EXCERPTS FROM "IMPOSED WISDOM" - Fall 2013-Spring 2014-Summer 2014
“Imposed Wisdom” is a compilation of selected comments sent in response to Journals submitted by University of Hawai‘i School of Law students serving academic Externships in various venues in and about Hawai‘i and elsewhere. Is a Journal Response that I sent to YOU included hereinbelow?
Below, ten Teasers from the Fall 2013-Spring 2014-Summer 2014 Semesters. To see ALL of the Journal Response excerpts (they are all there), HIGHLIGHT the below link and press "Go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_80dwkOGDrXZjFvaFZBcnJab3M/view?usp=sharing"
My first law position was as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. One thought that deeply impacted me and has remained with me is the mantra, "Seek justice, not convictions." It is attitudinal, but at the same time, it shapes you as an individual - no matter what your title: prosecuting attorney, defense counsel, judge, citizen - you remain a child of God and honestly, no better a person than those on the other side of the bars. 'Just lucky and fortunate. Future's wide open for you. Take that truck and ride it. Go Buffs.
Slime-ball: Nope. Successful lawyer does not equate to "slime-ball." Quite the contrary. Squeaky clean, respected, honest - does. Above-board, tough as nails, fair - that's your ideal - it's your way of life. You will not succumb to being what you aren't. For now, keep that ideal front and center. Follow it - the entirety of your career. When it is over, we want your legacy to be: "Fine, respected woman - 'happened to be a damn good lawyer, too."
This Summer’s Externship offers a rare opportunity for learning - perhaps the most useful is the time that you will spend with Judge ___ listening to his thought processes - how he comes to a conclusion, why he decides as he does, how he ferrets out the wheat from the chaff (heh, heh - another way to say this is how he separates the valid from the "bull-sh_t"). And you'll see and hear how nuances and little details become important to a resolution - things that you would not imagine, heretofore. You'll see up close and personal, there is clear truth to the proverb "Even a single sheet of paper has two sides." It is judge who considers the merits of both sides and then, but only then does he/she come up with a decision. Too, be assured there are few cases where there are not legitimate merits on both sides of the dispute. NOT easy. You have a chance to gain an acute knowledge of "how a Judge thinks" and this insider knowledge will be invaluable, no matter where your law career takes you - whether into litigation or not. Because after all is said and done, wherever you are, you are tasked with problem solving and that means considering the pros and cons, the valid and the not so valid, the strengths and weaknesses, the risks and rewards - and then making a recommendation/decision. You will be a "judge" in all that you do, 'just might not be wearing a black muu-muu. I thank you for allowing me to follow you on your journey of discovery. You've made one port of call, and you have dozens more before you close the book on the Summer. Soak it all in. I'm with you all the way. Bon Voyage.
You are experiencing exactly what the Externship experience promises and intends: "Real life, real people, real consequences. A semester's visit to the real world." As said before, you'll find it more and more difficult to return to academia and the classroom after this experience - wanting more, still more of the real world.
Your "Aha! Moment" arriving so early in your Externship is surely a confidence booster and signals there's going to me more before you hang up your cleats on this Summer Externship. I say, "good job! - keep it going.” Consistency is a given - it should be a way of life for you. Show up every day. Shine.
You made me laugh - "I was able to write something up that was shockingly coherent" - to be sure, all this means is that "you's got them, they's just not had a chance to show, yet." Now, you have a stage to show what you've got.
The ice cream social is a terrific, small boost for morale. Important in any office. When you are in a position of leadership in whatever organization you end up in, it's an activity that you'll continue.
You may not appreciate it, but when you have skills as elementary (to you and your generation) which the attorneys don't have, you are a STAR. Don't be so modest. What you bring to the table is a fresh set of eyes and a fresh set of skills - and if it makes everyone look good and happy, BINGO.
As for the "everyone is so nice" comments - that's music to one's ears 'cause as professionals you spend so much time (physically and emotionally) with your "professional family" and when that family is in synch and it is comfortable to be there – YES! When it is NOT a fun or comfortable place to be - time to leave. Life is too short to be unhappy. Mind you, you can't expect to be "happy, happy" all the time, but you know what I mean - there's a core of happiness and satisfaction that everyone seeks (and finds). When it is in your back pocket and you appreciate it, life's good.
One image that is useful to me as I endeavor to instill confidence in those who are out, tromping around in the real world for the first time - is to ask that you harken back to the time you learned to ride a bicycle. You can, yes? 'Probably Mom or Dad running alongside, steadying, then giving a push - then wobbling, wobbling, then crash into or onto, something - hard. Up, again and again. Steady, push, wobble, crash. And again. At some point with or without tears, you said "I'll NEVER learn to ride a bike!" But you DID.