Pre-flections on the Law: Emily Lahl

I initially became interested in pursuing a career in public service after interning for a non-profit organization, the Center for Bioethics and Culture. The organization focused on the ethical issues surrounding women and fertility and worked on awareness and policy. I was stunned at the lack of information available to women who were making huge decisions about their health and the future. Often times, the women we worked with were physically and emotionally harmed because no one was championing for their well-being. As a result of that experience I knew I wanted to pursue advocacy work. I was also interested in law and crime and how advocacy intersected with those issues. To gain exposure to this work, I volunteered at the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office in college. My experience was eye-opening. I was struck by the destructive effect crime has on individuals and the community and I was inspired by the tangible impact prosecutors have on people’s lives. My experiences at those internships instilled in me a desire to advocate for the vulnerable and to seek justice. I decided to go to law school in order to become a prosecutor.

This year, I was a recipient of a scholarship from the Women’s Section of the Contra Costa Bar Association. I was so grateful to have received that scholarship not only to help offset the costs of bar preparation, but also because it was incredibly meaningful to have been supported by a group of lawyers who believe in me and the impact I hope to make as an attorney.  I am keenly aware of the privilege it is to pursue my education, to choose the profession I am passionate about and to have been given opportunities that have made me a better person and will make me a better attorney. Because of those opportunities, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. This is why I want to pursue a career centered around public service, doing work that reflects my values and positively impacts people’s lives. I believe being a prosecutor will be intellectually challenging, fulfilling and exciting. I am sure that at times it will be difficult and frustrating. I know I will make mistakes. I hope they will not be on the record. I hope on the easy days and the hard days I remember why I started.