Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Law.com op-ed: Why Go to Law School?, by Paula Franzese (Seton Hall):
This is an important moment for lawyers and law students. In the midst of rollbacks to civil liberties, lawyers are uniquely trained to safeguard and champion the promise of equal access to justice. We are equipped with a particular skill set that assures access to the legal system and all three branches of government. We are vested with the fiduciary duty to use that access to vindicate the rights of those who have been left out and left behind.
Reinhold Niebuhr was correct when he observed, “Love is the motive, justice is the instrument.” Lawyers are justice’s emissaries. Our work can be the antidote to hopelessness and can restore agency to communities and constituencies that have been marginalized and worse. The pernicious effects of de jure and de facto discrimination continue to be felt. There is a growing chasm between what is and what ought to be in contexts that include safe and affordable housing, the environment, criminal justice, education, immigration, privacy rights, freedom of expression and more. Law school provides the training and professional and social capital to do the work to narrow that gap.
No matter the naysayers and outliers, the legal profession is esteemed and noble. The good lawyer is an exemplar, able to show the face of justice pursued.