This past Saturday, I was at UC Hastings College of the Law to interview law students for summer internships with my office. The interviews were part of the OneJustice Public Interest Public Sector Career. Law students from all over the Bay Area came to interview with scores of public interest employers. It was a busy day; I was interviewing students from 9 to 5.
As I was interviewing students, I was struck by their dedication and commitment to serving vulnerable communities. Several students grew up in low-income immigrant families, and had entered law school in order to serve people in their shoes. Other students did not have such personal experiences, but were eager to dedicate their summers to fighting for justice on behalf of others.
Not all of these students will go on to work in public interest after law school. Some will enter private practice in order to pay down their loans or provide more financial security for their families. But I believe that all of them will prove to be strong leaders for their communities.
Saturday was also the day of chaos and distress at San Francisco International Airport over the President’s executive order on immigration. While I wasn’t able to make it to SFO, I heard about many volunteer lawyers and protestors who went to the airport to support the individuals that were detained. I also heard about the lawsuit filed by the ACLU in Brooklyn and the temporary stay on the executive order.
In a strange way, then, Saturday was a day of hope. The news of the protestors and lawyers at airports across the country and the stories from these passionate law students lifted my spirits. There are dark days ahead. The world is full of fear. But I refuse to give in to cynicism and despair. There is life in the dedication and kindness of ordinary people.