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Suffering Lies in Your Perception of the Fact and Not the Fact Itself
published May 06, 2013
"I have two older brothers-one who works on web development, and the other an accountant-whose presence in my life is very meaningful. One of them challenges me on how I view the world and the role of government in our lives, and though we disagree, it's intellectually edifying to argue my beliefs. And we generally have an excellent time when we are together. And my parents' love and support in everything I do has been an essential part of me getting to where I am-and who I am-today. I couldn't thank them enough for what they've done."
"My goal is to work in international criminal law, human rights law, international law generally, or somewhere in the public interest field. As long as I am helping make the world a better place, I'd be happy. I could also be happy working at a firm, so long as the firm culture was one that recognized the importance of pro bono work, and I was able to volunteer meaningfully in my free time."
"This is a difficult question to answer; I haven't done much yet that I feel is worth promoting. I have helped unite an 89-year old Ukrainian woman in Chicago with her family abroad, through the international family tracing services of the Greater Chicago Red Cross; during my AmeriCorps term, I provided assistance to people who had lost everything-their homes and possessions-after house fires and floods. I even worked as the night manager at a Red Cross shelter for over 150 flood victims in Raritan, New Jersey."
"I believe my knowledge of technology is one that so far has been underused compared to its greater utility. Getting ordinary people to care about issues-from protecting the constitutional rights of the indigent accused to taking action to protecting sustainable energy and resources-requires reaching out to people in a way that is emotionally and intellectually meaningful. The means by which that connection is made is not the same for all people, so it can be difficult to establish a broad base of support-but the beauty of technology (like social media, online journalism, videos, and a comprehensive web presence) is that you can tailor your approach in a variety of ways. And when people find something that strikes them, they can share it with the people they care about, furthering the message."
"I like to think I have a strong constitution; I believe the best way to deal with fear is to conquer it with action. I've been in a lot of frightening situations-dealing with Chinese police boarding the bus I was riding at 2AM through Yunnan province, demanding my passport, as well as dealing with the chaotic end of a rally during the NATO summits in May 2013, when 'black bloc' protesters charged the police and my partner ACLU observer tripped and fell over a bike; we could've been trampled. But paralysis only compounds the situation; determined action is what is needed at such times."
"In 2012…for a class on the law of microfinance, I went on a trip to Malawi with about 15 other law school colleagues and our professor. It was amazing, for so many reasons. The most gratifying thing, perhaps, was delivering over $600 worth of school supplies of every kind to a primary school in Southern Malawi; I led this project, so it meant a lot to me to see it come to fruition. Additionally, despite the immense poverty we saw (Malawi being in the top ten poorest nations on Earth) the people were incredibly friendly and gracious, and just generally delightful. (There is a reason they call it the 'warm heart of Africa.') We learned a great deal about entrepreneurship, and how micro loans can make a big difference in a developing economy, as well as how access to health care is paramount. The avocados were also really delicious."
"Thurgood Marshall is one, for his work on the forefront of the fight for civil rights with the NAACP. Similarly, I find the story behind Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Company (among other landmark cases) inspiring-just the idea that sexual harassment in the workplace should be, and was, tolerated seems ridiculous, and the incredible perseverance of the plaintiffs in that case, enduring over a decade of invasive and insulting questions and accusations during the litigation-only to finally find some semblance of legal vindication-is meaningful to me."
"I like to think I am a man of action. There are more than enough problems in the world-or just the town I live in-to overwhelm, demoralize and discourage you. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people lack access to clean water, even. Across the world, women are subjugated, denied basic rights, and even traded like commodities and forced into lives of modern-era slavery. But the answer is not to become despondent or give up caring, but to do what it takes-donating time, money, helping spread the word, or in my case, devoting my life-to solve these pressing issues."
"I lived abroad in Kunming, Yunnan province, in China (2008 to 2009), for a year after college, teaching English to college students. Though teaching English wasn't for me, as I concluded, the experience was incredibly rewarding. The food was incomparable, the sights were unforgettable, and the number of things I learned about China, as well as the fascinating people I met-words just don't do it justice.
Since then, I've been lucky enough to travel to Quebec, Israel and Palestine, and Germany. When I was in Germany, I traveled overnight to The Hague, in the Netherlands, to meet with Brenda J. Hollis, the prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and a staff member from the International Criminal Court. It really was like a dream come true."
Boston College Law School, Newton, MA
Common Specialization Areas in the Paralegal Profession