The Champion

July and August 2011 , Page 50 

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Law Student Essay Competition

By Jane Jankie

Increasing Diversity in The Legal Profession

But you, you’re really smart. You could be anything. Maybe not a doctor or lawyer, but still someone important,” a friend of mine said to me. She was telling me about her options after graduating from college, and comparing them to mine. She decided that she would pursue education, a field that was familiar to her, and that her aunt had pursued years before. We both lived in the Bronx and both of our families were from the Caribbean. My friend and I talked about career and education choices that we knew of through family and friends working in those professions. We both had uncles, cousins, and siblings who were security guards, construction workers, and teacher’s assistants. These were jobs that we knew how to pursue.

Not present in our families or communities, lawyers and the idea of a legal career were foreign to us. Becoming an attorney or judge seemed to be a remote possibility reserved for an elite class of people. This distance from the

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