“Ideals to Strive Towards”

Law school is tough. At times you may get so wrapped up in the minutia of writing a perfect legal advocacy memo, or you may be pulled in many directions trying to understand the Erie Doctrine, or you may find your eyeglass prescription has changed from all of the endless readings.

1L year moves fast, incredibly fast.

When I first came to BC Law, my favorite question to ask 2Ls and 3Ls was: “what was your release from law school?”

For some, it was binge-watching shows on Netflix. For others it was taking up a new hobby like rock climbing, building a new skillset like cooking, working out, or eating a pound of ice cream. The takeaway was that whatever your release: enjoy it, indulge in it, and let it revive you.

So in a moment when I was stressed out and started to lose sight of why I was in law school, I took a deep breath, put on some Frank Sinatra tunes, and pulled out a canvas and began to paint.

I started painting and let my mind wander for a moment; I immersed myself in something other than a textbook or my laptop. As I pressed the paintbrush against the canvas I felt at ease. In that moment, all I was focused on was painting.

The finished product came out a little better than I expected. I call this piece “Ideals to Strive Towards” – Truth, Justice, and Liberty – written in Arabic.

Ideals to Strive Towards - Truth, Justice, Liberty

For centuries, civilizations have come and gone, each making their own contributions to move humanity forward while also instigating setbacks. The ideals of truth, justice, and liberty have somehow always survived.

These ideals may sound familiar to a lot of you. They are a spin on Superman’s “truth, justice, and the American way” motto! My room is full of Superman memorabilia; I guess the kid in me never really grew up.


In all seriousness, there is something powerful about these ideals that have resonated with me for more than two decades – they are grounded in religious teachings, cultural lessons, and the mythological world of Superman and the Justice League.

So what do these ideals mean to me? I’ll write that blog post after final exams are over. 🙂

The takeaway is that you should find your release from law school, indulge in it, and then come back to outlining for your exams. Live a little!

This painting is on my bedroom wall, serving as a reminder to me why I am in law school and what I want to accomplish. All the stress suddenly becomes manageable, even worthwhile.

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