There’s a quote I heard once that I particularly like, “if you’re not scared, then you’re not sticking your neck out far enough.”
Well as a millennial, POC woman about to graduate and embark into the “real world,” I suppose there’s a plethora for reasons to be scared. What I like about this quote though is that is suggests that being scared and uncomfortable is okay. That’s how you grow and learn. I can’t say that I’m not terrified of what the future brings. Most people usually are. As I prepare to finish my Davidson career and start law school in the fall, I can’t help but thinking of the challenges that lie before me as I begin on my path toward a profession with a legacy of privilege. Although I certainly strive to be aware of the privilege in my life, I don’t think it’s nearly on the same level as the generations of white, male privilege that the legal profession entails. More importantly, I understand the power of my own privilege and how I can use it.
Last week, as I did research on the bamboo ceiling, I looked for statistics on Asian American lawyers. This week, I finally found an article that discusses the disparities in Asian American legal education attainment and position within law firms. I didn’t find anything new, but reading it in black and white reminded me of the uphill battle I have before me. While it may be difficult entering into a profession so deeply entrenched in privilege, a large part of why I want to be a lawyer is because while growing up I didn’t see a lot of people of color in the field. Lots of people are surprised that I’m not pre-med or at least initially assume I am, but I have no interest in medicine or fulfilling that stereotype they have.
LSAT prep, application fees, and law school visits aren’t cheap, never mind the enormous undertaking of tuition alone. It’s an investment though, but like with any investment, there’s risk. Risk of failure. Risk of taking on something I’m not ready for, but I don’t like to think like that. I mean sure every now and then I think about the crushing debt I’m about to incur, but for the most part I try to focus on the perspective I can provide. That’s what diversity is about, right? Diversity of perspective that stems from different backgrounds and experiences. I don’t think the road ahead is easy, but most roads aren’t. As I get ready to leave Davidson, I remember why I chose to come here. I wanted to be challenged. I knew it would prepare me for the rigor of law school some day. At the end of the day, I know I can thrive under the pressure, which makes the fear a little less debilitating.