At the Cast Iron Building on 7th and Arch Streets in Center City Philadelphia, altruistic lawyers attempt to balance their passion for helping under-resourced Philadelphians with their most challenging cases ranging from custody hearings to accusations of severe domestic violence.
The culture here is completely the opposite of that on campus. Here self-help is not a presumed natural ability, nor is thinking about other’s stifling one’s own career path. I was drawn to spend my summer here for this exact reason. I was drawn to the value provided by this experience. But more importantly, I was drawn to the idea of being able to help people who have had experiences similar to mine.
At PLA, those with money are rejected. Those with simpler cases are put on the backburner. The most important client is determined by need. The horrible stories that one encounters here are gruesome. The life stories worthy material for a best-selling book. I am drawn to PLA for the possibility of transitioning from being a victim to being my own person is perhaps the most important aspect at this point in my life.
I am a year from graduating from college, and all of the past experiences will no longer be a part of my future. I see this summer as an opportunity to pay my dues to my community, which extends far across the country. To all of those in need of assistance, or at least lend an emphatic ear.