“I hope by practicing thoughtful client-centered advocacy, I can empower my clients to retain agency and control over their lives…”
Naomi Nattrass Moses participated in the Allard Law History Project Student Survey in 2016. The Project intends to track Naomi's career and build upon this historical record in the future. Naomi's responses as a student are below:
Why did you choose to do law?
I chose to practice law because I wanted a professional career that had the potential to drive positive and progressive social change. I wanted to do meaningful work that was intellectually stimulating and grappled with some of the most important human problems of our time.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
I hope to assist people in addressing their real and urgent legal issues. I hope by practicing thoughtful client-centered advocacy, I can empower my clients to retain agency and control over their lives, while also supporting them through difficult or complex times. I hope to do so in the public interest and in a way that is socially responsible. I hope to become a solid, capable, and reliable advocate for clients, and to provide them with helpful advocacy and supportive advice when they need it the most.
Describe your most memorable class or professor.
I always had a great time in Nikos Harris' criminal law classes. He is funny and engaging, and his classes are absolutely riveting to watch. Efrat Arbel is a wonderful instructor and mentor, and I've been grateful for her support and leadership throughout my three years of law school.
What was the most challenging thing about law school?
Managing the workload and stress was always a challenge, but the biggest challenge was really holding onto and finding ways to be included in the law school community while also remaining unconventional and essentially uncompromising in my convictions. Working doggedly to ensure that the law school community became more inclusive, welcoming, and progressive was a constant and very rewarding challenge.
What has been your best experience in law school?
One of my best experiences was working with the Innocence Project, particularly when the Project students participated in a unique conference that brought exonerees, academics, lawyers, and students together in Orlando, Florida. The people I met there will stay with me for a long time. The other was mooting with my team at the 2015 Laskin Moot in Montreal. Preparing for the competition was very long and difficult, but representing my school was wonderful. I found I actually enjoyed the pressure and stimulation of presenting arguments and answering judges' questions, and I learned a great deal from the experience.
How do you think the law or the legal profession will develop over the course of your career?
I hope that the law and the legal profession will learn to listen to and include divergent voices, and particularly those of people who have been shut out of the legal system for so long. It is vital that we increase the diversity of the profession, and I hope to see strides in this area in my lifetime. I also hope that the profession will soon consider the slashing of legal aid funding to be an unacceptable act in the face of a deplorable lack of access to justice. It would be wonderful to work in a legal profession where people with pressing legal issues can have them resolved with the help of legal counsel in a timely manner, regardless of their income.
*If you are a current student at the Allard School of Law and would like to participate in this initiative, please contact us for more information.