Monday, June 18, 2007

One Thing You'll Always Hear ...

... as a law student is ... "What kind of lawyer do you want to be?"

Not only is it a super tough question, it usually puts me into a spin. I start feeling overwhelmed because I don't REALLY know that much about the law yet ... I start feeling as though I have no direction, because I REALLY don't know the answer to that question.

With a background in technology and health care, and a passion for the protection of rights and freedoms, I didn't know where I wanted to end up. I was leaning towards intellectual property, because it made sense (with the technology background) ... but the more I looked into it, I realized that I wasn't getting fired-up over the idea of trademarks and copyrights.

How important is it to get fired up about something? When I go back and read things that I've written when I'm fired up about an issue, when I feel somewhat passionate, somewhat righteous, somewhat angry, or somewhat appalled over something, the words I put together seem to be more powerful, more convincing, more persuasive, and even more artistic. While this may seem to be common sense to many of you, I finally realized that the only way that I can truly be the best advocate that I can be is if I am fired up about the issue I'm arguing.

So .. what does get me fired up? Feminist law, and the idea of sexual discrimination cases, anything in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms class that we took (my best mark in 1st year law school) ... but when it comes to the feminist law area, I don't know that I want to make my career in it. The issues are so close to home, that I think working in this area would be too much for me. I want to be able to pursue these issues on a personal level, on my own time. So ... where does that leave me?

I came across this site which I posted back in May on my blog:

On here, there was one story in particular that twigged some kind of neural dance in my brain. Here's the story:

After reading it ... I got fired up. All the aspects of law that I want to put together ... finally ... have come together for me. Technology, health care, rights protection ... it all fits in privacy law. The power imbalance is extraordinary in health care settings especially; patients truly are at the mercy of their health care providers, and there is SOOO much information that we trust providers to take care of on our behalf.

My summer job with the Alberta Cancer Board has given me an inside perspective for the way that patient information is protected by a large Albertan health provider. It has cemented for me that there is still so much work to be done in terms of the law and policy and setting standards in a technical context as opposed to an information flow context.

I have had an epiphany. I think I want to be a privacy lawyer.


Cappy said...

Have you considered being human rights lawyer?

Maybe YOU could be the next Louise Arbour. lol. I love the, "it could be YOU!" thing.

Lisa Hutch said...

I have TOTALLY thought about it, and I think I'll especially want to dabble in it, but for my focus, I really wanted something that will draw on the technology skill set I developed in my undergrad and my work experience.

Arbour is definitely an amazing woman. She got to weigh in on some pretty interesting cases while on the SCC ... sigh. Who knows where I'll end up. With my luck I'll take tax law next year and love it more than anything ... how unromantic and undramatic! Hahahahaha.