Here's the question I've been asking myself? How can laywers serve their community, but not work for a social justice organization of public interest group. And, is it realistic that lawyers, really want to help people?
Well, the answer to my first question is probably pretty simple. Do pro-bono work. Volunteer and all those other chingaderas. But if you're already working 60+ hours at a firm and loving your work, is it realistic that you have time to volunteer? Should I be interested in providing social justice to "my community" or should I be interested in providing social justice to "MY COMMUNITY" (i.e. my parents, so that they don't have to keep working two jobs)? What's more important?
Well, the remedy, I guess is that large firms and the such should have pro-bono opportunities for their employees. In my short time in law school I've alredy dealt with large firms whose employees are out helping folks. That's a pretty good deal, but not done often enough.
Y luego, how do you convince law students, that no matter what type of job they take, they should help folks? One of my classmates said, "Like if lawyers really want to help people!" My school I think does a pretty decent job at this, even though they're hard core about getting their rankings up. So, that's exactly the issue. How can you push a social justice mission, while having a goal to really become a "high ranking" school. (btw, my school is a jesuit school, w/ a lesbian dean, and a hush hush quasi affirmative action program , w/ a social justice mission-
pretty progressive, huh?). The Access to Justice Institute
, helps out poor folks, and the university.
Anyway, so, here's the dilema. If you let kids in, who want to do public interest work, you're school doesn't move up in the rankings. Schools are often judged by the amount of kids that go work for firms and make a lot of money.
Also, if you have an affirmative action program (the one I'm reaping the benefits), the rankings are often hurt by default. I mean, shit, the reason I'm at SU, is because my LSAT scores sucked. If I could take standardized tests, not to pat myself on the back, but w/ my undergrad work and professional experience, I'd at least be at UT.
But nonetheless, I'm really glad I'm at a school who stresses social justice, even if they are preparing students for the corporate world. It makes me feel good when my Dean talks about race and gender issues to a room full of corporate lawyers.
Not sure if any of this made sense, I was just thinking.