By Julia Osmolia
I am often asked the question, “Julia, what made you want to apply to law school?” The truth is, for a long time I had no idea. When I was younger, I remember dressing up as a lawyer for “Career Day” in elementary school, and watching Law & Order over Hannah Montana. However, I never had that “aha moment” when I suddenly fell in love with the career back then. Instead, my passion for the career grew gradually, and eventually I accepted an internship at a District Attorney’s Office to affirm that I truly wanted to be a lawyer.
My Internship Experience
During my internship, I witnessed a deep disconnect between defendants and their attorneys. I noticed that most of the time, the defense attorneys would use the same tired monologue for multiple defendants. There was a lack of personalized message relayed to the judge about the defendants’ struggles, especially for those defendants struggling with addiction. To me, this didn’t seem right. I believe that a strong argument for the defendant should be personalized because everyone struggles differently, and every case is different. I was also alarmed by the amount of underprivileged defendants who desire, but cannot afford, continuous counseling and treatment after their pretrial diversion, the lack of which which increases the chance of a defendant relapsing.
I left my internship understanding why, even as a little girl, I felt that this career was my calling. I’m a caretaker by nature, and I am not afraid to stand up for someone who cannot or will not stand up for him or herself. I’m protective and defensive of those I care about and of those I feel are being wronged, and to me that’s what a lawyer should be. I want to know my clients and personalize my arguments for their specific needs. I aspire to ensure that affordable treatment is made available to my clients until they feel they have successfully recovered from their addiction. I want my clients to each feel like they are a person and not just another file on my desk. And because I witnessed a significant amount of attorneys not practicing law this way, I decided to apply to law school.