This August, I’m beginning a new chapter: law school.
When I had to choose a school, moving away from Nashville presented no issue. I was confident no matter where I went, I’d make my way back to my beloved Franklin. I prepared my friends and family for reality: I was leaving.
But throughout the process, I’ve been plagued with indecision, fearful of not making the perfect decision.
I had set my mind on one school; they had all the right programs for what I wanted to study, and they were offering me the most scholarship money. The prospect of moving to this new and vibrant town excited me.
Still, something held me back from fully committing.
Since moving to my home in Franklin a year ago, I’ve felt mixed emotions. I sought to maintain an emotional distance from my two roommates. After all, who knew how long I’d live there? Over time, the walls I’ve built to block out any emotion that might leave me vulnerable have come crumbling down. The third roommate definitely helped with that, see below.
I recognize now how foolish and prideful I have been in discounting the love and support of my friends, especially my roommates. We have grown together, through frustrations and celebrations.
And I came to realize this: Maybe God doesn’t want me to sacrifice everything to move to another city. Maybe instead, He is calling me into deeper relationships with those I love. Maybe, He knows that for me, staying is scarier than leaving. This time, I’m not supposed to leave.
I wrote these words in my journal the other day:
“I can ignore it no longer: the people God has brought into my life have changed everything for the better. I am home.”
Understanding that made my choice easy: I’m staying here and will attend Belmont Law this fall.
So why law?
I first took the LSAT over three years ago, so it’s been a long time coming. Over the years, my motivation has shifted.
At first, I was interested in the legal system in the natural way any writer becomes. As I changed jobs and roles, I began to see my skills and interests pointing me in a different direction.
An avid fan of Pamela Colloff’s writing, I always hoped to become the kind of investigative journalist who pens accounts that change things. I soon understood the type of life required to make that vision true, and felt it an unrealistic path for me to pursue.
And yet, God planted a seed.
I’ve been on a journey of understanding my own salvation and what it means for my life. In that process, God has impressed upon me a specific purpose:
Learn to do right; seek justice.Isaiah 1:17
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
I understand this biblical imperative in the active sense, and I am committed to making it my life’s work.
America’s justice system is broken on many levels. In our striated society, the most vulnerable are often left defenseless and used as scapegoats. Those who have committed crimes are punished disproportionately based on skin color and socioeconomic status. Little consideration for mental health and previous trauma is factored into sentencing. We lock people up and throw away the key, choosing to look past their humanity.
I’m a privileged white woman who has never gone hungry or without a roof over my head, but I know well what it is like to be spiritually poor. I know what it is like to make big mistakes and to be shown mercy. Every good thing I have received in life is a gift from God. Each day, I feel the Christian imperative to share the same grace.
For years, I’ve felt a tug not to just listen and share stories, but to become part of them as an advocate. That’s why I’m going to law school.
Recently, I spoke with a defense attorney who has worked on prominent cases for clients facing the death penalty.
I asked him what he enjoyed about the work, and he put it bluntly: “There’s a lot about the work I don’t enjoy. When you’re dealing with and fighting injustices, it’s not always enjoyable. It can be really discouraging and upsetting.”
Still, he left his job working for a large corporate firm because of something deeper: “I just saw there were so many injustices,” he said. “It became a calling.”
I, too, am choosing to follow my calling.