• Bereza Photography

Law Student Confidential's Final Chapter: Tap Me In, World, I am a Student No More

The final chapter in a project allowing me to witness and learn more about my peers. Now, as we all go our separate ways, here is a glimpse of my motivation behind moving my life & family to Missoula, Montana to pursue my legal education. This is me.​


As many who know me know, most simply, I chose to attend law school in order to pursue a passion-point, maximizing my own capacity in response to human trafficking. My hope, my ambition, my goal is to work for a non-governmental organization (NGO) such as Global Alliance Against Trafficking In Women, FAIR Girls, UNICEF, Open Society, United Nations, or similar ideally with Eastern European impact.


I was able to leave the workforce having had a fulfilling career and the potential for upward mobility exclusively due to my privilege. I come from a well-established foundation of financial, physical, and emotional security. That said, 2016 shook me. Through deliberate decision-making and pro/con lists, my husband agreed to take a three year ‘hit’ with me, pack up, move to Missoula, Montana, and make a temporary life here because we believed in the return on our investment in me.


Daughter of an engineer and a nurse, analytical system-thinking with an emphasis on well-being is the lens I wear. The more I learn of the involuntary movement of humans throughout the world via means of power and control manipulation, the more I yearn to engage with both individualized remedies as well as systemic, global change.


Now, reflecting on my time as a law student, I realize what I am drawn to is, in-fact, conflict resolution and, by extension, conflict. Dare I say I am fascinated with the collision between forces of experience, expression, and resources. Law school, internship(s), and community service revealed to me patterns of abuse in conflict. I’ve consumed knowledge devouring books such as the following in furtherance of gaining better understanding:

  • No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder

  • The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America by Sarah Deer

  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel A. van der Kolk

  • Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

These past three years exposed me to the truth that intentional generation of conflict is used as a tool. I see the management and authorization of who is granted a voice of authority in spaces of conflict conveying the values of a society. Politicians and legal professionals occupy a unique space in our current iteration of society. Frankly put, the way the United States specifically manages conflict is wildly askew, but the best way I know how to combat a broken system is from knowing it inside and out to discover levers I could pull to effectuate potential change. Additionally, while exploring the nuances of the American legal machine, I have discovered hopeful space in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Concurrent with and interwoven in my legal studies, I have discovered a network of interdisciplinary warriors who have introduced me to opportunities arising both in the formal and informal spaces of conflict resolution.


Now, COVID-19 provides daily, hourly, by the minute reminders that the conflict-based atrocities are occurring at higher and higher frequencies. Deep within me, I hear the call to respond with even more fervor than I did in 2016. For this moment, I have prepared. While a forever-learner, I am a student no more.


Tap me in, world.


(c) 2018 BEREZA PHOTOGRAPHY