Image description: Four people are each holding a poster to form the words "RENT REDUCTION NOW." The words are in all caps and in orange. On the ends of the posters is an orange sticker with the words CASA and a fist.

Radical Lawyering

I’ve always been constantly been bombarded with becoming a lawyer as a career option. I got sucked into Mock Trial in high school and continued it for three years in college. All the reproductive justice & assisted reproductive technologies work done by my idols (i.e. Dorothy Roberts) seemed to be in the realm of law. I memorized case law, wrote up public statements on court rulings, and testified at hearings advocating/opposing certain bills. In many ways, the work that I’ve fallen into holds law at its crux, whether it be legislative or judiciary law. But I’ve never personally considered pursuing a career in law, let alone a practicing lawyer.

With college graduation, a flock of my fellow classmates went onto enroll at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia law schools. When I talked about social justice and organizing, people pointed me towards elite law schools — where in fact, many of my most misogynist, racist, conservative “friends” will soon graduate from and go on to actively maintain & defend our capitalist, racist system. Our world seems unable to conceive “justice” outside of the legal system, especially for a privileged Ivy League graduate like me. We are immediately pushed towards “prestigious” jobs and expected to “succeed”; certain careers are considered “beneath us.” But that’s a conversation on classism for another time.

I’m still not sold on the idea of law as a radical practice, as it seems fundamentally rooted in the system. However, a friend of mine, Brian, shared this toolkit with me: A Handbook for Social Justice Activists Thinking About Law Schooldeveloped by folks at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

I hope that it reaches the minds of young, aspiring pre-law students, who also want to change the world — through more than settlements & corporation mergers. #Down4TheRevolution

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