If you are ever looking for a brutally honest opinion of yourself, swallow your pride and ask a five year old.
In the years I spent working with kids at a community non-profit, I had the pleasure of hearing such gems as, “Miss Morgan, your tummy looks like my mommy’s when there’s a baby inside!” and “Did you know you look a lot less pretty when you wear your glasses?” Though some took these remarks seriously, one look at the sweet little faces from which the comments sprang forth never failed to make me laugh out loud. The children who attended these programs, often with the help of scholarships and sliding-scale payment plans, were typically filled with a joy and sense of innocence that made me absolutely love my job. All too often, however, these amusing little observations were juxtaposed with unfettered comments about living situations that revealed just how much these kids had been through in their short lives. I cannot forget the five-year-old who told me she wanted to kill herself because she missed her father so much, or the look of shame in an eleven-year-old’s eyes when his mother arrived to pick him up while high on drugs. I often felt frustrated by my inability to help these kids beyond passing the information along to DCF. I wanted so desperately to be able to advocate for these children in a way that went beyond simply telling someone higher up than me.
Although I had grown up with an interest in the legal field (stemming from my professional guardian ad litem mother), it was college courses taught by the Honorable Judge James Menno that helped me realize a way in which I could use the law to help these children. On the surface, Law and Society and its follow-up course, Law and Morality, taught students about the interplay between changes in the social fabric and the ways in which laws are established and interpreted. However, it was Judge Menno’s stories about his work in the Probate and Family Court that truly moved me. He had a profound passion for helping families in need; I was deeply inspired by the way in which he was able to promote the best interest of children through the Family Court system. Because Judge Menno encouraged us to spend time observing in his courtroom, I was able to see firsthand what he and other members of the Family Court system were capable of. As I watched him hear motion after motion, regarding everything from child support payments to restraining orders to alimony, I felt moved by the way his actions directly and immediately affected families in need. I very quickly began to feel as if this was an environment I could be highly effective in.
I chose Boston College Law School because I knew that the education I would receive here would help me achieve these professional goals. Because I also attended Boston College for my undergraduate years, I knew before I even arrived at BC Law that the school would provide a learning environment that is as practical as it is social justice-oriented. This was absolutely true of my first semester here. Last month, I attended a 1L “Boot Camp” on the ins and outs of the interviewing process that was immediately followed by a meeting of the Children’s Rights Group. There, we discussed the possibility of organizing an event that would benefit child refugees in the United States.
Days like these reaffirm my belief that I made the right choice in attending BC Law. I feel lucky to be able to work towards my goal of advocating for families like those I once worked with, while simultaneously learning how to succeed in a professional role.
Morgan is a 1L and has recently joined BC Law Impact. She serves as a section representative for the Children’s Rights Group and participated in this year’s Spring Break Pro Bono Immigration Trip. You can reach her at email@example.com.