One of my first friends in law school recently got a position as a paralegal at a civil law firm – an established one! – and I’m so happy for her. My heart is actually singing. We still have a Facebook group chat called ‘The Legal Squad’ created in 2016 – the nostalgic vibes are sky-high for this one.
We all started in the same way. Same year, same time, as fresh-faced first-years. Due to our overlapping classes, we had midnight phone calls over Torts (most people add ‘dreaded’ to preface this, but it was one of my favourite units in law school?).
Over the years, our units didn’t quite match, but we kept in contact when our schedules permitted.
I was reflecting spiritually on how Allah sees what’s in our hearts and grants us different opportunities to suit our strengths/what we really want… We are always guided to what we need. Whatever is written for you, it will happen; it may not make sense now.
There is literally no point in comparing yourself to others – I know this specifically because even within our friendship, we have compared ourselves to each other.
Am I moving too slow? Should I be applying for jobs too? Should I have accomplished more at this stage of my degree? Am I falling behind?
I think these thoughts are almost inevitable since our journeys literally started from the same foot; but what defines you is whether you can still cheer for their success, and keep your head high in acknowledging your blessings too.
WE ARE ALL UNIQUELY BLESSED.
This friend I’m writing about is determined for stability – she was the first among us to be working wage-shift, tiring jobs. She is hardworking and responsible: I can envision her steadily working towards a partner in a law firm someday, possibly most likely in civil law. I can see her pro bono volunteering in an area of passion too. Filled to the brim with cash! I think if I were an employer, she would be my ideal employee of choice (even over myself lol, if the work involves a lot of rudimentary and high-priority tasks).
…So it makes sense that among us, she was blessed with: a paralegal wage shift job, placements for experience, and strong networks that acknowledge (and refer!) her value and work ethic. I think she craved stability within a renowned, respectable position: and Allah blessed this (alhumdulilah).
My other friend of the squad is the human embodiment of dopamine and sunshine. She loves balancing a myriad variety things and does this well: she keeps everything to a reasonably high standard – her academics, her extracurriculars, work on the side. Everyone knows her in QUT – not exaggerating when I genuinely think close to our 40K students may have heard/come across her in some way or capacity.
…So it makes sense that she was uniquely recognised as: the most accomplished student leader of the year and I can’t think of a better person for the title: she gives so much of her effort and time into the clubs, societies and everything she does. She has a myriad of other prizes for well-roundedness: and she deserves all of them. I can see her as an incredible representative for the legal profession: maybe balancing five different roles at once, excelling at each. I think she craved recognition for her tireless work and excellence: and Allah blessed this (alhumdulilah).
As for me, I love exploring ideas. My perchance for research is always unquenched; there are few things I enjoy in life more than writing a paper and studying philosophy, jurisprudence and policy. But I am committed to applying theory into practice to advancing the human experience – specifically in human connection. The abstract notions of how we can better support others, but using theory, law and practice to make those changes.
…So it makes sense that I was fortunate to be able to volunteer paralegal so many different CLCs (a shift job would not have been explorative); but was able to balance my want for financial stability with fascinating exposure to policymaking at university. I think this year marks my third year of employment at my university – which offers literally the most flexible schedule anyone could ever ask for. I craved flexibility foremost to explore and learn… but also to be financially stable and relatively independent (I pay for everything except full rent and other bare essentials): and Allah blessed me with this (alhumdulilah).
There were times the other two girls received opportunities that I didn’t (which made me question myself). Sometimes none of us got an opportunity. Sometimes I was the one who had everything change at once for the better; and other times, they were. All three of us received completely different blessings because Allah saw what was in our hearts: if Allah had granted us what we thought we wanted, then I am certain we would all be much, much more restless and less happy.