At one point in my undergraduate career at the University of Delaware, I was nearly kicked out of a sexual assault prevention education program for being Christian.
Due to the radical views of other outspoken religious people, there comes a stigma with the religion. This carried over into the SAPE group, and other members didn’t want me involved.
Working in the area of human rights law and public policy has not always been easy. That is why I am so grateful to be a part of the Christian Legal Society at Temple. It makes the school feel more welcoming. Because of CLS, I have connected with a church in Center City with an even larger population of young professionals striving to follow Jesus in Philadelphia.
I used to picture lawyers as men in stuffy, corporate suits who only cared about money. I had been a devout Christian all my life, and I didn’t know how my faith would fit this career.
Many people hold assumptions about your feelings toward different people, groups or political issues. Especially in the legal sphere, where young professionals are quite vocal, strong in their convictions and talented at arguing. I expect to have some tough conversations, but ultimately, the God I serve loves all people and wishes suffering for no one.
My good friend and spiritual mentor Christina suggested that I check out International Justice Mission, a faith-based, non-governmental organization focused on using lawyers and law enforcement to combat social injustices.
I felt like God called me to this purpose.
IJM primarily helps people who are or have been sex-trafficked. I got involved with the University of Delaware chapter to advocate for victims’ rights, and subsequent to graduation, I also volunteered at a local anti-trafficking coalition.
Even though these groups were not always filled with other fans of Jesus, we all worked toward the same unified goal of becoming a voice for the voiceless. After joining this organization, I realized there are many lawyers who take advantage of their passion and skill set in order to advocate for those facing poverty and human rights violations.
That is why I feel so strong in my calling as a follower of God to relieve as many people from oppression as I can, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, immigration status, income level or religion.
I accepted the fact that I won’t always agree with my classmates or colleagues on controversial issues. I hope that the professional relationships I build will hinge on the fact that there are worldly atrocities, and we are all determined to eradicate them, working together despite our differences.
When law school wears me down, or when I see the most devastating side of humanity in the criminal justice system, I know that God will help me find the strength to soldier on.