Our law school’s greatest attribute is the ever-present Mission. When I reflected on whether law school would lead me to my vocation, the Mission provided me with a stronger sense of purpose. At that time, I thought that the only way to “Live the Mission” was to provide legal services to underprivileged or underserved individuals.
I volunteered at an immigration clinic during law school. It was a unique experience and it presented many great challenges and learning opportunities. The most important lesson that I learned that year was about my appetite for this type of work. Too often, I internalized the desperation exhibited by clients at the clinic. It was personal, tragic, stressful, and I left the clinic each day feeling somewhat disenchanted, as if all the available legal resources couldn’t possibly address the needs of those clients. I knew I liked helping others but immigration law was not a good fit for me. My interpretation of the Mission evolved – integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice reaches beyond legal clinic environments.
From that experience, among others, I learned that in order to be an effective attorney, I needed a career where I could thrive personally and professionally. For me, this meant working with clients to prevent future legal problems and conflicts. In my practice, I truly enjoy helping clients address issues from the planning perspective. It is in this capacity that I also get to help clients devise estate plans that will make (or have made) a positive impact on the community. Whether it’s funding life changing medical research, supporting family members or friends, or contributing to a philanthropic initiative in the community, I love helping clients accomplish what is important to them.
Do I live the Mission? Do I integrate faith and reason into the search for Truth through a focus on morality and social justice? I think, yes, most days. I definitely do my best to use my legal skills to help clients in a meaningful and moral way.
We all, in some way or another, strive to live out the Mission. After all, the Mission is what attracted many of us to UST Law.