Today, the Women’s Association of Law Students at my school (Pace) celebrated the achievements of The Honorable Kathie E. Davidson, the Supervising Judge of the (New York State) Ninth Judicial District Family Courts.
In accepting an award from the students, Judge Davidson read portions of the inspirational poem “This Life is Yours!” by Susan Polis Schultz to urge law students to work for justice for women and children. Here is an excerpt:
Take the power
to control your own life
noone else can do it for you
Take the power
to make your life healthy,
and very happy while
you reach for
At this point in the semester, it didn’t take Shakespeare to inspire the students. They responded favorably to this language.
I must admit that I had more than an ounce of resistance to attending yet another weekend event at the law school (when is the semester over again?). Why do the students insist on giving this “Pioneer of Justice and Equality” award every year? Certainly the concept of a “pioneer” is outdated, right?
Celebrating the achievement of women in the legal profession is an opportunity for law students (and law teachers) to pause to recommit to the difficult day-to-day project of achieving justice and equality for all vulnerable people. We remind ourselves of how much women have accomplished through the law, but how much work there still is for the law (and for us) to do
And how much there is to do!