Law in Contemporary Society

Law Versus Mob Violence

-- By MattConroy - 07 Jun 2017

Rocky Mountain High

Like most of my peers I went home after the year ended. Going home is always a bit strange for me because there I am Matthew and not Matt. I can deflect “Matt, what are you going to do with your life?”. “Matthew, what are you going to do?” is quite a different matter. I spent a good part of second semester dreading this question. And it came, just as I knew it would, and I answered truthfully, “I don’t know, but I want to do some good in the world.” “Okay.” And the interrogation was over. Like most things I waste my time worrying about it turned out not to be a big deal. But it was a big deal.

I then went canoeing on the Colorado River for three days with some childhood friends. My phone died the first night, so I was stuck with them and only them. As a side note, I survived the ordeal. It was truly a miracle. Anyways, they asked the same question and I gave the same answer. The response was different than my parents’. “I am glad you are not going to be a corporate lawyer. You should come back to Colorado.” I do not know if I will go back, but I do know that I am making the right decision by not going to EIP.

Those Men, So Powerful

On the plane home, I read a book for the first time since before 1L. Not able to completely escape I read A Miracle, A Universe by Lawrence Wechsler. It seems fitting that the first book was on coming to terms with torture. There were two major facets that struck out to me. The first was that Solidarity is about subjectivity, and the second was Stanislaw Baranczak’s poem Those Men, So Powerful. It is peculiar that in a book about Brazil and Uruguay I remember the little pieces about Poland the most, but I am part Polish which I tend to forget.

The first statement is a way to capture the notion that revolution is about people changing from objectivity to subjectivity via asserting their humanity. This is important to me because I went to undergrad to become an object, a meat computer. This was done with eyes wide open, but I did not know what objectivity really meant. Law school then seems to me to be about becoming a person. After all, computers are not lawyers; people are lawyers.

Secondly, I finally found words to describe how I feel at this moment in the last stanza of Baranczak’s poem:

you were so afraid of them,
you were so small
compared to them, who always stood above
you, on steps, rostrums, platforms,
and yet it is enough for just one instant to stop
being afraid, or let's say
begin to be a little less afraid,
to become convinced that they are the ones,
that they are the ones who are afraid the most

Miss Jean Louise, Stand Up

I am ashamed to admit that I forgot about Atticus Finch, but I guess remembering him late is better than never. I admire Atticus. He is a man committed to justice at potentially the cost of his own life, and a man who is willing to fight for it even if he is guaranteed to fail.

It seems important to me that I admire Atticus despite the fact that he is by most measures a failure. Because if I can admire him, then I can admire myself even if I end up being a failure. What matters is that I try and that I try for good. This little kernel of knowledge is enough to begin to be a little less afraid. I do not know if I will ever be a Trial Lawyer, but I am going to be a lawyer that helps people through trials. And I can be proud of myself for that, no matter what happens.

Mr. Curry

Last summer I made a major error and purchased a Surface Book. It is a cool piece of hardware in an ooh look shiny way, but it is a piece of shit in that I can’t do anything with it other than play games and run exam software. The thing that I am ashamed of is that I knew that was what I was buying and I bought it anyway. I need to make amends for this. I will take this computer, and I will make it mine. If this means going against the full technical might of Microsoft, then so be it.

In the meantime, I scrounged up my old laptop and installed Debian. It had Mint before, but if I am starting anew I should start right. The first thing I put on it was GHC. I like to pretend that I hate tech, maybe in an effort to convince myself that it is true, but Haskell reminds me that this hatred is not entirely real. My prose might be terrible, but with Haskell I can make beautiful words. It is imperative for me to be a lawyer who writes in Haskell. Perl and C++ are probably unavoidable, but I would like to try to avoid them. I do not know if these are figurative or literal statements which probably means that they are both. When the time comes to find a job, they need to be meaningful statements to my employer. Not in the sense that they agree with them, even if that would be nice, but in the sense that they get the joke.

Why Come Back?

Lawyering in the Digital Age is by itself a good enough reason to come back. Additionally, I want to meet Judge Livingston, and Professors Harcourt, Richman, Shechtman, and Waxman. Wandering across the street and meeting Professors Bellovin, Chaintreau, and Geambasu would probably also do me some good.

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Webs Webs

r2 - 09 Jun 2017 - 09:40:42 - MattConroy
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