Community. A word that I once believed represented the antithesis of “how to succeed in law school,” yet for Rutgers Law School students, community is an integral part of our legal education. Community at Rutgers uniquely represents the key to success; the unequivocal tool of belonging, purpose, and the embodiment of a basic tenant of the legal career as a humanitarian endeavor. As a past Summer Jump Start and current Minority Student program participant, I can’t help but look back at my novice inception of law school and compare them to my own thoughts in the present—a healthy indicator that the recursive thought technique in Legal Writing has finally caught on (thank you, Professor Wallinger!).
What could have led me to believe that something as paramount and inevitably present within our everyday lives, in the word community, could lead to such negative premature thoughts of my beginning foray into the law school? Perhaps it was the notion of the infamous law school grade curve or the lethal competitive nature of the everyday law student, but before beginning Summer Jump Start with my soon to be summer classmates and Professor Afilalo, I was looking at this new chapter in my life as the quintessential moment that would dampen my sense of humanitarianism. I could not have been more wrong about the Rutgers Law community and as a law school student; the admittance of wrongness is something we don’t take kindly to!
My current success in this new chapter of my life has solely been attributed to the Rutgers Law community, and the fact that most everyone that I have admitted this to has said that it was “all me” in regards to my personal success, just illustrates the magnificently kind character and nature of the students, staff, and professors at this school. The extraordinary people that I have been able to meet—whether it was through Summer Jump Start, the Minority Student Program, or even walking around the law school—have all emboldened me to remain steadfast in the pursuit of humanitarian endeavor and service to those around me.
The field of law is everchanging because we as a community, as a people, are everchanging. The legal field has the propensity to represent both the best and worst of our human nature, but it is something at the end of the day that we can uniquely decide. Rutgers Law keeps a commitment to service at the forefront of the time that we share in this community, and charges us to ask ourselves every day now and throughout our future legal careers: how will I serve the community around me?