REP-PP Spring 201​7 Blog: ​Selfless Service

Blogger:  Jessica Lesnau

Law School Year:  ​​​​​3L
Placement:  ​Office of Immigration Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington D.C.

Jessica LesnauFrom a young age I was keenly aware that I didn’t want just any career. No, I needed to devote my life’s work to a meaningful pursuit; exactly what that was, I wasn’t sure, but I knew it meant serving people in some capacity.

For a short while I thought I might fancy being a pediatrician. However, that dream was short-lived, as I quickly discovered that my talents lie not in numeric calculations, but in word configurations. History, debate, government, English, and philosophy were among my favorite subjects. I also found that I had no problem standing in front of a group of people and expressing my opinions. As I matured a passion for justice developed in me. If I examine this further, I believe that I am passionate about justice because it is so closely intertwined with selfless service. The promise of a career where I could advocate for justice through selfless service was exactly what I pictured as a young girl when I imagined a meaningful career.

Of course, lawyers are often criticized for being selfish, manipulative, or dishonest. Certainly, the practice of law has produced its fair share of bad apples, and not everyone is interested in a career that integrates service. However, I believe that when lawyers are at their best, they represent a long line of noble stewards of the law who believed it was their calling to serve their communities in a distinctive way, with both their pens and their voices. This is the kind of lawyer Texas A&M invites us to become, if only we will embrace one of its most cherished core values: Selfless Service.

As a law student, I’ve been continually impressed by the devotion to service I have witnessed through my peers, my professors, the larger University, and many (if not most) whom I meet in the profession. Indeed, participating in the Texas A&M Public Interest Law Fellowship—an organization that raises money to provide stipends to students who chose to intern in public interest positions—is one of my most cherished law school memories. In addition, participating in our various pro bono events has been a wonderful way to merge theoretical knowledge with an understanding of the importance of service to the role of a lawyer.

As lawyers, we are uniquely capable of using our time and our talents to serve our world and our communities in ways that no one else can; this is at once a great responsibility and a great gift. To me, being a lawyer means being a selfless servant. The two are intertwined.

I’m honored to be part of a profession that demands the same of me as my childhood self: A meaningful career characterized by service.