I am pleased to host a guest blog today from Jason Giannetti, a 2003 graduate of Boston College Law School.
I have been an immigration attorney in Massachusetts for fifteen years and I’ve never been as proud to be one as I am now.
Let’s face it, in American popular opinion, lawyers are not exactly considered super heroes. In fact, in films such as The Incredibles, lawyers are the anti-superhero. It is due to them and their litigation and lobbying that the “supers” have to renounce their superpowers to be like all the rest of us. In the 1993 film Philadelphia, though attorney Joe Miller (played by Denzel Washington) turns out to be the hero of the film, Andy, his client (played by Tom Hanks), asks, “Joe, what do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean?” The answer: “A good start.”
Be that as it may, America is one of the most litigious nations on the planet. Perhaps Americans have low regard for lawyers because they are such “a necessary evil” in the eyes of most. The only profession with lower regard is politician and, as we all know, many of those politicians are themselves lawyers.
However, I think that besides hemming in people’s exercise of strength (Incredibles) and creating bureaucratic and structural obstacles to swift justice (Philadelphia), the real source of America’s collective ire with attorneys is that they seem to disregard the truth: they are mercenary warriors, defending whatever position (right or wrong, truthful or not) that pays the bills. The most egregious example of this to date is Rudy Giuliani’s statement, “Truth is not truth.”
“Just a 1L.”
I heard that phrase thrown around a lot when I was researching law schools. You shouldn’t expect to have a lot of stuff to put on your resume because you’re “just a 1L.” You shouldn’t expect to get a “real” job this summer because you’re “just a 1L.” What you have to say and what you bring to the table aren’t as important because you’re “just a 1L.”
So I think we can agree that all those people were very clearly wrong.
Me becoming one with nature at the Desert Botanical Gardens
Greetings from the desert! I’m extremely pleased to be blogging from sunny Phoenix, Arizona – which reminds me a lot of Florida (just substitute cactuses for palm trees). The best part? BC is sponsoring this mini vacation/incredible opportunity to get some hands-on legal experience.
I had the privilege of being selected to go on one of BC’s many spring break service trips. Our Phoenix quintet is spending this week working with The Florence Project, a nonprofit that provides legal services to unaccompanied immigrant minors. Last summer, the influx of children leaving Central America to escape persecution and poverty alerted many (myself included) to the fact that child detention centers are all around the country, often in our own communities. These children, who often speak only Spanish or a dialect from their home country and may be too young to read or write, rely on organizations like The Florence Project to advocate on their behalf in the hopes of reunifying with family members within the U.S., or, at the very least, not being sent back to their home country. In the uphill battle to find grounds for asylum or some other visa that will put these kids on the path to become legal permanent residents, organizations like The Florence Project have to conduct a lot of case research and statute interpretation, not to mention finding out more about the conditions that caused the kids to flee in their countries in the first place.