To Lawyers Who Wanted To Do Good Once Upon A Time.

A dear friend of mine wanted badly to become a pastor one day, but something funny happened when she went off to that fancy schoolin’. The higher she climbed in education, the less she believed in The Lawd. It’s what education does sometimes, you know. It disconnects us.

There are 34 people in my life, all close enough to touch, who went to Law School to “help the people,” “help the community,” and “make a difference.” All but 6 of them are lawyers now, practicing somewhere, in some office, in some courtroom, or just expressing their opinions on Facebook, following it up with “I know the law, and you don’t, so don’t try to argue with me.” I can name only 4 of 28 who are actually stomping through the streets and helping the people and community and making a change.

What happened? Did the fancy education make you, like it did Django, forget your people. Did it make you not believe so much in the community? Did you not get enough likes on your Law School announcement? Not enough comments left on your 1L and 2L completion photos? Did you graduation party not bring in the money and jobs you longed for? What happened? We need you.

In a conversation this afternoon with Dr. C. Hill, a Psychologist, we touched on the seemingly over production of JD’s who went in to create change but now aren’t willing to sit at the policy table. We’re left with shells of humans who are ready to take any job offered to pay down debt, defending their oath to follow a constitution they openly admit has nothing to do with them.

I’m painfully aware I can’t tell people when and where to stand up, or who they should stand for, but I can hold them accountable. I can, however, ask for a return on my investments. If I gave you words of encouragement when you thought of quitting, fed you when your textbooks cost a little more than you budgeted for, or loved you unconditionally throughout the process, I am allowed to believe you may listen when I ask you to stand. You are allowed to say “no.” I can yell at the top of my lungs and wish loudly that whatever it is this fight is called had the same marketing plan as the Essence Festival. Didn’t everyone and their mama show up?

What happened, legal eagles and mavericks (shout out to Maxine Shaw)? Where are your reactions? Where is your anger? What happened to the uncensored versions of you? Were those versions murdered in a lecture hall or during a pledge to a flag? What happened?

I remember Heru of Miami, a Tier One law school graduate who went into the classroom to make a difference in his community and came off the stage, hooded, making a difference in communities across the world.

I’m learning to be fine with celebrities not uttering a word in support of those who support them, but I’ll probably never be okay when real potential superheroes do it.

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