Law in Contemporary Society
-- PeterPark - 14 Jan 2010

Less than 3 months after my family moved to the United States, my home country experienced the worst financial crisis in its history. My father's employer - which was supposed to fund our 2-year visit to the US - went bankrupt, and most of my family's wealth disappeared into thin air, as the stock and real estate bubbles exploded in ways that most Americans can't possibly imagine, even today. All of this was particularly painful because the currency exchange rate had quadrupled at the onset of the crisis. Still, going home and facing the "worst economy ever" was not an option for us. Stranded in a foreign place with no work permit, health care, or access to the welfare system, our situation was quite desperate. I was 13 at the time, and it took us about 3 years to climb out of poverty, another 5 to reach the elusive and amorphous upper-middle-class status, and a total of 11 years to become US citizens. And yet, we can't seem to shake off our immigrant mentality. We still feel like outsiders, and we want in - it's an irresistible temptation. As an undergraduate at Yale, I consciously joined as many blue-blooded organizations as I could manage (it didn't hurt that I sang opera), sometimes at the expense of other, more meaningful opportunities. Although it's hard for me to admit that I chose law school mainly because I saw the practice of law as the quintessential "in" profession, that is the ugly truth, I suppose. On the upside, I am developing real and substantive interests in certain areas of the law, and I can actually see myself as a content, if not happy, practicing attorney. Put another way, I am finally beginning to dream the dreams that many of you have been harboring since you were in kindergarten.


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r2 - 13 Jan 2012 - 23:19:01 - IanSullivan
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