Lawyers CAN make a difference!

| April 7, 2010
It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. –Tom Brokaw
When I tell someone that I hope to go to law school, they immediately reply one of the following: 1) “So you want to make a lot of money?” or 2) “What? Do you LIKE exploiting people.” Even my mom held stereotypes. After taking the Myer-Briggs personality test (I’m an ENFJ by the way, lol), she became skeptical at the test’s suggestion that my career needed to fufill my desire to work with people and for people, to bring out the best in others. “You can’t do that as a lawyer” was her response.
ENOUGH ALREADY! No, I don’t want to make a lot of money (okay, yeah it’d be nice, but it’s not my main goal) and no, I don’t like to exploit people. And I remain rooted in my belief that lawyers can, should, and often do strive to better society. Sure, there’s a few “blood-sucking lawyers,” but for every one, there’s a passionate advocate helping someone out.
We as society have an awful tendency to denounce lawyers…frankly, because they make a good salary. I am reminded of the quote above by Brokaw every time I question my “faith” in lawyers. And this “faith” has been reaffirmed recently.
My pre-law fraternity has been working hard to coordinate a first-annual Ambulance Chase. What started out as a fundraising idea for our chapter has turned into a community service event in support of the Family Violence Center. The idea is to redirect the negative connotation associated with the often used stereotype “Ambulance Chasers” into a positive one. So, a bunch of pre-law students are going to chase an ambulance, getting sponsorships from local law firms.
Planning this event hinged on getting an ambulance. We didn’t receive word on an ambulance until a month out for this event, so planning was last-minute. It was through this, though, that I saw the generosity of our community, our campus, and local lawyers in new light. Numerous entities have come out to support our event, either through financial contributions, food donations, or planning assistance. Without them, we couldn’t do it.
Anyways, I know this is a TINY example of all the great things lawyers (and future lawyers) can do, but it’s enough proof for me. I know that I will do my best to use a law degree to help others.
Do you think that’s impossible to do? Do people ever question the integrity of your profession?

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