Dreams of the City

Last fall, I had applied to clerkships with judges throughout the country. A clerkship is an excellent opportunity to build legal skills and develop a strong mentorship relationship with a judge. Clerkships are in high demand, and are very difficult to get. I don’t have the background that makes me a lock for a clerkship (so-so grades, not on journal, didn’t do moot court). But I figured it was worth it to apply.

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to interview with a district court judge in Detroit. The interview went fairly well. I enjoyed chatting with the two clerks who are there now and with the judge. The interview was fairly laid back, and I was out in an hour.

Part of the draw of the clerkship was the opportunity to move to Detroit. The city has gone through tough times in the last few decades, with deindustrialization, population loss, and corruption. But the city has made a strong commitment to revitalization. As someone who is interested in housing policy, community development, and urban space, I was really interested in Detroit. Who is involved with the downtown revitalization? Who gets pushed out? I imagined living in Detroit: going to Eastern Market, riding my bike down Woodward Avenue to Midtown, learning how to find my place in the city.

Well, I got an email from that judge today. He thanked me for interviewing with him, but said that the position had been filled. So I guess I won’t be moving to Detroit after all.

That’s OK. It was a long shot. And it was nice to dream for a while. But while my future employment prospects are still in flux (although some gears are turning), I can continue to root myself here in Chicago, to invest into the dreams of my school, my church, and my city.

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