By Ms. JD • June 10, 2009•Other Issues
Ms. JD is pleased to feature Sarah Mazzochi, winner of Ms. JD's Public Interest Summer Scholarship. Here is her winning essay submission:
I believe my generation fully expects to have it all, have it all be fabulous-- career, husband, family—and not compromise. My mother spent the majority of her life making sure her husband’s life was easy, her family was well taken care of, with her own wants and needs a distant third. But like many Americans, divorce, the economic downturn, and a career change later, my mother stood at a crossroads a few years back. Stay with her husband, my father, and try and make it work? Stay with a failing family business and try and make it work? Stay with a house that’s soon to be foreclosed? Stay in a dead-end job? For the first time in a long while, she chose what’s best for her and she was terrified.
Today she’s going back to school and happier than she’s been in quite some time even with the swirling uncertainty of the future. Twenty years ago I seriously doubt she would have had the courage to do that, but I’m so proud that she did. Maybe that’s why she encouraged me so much to become a lawyer. She never had her own source of income. She was never independent from her husband in any important way. Depending solely on men hasn’t done her any favors and she made sure that I knew, to have it all, I’d have to get it all myself.
I believe women of my generation believe all things are possible but don’t see attaining a husband as the golden ticket it once was. But while my generation might not believe marriage or family is the magical key to happiness the way older generations might, we also have a greater sense of entitlement in our careers. We are less willing to accept a job that pays us less (or not at all!) than we feel we deserve or work hours not convenient to what we think our schedule should be. Yet, we are the generation that grew up volunteering and giving back to the community. It still baffles my grandmother that to graduate from high school I was required to volunteer a certain number of hours. At my law school I have to do at least 20 hours of public interest work and most people do many more hours than the minimum.
I myself want to enter a career in public interest, which pays peanuts compared to what most lawyers make. So while we might be the entitlement generation, we are also generation “give back”. Who says my generation has to be consistent? And who says we really can’t have it all? m Brown University with a degree in History in 2006.
Sarah Mazzochi's Biography:
She is currently a rising 3L at Roger Williams University School of Law. Since starting law school, she’s worked for a judge in England, got a certificate in European Union Law in Portugal and spent time in France, Spain, Greece and Turkey. Last summer she was a fellow with the Discrimination and National Security Initiative at Harvard University where she worked on legal academic publications in the area of international religious civil liberty. This year she joined the Jessup International Moot Court at Roger Williams and her team made the advanced rounds of the Northeast Super-Regional and won a brief writing award while she individually ranked among the top oralists. She’s the current Executive Articles Editor for the Ashburn Institute Transnational Law Journal and is also an author for the upcoming Rhode Island Prisoner’s Rights Handbook. Sarah is the President of her school’s chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and Vice President of the ACLU. This summer she’s working at the ACLU Voting Rights Project in Atlanta, Georgia and as a research assistant to Professor Laurie Barron, Executive Director of the Feinstein Institute for Legal Service.