Corinne M. Croucher

Shooting for the Stars

When I was eight years old my brother and I were in our shared bathroom getting ready for bed. We were discussing what we would do when we were "grown up," and I declared that I wanted to be an astronaut. My brother looked at me and told me that "girls cannot be astronauts." Upset and confused I immediately went to tattle tell on my older brother. My mom then sat both of us down and told us that we could do anything in this world that made us happy and that nothing could stop us. As an eight year old little girl, this satisfied the worries that my brother had implanted in my mind.

At that time, I did not know that my mother's idealistic view of this world is a far stretch from reality. Growing up in a middle class with wonderful educational opportunities kept me naive from the harsh realties that many women face in the United States and the rest of the world. Fortunately, I believed my mother, heeded her advice and decided to do exactly what I wanted to do: law.

I made my firm decision to enter law school during the fall semester of my senior year of college. I had an amazing professor for a Gender Violence anthropology class. In class we read and discussed issues that ranged from female circumcision to the difficulties women face when they pursue sexual assault charges. The stories that I read and the people whom I met through that class forever changed my view on the continued challenges and hardships women face. As a law student and especially since I began working at the Texas Civil Rights Project, my awareness of the plight of women has grown.

Luckily, I live in the United States and have been given every opportunity to fulfill my dreams. In addition, my law school has made substantial steps to include women and minorities in the teaching community. Yet I know that as a future female attorney, there are steps that need to be made. In all of the most powerful law firms of the nation, the majority of partners are white older men. From experience with my family, friends and community, I know that if you want to be a mother and successful attorney you have a much tougher road to travel that many others in your field. As a law student and future lawyer, I do not plan on being complacent with the current system.

As someone who has had an educational opportunity, I know that this is one way that women can change the legal field. In addition, I feel that by working with women who are less fortunate and by giving them the legal access to become stronger, I am strengthening women everywhere. Hopefully I can make a difference in the lives of other women, and that this involvement will have a positive impact on women lawyers everywhere.

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