On the longest day of the year, my landlady and I decided to take a walk along the lake to watch the sunset. It was a beautiful night, and it got me thinking about my time in Geneva so far.
This internship has definitely changed my perspective on what exactly I want to do with my life. Even though I am in law school, I really wasn't planning on practicing law. I wanted some development job with an NGO where I could work on social issues, not legal issues. But now, my appreciation for the law is starting to change. I actually want to practice law because I am seeing how it can make a difference, a humanitarian difference.
Now that everyone at IBJ knows I have an English Literature degree, I've been designated the official writer and editor of most documents in the office. Right now, I am working on a biannual report for one of our funders, which is a lot more challenging than I expected: I have been contacting all of IBJ's country programs asking for updates, and then compiling all of this information into one comprehensive document. Trying to smoosh everything together has been a nightmare, but the fact that there is so much information has been inspiring.
As I'm rummaging through IBJ statistics, I don't see numbers--I see people. IBJ lawyers are providing A LOT of legal representation to people who would otherwise die in jail, completely unaware of their rights. That's a big deal. Like a REALLY big deal. It's tangible change, and it's all thanks to lawyers.
I am definitely a harsh critic of lawyers. I believed the stereotypes and all of the bad lawyer jokes: they're greedy; they're know-it-alls; and, worst of all, they don't care about their clients. They are the opposite of everything I want to be. But not IBJ lawyers.
For the first time since I started at William and Mary, I am proud to be in law school. And some day soon, I will be proud to be a lawyer.