PBSO Day 1

I absolutely hate getting up early in the morning (I.e. anything before 10 am) and every morning I ask myself WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS. Especially so last week because the mornings last week were all rainy and perfect for sleeping in but I had to be up early for meetings in school, the Amazing Race and FUNival. But in retrospect, I really enjoyed myself, so no complaints!

Right now, I’m on the bus to the Subordinate Courts and I’m just thankful for a seat after standing for more than half an hour. I had an
exciting welcome to my 2 weeks at the sub courts which involved me almost getting run down by a car right outside the sub courts. But that aside, I had an extremely busy first day at work yesterday and that really took me by surprise because past internships involved a lot of sitting around and reading textbooks or case files. But at the same time amidst all the phone calls and walk in cases to the Pro Bono Services Office (PBSO), I really felt very useless and helpless. Useless because having only completed my first year in law school, I still actually know next to nothing. So when people come to me with their problems, I don’t quite know what to do. In fact, I think I approached the PBSO staff more than 10 times in for the first few phone calls I had to make. Helpless because at the PBSO, all we can do is help them to arrange for a slot at the legal clinic with our volunteer lawyers and we cannot provide advise. But because the demand for pro bono services is so high, we have very stringent eligibility criteria. So it feels horrible to have to turn someone away even when your heart goes out to them and you wish you can do something to help their situation.

Yesterday’s experience really made me feel a sense of urgency to hurry complete my remaining 3 years in law school, pass the bar and then start practicing so that I can actually do SOMETHING to help.


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