I’m very excited to host a guest blog from a go-getter BC Law 1L, Brianna Marshall. She is originally from central Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bucknell University in 2015 with a degree in Animal Behavior and a French minor. During her gap year, Brianna lived in New York City, working for several nonprofits dedicated to food policy and global hunger. At BC Law, Brianna is now a 1L Section Representative for the Art Law Society and a Staff Writer for the Intellectual Property and Technology Forum (IPTF) Journal. Have questions about life as a 1L? Contact Brianna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election season is fully upon us and, as expected, BC Law is abuzz with many of the same tensions, fears, and frustrations felt throughout the country given the current political climate. As a recently minted 1L, this is the stuff of every pre-law political junkie’s wildest dreams (or nightmares). Controversial figures, unprecedented tactics, and a seemingly unclear political future for our nation. With this in mind, my first few weeks of law school have not only been filled with transition and challenges, but lively debate and discussion with the many smart and insightful students that I’m proud to call my peers.
The unique advantage of being part of the BC Law community, particularly during this engaging time, became readily apparent to me on Oct. 13 as I attended a session entitled “Women, Religion, and Civil Liberties.” The event was hosted by nine different student organizations, including the Women’s Law Center, which I recently joined. While international in scope, the session quickly turned to the current state of American politics and what that means for women, like myself, moving forward. The latest in increasingly divisive rhetoric, #RepealThe19th, is trending, advocating for a nation without female voters. The general disbelief was palpable in the room, as the topic was regretfully presented. There was a genuine struggle to explain, let alone understand. A roomful of my intelligent and caring fellow law students was, for once, left speechless.
I thought about this moment throughout the day, comforted by the fact that many others were left as confused as I was about where to begin in addressing what should be a frightening alternate reality. I pride myself on being open-minded and willing to entertain thoughts and ideas that may be different from my own. I understand the statistics and numbers, and with my science background, it’s a comfortable fallback when concepts and opinions simply don’t make sense. While I can rationalize many things, I simply can’t rationalize the marginalization of 50% of the American population.
However, after reflecting on the student discussion, I felt inspired, a reaction that I didn’t see coming. Despite the negativity and the uncertainty, this is an exciting time for our nation and an even more exciting time to be in law school. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, history has been made. For the first time, a woman is the presidential nominee of a major political party. And, for the first time, women will comprise the majority of law students in the U.S., a fact projected by 2017. Progress is being made everyday, and the class of 2019 will be at the forefront of that progress.
So while I’m concerned and understandably disheartened by the words of many in recent months, weeks, and days, I look to both the past and the future; what has been accomplished, and what is yet to come. I’m optimistic about my legal career and the many opportunities that I will soon discover. I’m excited to continue on my law school journey with many 1L friends, navigating the ins and outs of questionably tortious conduct, summary judgment, and quasi contracts both inside and outside of the classroom. November 8 will come and go soon enough, but BC Law will still be predictably discussing and debating, planning for our collectively bright future.