Tuesday, 13 February 2018

My Journey to the New York Bar - Confronted by a stranger

At the beginning of January 2016, I took the day off work and went to London to attend an open day held by BarBri International. Although I had already decided to enroll onto BarBri's U.S bar review course starting in March that year, I wanted to meet some of the course tutors, mentors and other students to get more of an insight into what I had chosen to do.

The open day was very informative and I left knowing that this was exactly what I wanted to do. As I had a bit of time to spare before traveling back to Nottingham, I decided to sit in Cafe Nero and treat myself to a hot chocolate and some cake. Needless to say, in the end I did not get the chance to enjoy the hot chocolate because an inconsiderate stranger intruded on my quiet time!

As I started sipping into the hot chocolate and began reading the literature given to me at the open day, a gentleman sat next to me noticed it and asked me about it. He mentioned that he was a qualified lawyer in England and without using any functioning brain cells linked to awareness, intelligence, empathy and consideration (or maybe not), he said to me "but you have a stammer, why would you want to sit the New York Bar, it's tough." (I guessed he picked up on the stammer during the conversation).

My eyebrows rose up so high and I had to think twice about the ignorant comments I had just heard! I was in disbelief! He kept commenting (as if he was on repeat mode) how someone "like me" should focus more on jobs where I would be more comfortable and where I would not need to speak much because doing the bar exam was overly ambitious and setting myself up for difficulties.

I don't know why I allowed him to keep talking, but when I had heard enough, I abruptly told him to stop talking because I didn't want to hear anymore of his negative comments. When he tried to explain his points of view further by telling me he was only thinking about me (haha yeah right!), I cut him off! I knew exactly what was behind all of this and I was not going to let the negative words infiltrate inside of me to make me question or doubt what I had decided to pursue!

I reminded him that he should be careful about making such comments and not to judge my intellectual and academic ability because of the way I speak. There are lawyers at partner level in law firms who are deaf, some deaf and mute, others who are blind and communicate through an assistant, but their disabilities do not impede from doing their job.

My quest to keep this as private as possible to avoid such situations, still did not impede it from taking place and this is how things are in life. No matter what we do or do not do, they will always be someone who will have something to say. But when we know who we are, what we are doing and why we are doing it, other peoples' comments will not deter us from our goal; in fact it will add more fuel to the fire that is already burning inside of us to keep going, keep pursing, to show to others it can be done! And that is what I did!

I was tired of being put into a box and shoved in the corner. At 27 years old, I decided enough was enough. I should be allowed to pursue what I have faith to pursue, even if I did not meet the status quo. That's what faith is for....to move mountains, jump over hurdles, and break down barriers!

I found the picture I took on the day, of the hot chocolate I did't get to enjoy lol

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