Thoughts….from the minutia
Author, Samantha Sanchez, Contracts and Services Coordinator
This year will be my first time participating in Equal Justice University (EJU). While I’ve been putting it together, this week is the first time EJU has felt real to me. On Tuesday, Linnet Overton, Lisa Primm, our Social Work Master’s program intern Sarah Cooper, and myself traveled to Paris Landing State Park to make preparations for the conference. Seeing the park’s accommodations, smelling the trees and lake, and listening to the birds surrounding it made Paris Landing and EJU more real to me than any amount of event planning ever could.
While I’ve been down in the minutia (a place I enjoy, actually), creating budgets and coordinating logistics, EJU has been building up around me and after seeing Paris Landing – I can see the whole process coming together. With that vision comes the desire to make EJU run as smoothly as possible, so the event can be as valuable as possible to those attending.
That led me to think of the legal aid advocates with whom TALS works. I imagine the idea of serving others often seems more important before the workload sets in. Some civil legal service advocates might even think, “Am I making any difference at all?”
The answer is yes. Yes, advocates are making a difference to each client they serve. For example, as I see every day working on our DCS contracts, when an attorney or paralegal fights for a child in state’s custody, a child gets medical services they need. While an advocate’s work is arduous, they are saving legal lives – one client at a time. That inspires me to keep enjoying the minutia, because, by managing the details, I am contributing to an event that has the opportunity to trickle down to helping our Legal Aid advocates serve their clients even better.
If October comes and at least one person tells me that they think their EJU experience will make them a better advocate, then I’ll know every effort was worth it – the same way I hope our advocates feel at the end of every day.
- Samantha Sanchez