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Why Do Legal Work?

Dwight Correctional Center is served educationally by Lewis University, " A Christian Brothers University." Lewis University offers courses entitled Paralegal I and II (16 weeks each), which I have decided to take. According to Lewis University, "the primary purpose of this course is to train inmate law library clerks to possess a level of skill and general knowledge in legal research and writing. The student will develop a knowledge of the specific areas of substantive and procedural law in which they are most likely to assist other inmates who use the institutional law library."

I doubt, for various reasons, that I will become a law library clerk, but aside from that, I still had mixed emotions about originally signing up for the course. I believe that one must like to practice a skill before one can do it well, and I am not fond of the law. In fact, I despise the current lawmaking process, and have nothing but contempt for the current legal system. Would I, then, make an effective paralegal?

You may ask, "Why, then, bother to take the course!" I'm taking it because to better understand how this system works, and to impart that understanding to those who are even more in the dark that I am. But, as I look at recent Supreme Court rulings, I am less and less convinced that this system can be beaten using its own laws. I'm trying not to be pessimistic or fatalistic, and am really hoping that someone can show me a different perspective from which to undertake paralegal studies.



[Editorial Note: The article "The Class Implications of Prisoner Rights Litigation" in this issue was written in response to your letter.]

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