My Interest On Public Interest Law, Nonprofit Advocacy, And Social Justice

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My interest in public interest law, nonprofit advocacy, and social justice began at a very young age. My passion was influenced by my upbringing, as well as my journey down a path different from what my family and culture envisioned. It is this same divergent path that has led me to me to pursue the legal profession today. I come from a Muslim household influenced by my mother 's traditional, rural Pakistani roots. Each of my sisters entered arranged marriages at the age of 18. While my mother values education for women, she also raised me to appreciate the traditions from which I come; she held to strict standards reinforced by deep-rooted propriety. I struggled to fight for my own education in a community that constantly encouraged me to take the traditional route, but I have also embraced the communal aspects of my culture and religion as well as my mother 's convictions around service. My father passed away from cancer before I was two, and my mother, who knew no English and had no job skills, supported our family of five with just social security benefits and a very tight budget. Despite living in financial insecurity, my mother clung to her principle of giving alms each year during the holy month of Ramadan. Her determinedness to do good for communities that struggle more than ours is a value I carry with me. Additionally, while I endured a sheltered and strict high school experience, I simultaneously developed morals and beliefs that were not as strongly rooted in my family. Most of this had to do with my experience of feeling unwelcome in my community and school after the September 11th attacks. My experiences post-9/11 fostered the development of the following view: no one should ever feel they are not respected or they ... ... middle of paper ... ...bility of a law degree allowed them to sit at tables they would not have previously. Pursuing law school is a very personal yet professional goal for me, but I also want it to be a vehicle by which I make this world a better place. Recently, I saw Ta-Nehisi Coates speak and when he was asked by a student, “What would you suggest we do to change the structural barriers facing communities of color, especially in the criminal justice system?” He replied, “I was very selfish about the path I chose. I decided I wanted to be the best writer of my generation. My advice to you it to pick your trade, figure out how to do your work at a very high level, and work towards decreasing the impact of these structural barriers from that trade and position.” Law school is very much my choice of trade and I look forward to beginning this journey at the ________ School of Law next year.

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