I have worked in a law office for almost two years now. I have no preconceived notions of glory that will happen when I am a lawyer. I know that clients will be needy and rarely ever grateful. I know that clients will sometimes be their own worst enemy. I know that even when they aren’t, there are plenty of other enemies out there wanting to pounce. I know that you will go from being busy to having fifteen things that need to get done in the next fifteen minutes.
I know that you will never feel like you are caught up on your work, and you will always feel like you are forgetting to do something important. I know that this work is exhausting, it is emotional draining, it is mental taxing, and some days it will break you. But I also know that this work is important, because at its foundations is justice and fairness for all. It is work that is worth aspiring to.
We as Americans tend to have an idealized idea of how our justice system works. We like to think that we have the great leveler of justice right at our finger tips. A place where the truth will also prevail and good will always win. This is the courtroom of America that we put on a pedestal. But I see a different courtroom. I see a place where the innocent go to prison and the guilty go free. I see a place where the victims are often victimized a second time by the justice system.
I see a broken justice system.
You may wonder why if I have lost so much faith in our justice system, why oh why am I so eager to jump in with the throws of attorneys and join it. I will tell you why. Because it breaks my heart to watch it happen, and I am sick of sitting on the sidelines. I am sick of being the girl that complains about our justice system instead of being part of the solution.
I know that I can’t fix an entire broken system, but maybe if I can just fix it for one person, maybe that will be enough. I know that truth and justice are unattainable aspirations, but that does not mean that we should aspire for them any less.
My boss once told me that visibility brings change. Meaning that if the common person in America knew what really went on behind closed doors, there is no way they would not demand change.
We fool ourselves into believing that we don’t have a voice, or that our voice doesn’t matter. We don’t believe that we have any power to change anything at all. Change will not come by us playing small. Stop playing small. Stop playing scared. Stop pretending you voice doesn’t matter. Stop sitting there telling yourself that this is just how life is, and stand up and demand change. Get angry. Get vocal. Not in a way that we are fighting with against each other, but in a way that we are fighting with each other. Demand visibility. Demand change. Because until we demand change, change will not come.
Photo Credit: Lori Rensink