Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finding Balance

Tonight I have forty pages of reading and legal writing work to complete. For the last few weeks I have been on a wild hunt for a summer job. Plus, I have to deal with life issues that do not stop just because I am in law school.

How am I supposed to keep up with all of this and still take the time to get involved in the many animal law opportunities available at Lewis & Clark Law School? Just keeping up with opportunities available through the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Animal Law Studies is tough. Plus, how am I supposed to do everything I want and keep current on animal protection issues? After all, like many of my peers in L&C's Animal Law Program, animals are the reason I am in law school. I am pretty sure I am not the only one who constantly thinks about the issue of finding some semblance of life balance while studying law (or at least I hope not).

I have been working hard trying to figure out how to balance it all. I don’t have any fabulously wise advice for anyone but what has been working for me is to get involved a little at a time. Add one straw to the camel’s back, feel it out, and then see if you can add another. After all, I'm pretty sure no one in the Animal Law Program wants a broken camel back literally or metaphorically.

Jokes aside, I think all law students should remind themselves everyday why they are studying law. Whether the goal is to run a successful business, become the world's greatest criminal defense lawyer or work in animal protection, we must stay focused and keep our eye on the prize. Otherwise, we risk getting too caught up fearing embarrassment in class should we say something wrong, or with what a particular torts case is about, or whatever the case may be. We are all here for a more important reason; we should remember that.

For me, I'm here with the ultimate goal of helping to better the lives of animals. I'm biased of course, but I think this is such a great goal that any of us here for the same purpose should stay laser-focused on it. While animal law is a growing field, it is still small and we are all needed if we want to make a real difference in the lives of animals. So, who cares if I get something wrong in class. I'm in class to learn and making mistakes is part of that process. What really matters is my ultimate goal.

This is my first-ever blog posting. I was told today blogging is the way of the future, so I decided to jump right into it. I hope to be back to share more thoughts but for now, I still have civil procedure waiting for me and I want to be able to get some much-needed rest.

Oh, and just in case you haven’t already heard, Dr. Ramona Ilea, Ph.D., of Pacific University will be speaking about “Philosophical Perspectives on Animals” at Lewis & Clark Law School on January 20th from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in McCarty Classroom 1.

Michelle Pawliger J.D. Candidate 2013 Lewis & Clark Law School
Michelle with Rogue, a rescue she helped rehabilitate at Sanctuary One.
Michelle at the Oregon Coast.
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