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…show more content… In my family, it was not an option for an unmarried woman to live outside of her parents’ household so I applied to schools within a commutable distance from my mother 's home. After two months of commuting to Salem College, a Muslim woman from our Pakistani community asked my mother, "Why should we limit our children because of our own traditions? If she wants to get an education, let her get one. Trust her. You 're only hampering her goals by requiring her to drive to and from school in this weather." It was a monumental development. My mother allowed me to move on campus with the condition that I come home every weekend. For the first time, I experienced the freedom I sought to engage in social change organizations and leadership positions. I took full advantage of my opportunities. I worked to uplift the roots of my resilient ancestors as well as to carve a path for myself to live to my fullest…show more content… I also realize that everyone has different skill sets that can contribute, whether that is transformative leadership and community organizing skills or technical skills that contribute to alleviating day-to-day needs and struggles of individuals facing hardship. I see law school as a path to contribute to the latter, whether it is representing individuals, participating in high-level impact litigation, or ensuring communities receive the legal services they need in order to have the capacity to be a part of larger conversations. There remains a void of lawyers with this lens, especially lawyers from similar backgrounds. Additionally, the field of law has not adapted to the changing demographics of this country and thus the changing needs. Not only do I want to change this, but I also want to raise the glass ceiling that exists for women in my community. What I have also heard from women of color in the field is that a law degree has opened professional doors for them, that the credibility 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