A Life of Law

It is exactly the half-way point of this internship program so far and I am loving every minute of it. So far, this opportunity and program has opened a world to me that was once mystical and seemingly unreachable. I have begun to learn about criminal law, how to brief cases, how to properly conduct legal research, and what law school will be like in a few years from now. In both an intimidating and thrilling way, I have found what it is that I am supposed to do with my life. Pursuing law school and a career in law is an enormous life decision that will not only require a commitment of my time, but also my money and complete focus and dedication. As I learn what law school is like, I am slightly intimidated and know that I will be humbled when I arrive. But if I wasn’t scared, at least a little, there would be something wrong. Dreams and goals should be a bit intimidating because that means you are reaching for something that is worth investing in.

Touring the Federal Courthouse this past week, began an excitement in me for the law which I never even knew existed. To me, there is something so attractive and intriguing about making a positive, influential change in the world through intellectual debates and persuasion. What better way to use the opportunities I have been given, and the tools I have cultivated, than to help the lives of others.

However, I am slightly sad that the internship is already halfway done. This is what I want to do with my life, and knowing that in four weeks this opportunity is over, and that I will need to complete two more years of undergraduate studies before I even attend my first year at law school, is a constant reminder of how much I still have to do to make these dreams a reality. It also shows me, however, how much time I have right now to enjoy simply being a student, and getting to explore and discover, before I commit the rest of my life to the law.

Already I am overjoyed with everything this program and my internship has given me the opportunity to do, and more importantly, to realize that being a lawyer, and practicing law is exactly what I want and need to do with my life. I look forward to the last few weeks of my internship at the Department of Justice and all that it will teach me.

Jessica Paduganan is a UC Berkeley junior studying sociology. She is interning at the California Department of Justice eCrimes unit as a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow.