My Journey (so far) To Supreme Court Justice
My journey started long before I was even born, with my grandparents and my parents who decided there is more to life than what is ascribed and given. Generation after generation the desire to succeed has been passed down and strengthened as the lineage grows. My grandparents, business owners, and hard workers in their own time, with little education pushed their families forward. My parents, with the value of education reinforced, became professionals and entrepreneurs in their own fields. Ultimately there is me, with the grit and determination, the value of education deeply ingrained, and the necessary resourcefulness to achieve what I set my mind to. After all, what are we if not the amalgamation of all the people that surround us?
So what did I set my mind to?
Well, I can tell you it only took one quick search at the age of 16. A distracted ‘requirements for supreme court justice’ search in the middle of my high school economics class. That started it all. I encourage you to search it up, you will find that the Constitution of these United States does not enumerate any (you read me right, ANY) requirements to sit on the bench. Not age, not gender, not education, not even citizenship. In practice, that is obviously not the case but in theory that is all my 16-year-old heart needed to hear to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my years on this Earth. Law.
I often joke about how I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice before I wanted to be a lawyer, but it was truly not a joke. The requirements, or lack thereof, to sit on the Supreme Court set me free. They allowed me to truly embody who I was. Before the dream took shape, I only knew I wanted to be a resource and I wanted to help my community. I thought about running for office or starting a business but none of them felt exactly right.
The vague concept of law refined its shape during my undergraduate education. College was a feat in and of itself but knowing it was ultimately going to be a vehicle to a law education made it more challenging. I spent my entire college education crafting my curriculum to better equip me to have the skills and resources to be a fierce and knowledgeable advocate. My university offered courses like Constitutional Law, International Law, Business Law and I took advantage of all of them.
However, undergrad me had no idea what was to come. After undergraduate, stuff got very real very quickly. I had to prepare for the LSAT, which is everything except an intuitive, common-sense test. I had to craft a personal statement, diversity statement, my resume and countless statements trying to explain to all of the institutions where I saw myself thrive that I was worth it and not only was I worth it but I was needed in the field of law. The law school admissions process forces you to learn more about yourself than you ever had a chance to explore and not all of what you learn is easy to digest.
And after all that hard work, all the help from mentors and amazing organizations it became a waiting game. There were some upsets, some surprises, but ultimately I ended up exactly where I needed to be. Law school, the first step in a tall ladder of hard work to achieve the ultimate goal.
That is where you find me at present. With heavy daily readings on the nitty-gritty concepts of law that are anything but second nature. Common sense isn’t fully thrown out the window during law school but it for sure takes a vacation when dealing with definitions of words that are not as obvious as you may think they are. Never have I ever hated a word more than I do the word intent. Like for any other experience, the saving grace and sliver of sanity at the end of a rough day is the relationships made, and never are they more important than when tough times are shared.
As a first-year law student, I get to look back at all the facets of my life thus far and realize there are struggles in each and every one of them. What is most important, however, is that I get to remind myself that I was able to get through the days and challenges that seemed impossible in that moment. So whenever a challenge presents itself that feels larger than life, I remember that I built my dream career around an online search, the words of a 234-year-old document, and unabashed resilience. If I could do that, I can become the second Hispanic woman sitting on the Supreme Court, no sweat.