22 ABA Journal My Path to Law articles.
I wish I could begin my story with some childhood aspiration like “I wanted to be a lawyer since learning of Thurgood Marshall’s crusades” or “This has been my passion ever since I first saw My Cousin Vinny.” However, the law forced itself into my life in a more direct way. I was born in New Orleans and raised through Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. I was a senior in high school when my father was arrested, convicted and handed a long sentence in state prison that he is still serving today. This traumatic experience left 17-year-old me with a load of emotions and questions that would take years to explore.
Apr 1, 2022 1:50 AM CDT
“The year was 2005. I was 27 and securely set in my ways; however, God had another plan for my life. By then, I was no stranger to the justice system, having been a defendant in most courts throughout Wayne County. … This time, however, I was at the center of a drug sting operation with a confidential informant and marked money. I was facing up to 20 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections for delivery of a controlled substance.”
Oct 1, 2021 3:10 AM CDT
In law school, my plan was this: Spend two to three years at a large law firm and then return to my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, to practice civil rights law and run for public office. But life doesn’t always go exactly as planned, and my trajectory turned into an improbable 34-year journey in BigLaw, where I found my path and have made the kind of difference I always hoped for.
Dec 1, 2020 2:20 AM CST
To many, it may seem ironic that a deaf judge presides over hearings. Although I navigate the world as a South Asian Muslim woman with hearing loss, seeing my disability as my power is what shaped my path to law.
Oct 1, 2020 2:30 AM CDT
The label “teen mom” can carry negative connotations. No one would expect someone who came from a poor background and had a child before she even became an adult to beat the odds and accomplish her dream of becoming an attorney. By sharing her story, lawyer Jasmine Grant wants others to know that they are capable of so much more than what society may believe.
Aug 1, 2020 1:20 AM CDT
“Being a female lawyer in Georgia is a constant struggle against stereotypes. Many people brag about our cultural traditions for respecting women in my country, but in reality, these traditions are used to marginalize women from community decision-making,” writes Anna Arganashvili, a human rights lawyer.
Apr 1, 2020 2:20 AM CDT
When I finally had the opportunity to encounter the solo practitioner who rescinded my job offer, he approached me first, stating something like: “I am glad to see that you landed with Plunkett Cooney, it’s a really good firm. I withdrew the offer because you deserved a job like this and needed to wait for it to come along.”
Feb 1, 2020 1:20 AM CST
During law school, Emily Cox struggled with countless seizures, numerous medication changes, and having her license to drive rescinded. But she was fortunate to be in a school that cared about her disability with an administration that made sure she had the resources she needed to succeed.
Nov 1, 2019 3:10 AM CDT
With the help of her parents, Haley Moss overcame the stereotypes associated with autism to become a published author and a lawyer.
Sep 1, 2019 2:30 AM CDT
Many migrant men, women and children are fleeing their homelands to seek safety from violence. My maternal and paternal family members migrated to the United States from Mexico in search of opportunity and with hopes of realizing a dream.
Jul 1, 2019 2:20 AM CDT
Nobody, except my mother, perhaps, thought I could become a lawyer. I was born in 1963 with cerebral palsy, which, even after many surgeries and much physical therapy, left me with only one functioning arm and a severe speech impediment.
Jun 1, 2019 1:40 AM CDT
Zain Sayed is an employment attorney in Illinois, one of only about 10 states that admit DACA recipients to the bar.
May 1, 2019 2:35 AM CDT
Charla Claypool, a member of the litigation department of Lewis Rice in St. Louis, notes her work mentoring and guiding youth, especially at-risk young women.
Apr 1, 2019 1:50 AM CDT
Sharon McGowan is the chief strategy officer and legal director of Lambda Legal, which is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV.
Mar 1, 2019 1:50 AM CST
Looking back, I was extremely fortunate but too oblivious to realize it. When interviewing for associate positions, I was usually asked, “How can you practice law being blind?” I think most who asked that question didn’t have a clue. At the time, however, I thought they were just asking for my strategy.
Jan 1, 2019 2:40 AM CST