarly to how a stranger in the dark walking towards me becomes less ominous as his details are revealed. My goal coming out of quarantine is to build fuller relationships with those around me. Understanding and perspective are tools a lawyer needs to be an effective counselor. You have taught me to think beyond myself, and look at the invisible gun with its invisible bullets down the barrel because the only person standing in my way is me. Going into this course I did not know what to expect. Every class I sat there in silence because my mind felt like it was racing, and I could not catch up to your words. I realize now that I couldn't catch up because I had been training for a different race my first semester. I enjoyed this course very much, and hope that you, Professor Moglen, keep teaching many more students for years to come.


Webs Webs

r5 - 29 Apr 2020 - 16:22:05 - JustinPerez
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM