Illustrated by Minji Reem
“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.”
– Roald Dahl
When I joined the Muckraker as the Art Director last year, my reason for doing so (I must confess) was simple and selfish: I needed to escape the realities of law school. Weary from the constant internal battles between the artist and the lawyer, I sought comfort in the idea of escaping from the law and hiding in the arts. And so, I told Sam Wishman that I would “love to do the art stuff” for the Muckraker.
I have indeed done some “art stuff” since then. I’ve drawn many illustrations under the flickering white neon lights of the subway car during my commutes to and from school, missing my stop more times than I can count as I got lost in the creative process. And I sure have found comfort in being able to do what I love.
But when I think of the blissfully naïve sense of excitement that finds me at the beginning of each month when our submissions start to roll in, I stand convinced that the Muckraker has been more than just an “escape”. Every time I start perusing a new piece, I find myself entering a peculiar universe – one where words, ideas, voices, and colors all merge together to form a universe of expression. It’s a twilight zone of sorts, and it is a place that cultivates advocacy in its purest, most creative, and provoking form. It’s a place I dub “imagination.”
The Morningside Muckraker proudly presents to you Issue 10: The Art of Imagination. When we launched our inaugural issue in December 2013, we set out to inspire the CLS community to imagine the definition of “lawyering” beyond the traditional boundaries of course books and lectures. In the nine issues we’ve published since, we’ve seen in this community the very spirit of “The Art of Lawyering” that the Muckraker sought to explore. Issue 10 is the culmination of all we’ve seen so far – advocacy through writing; advocacy through art; the lawyer as a traveler; the lawyer as a listener. The lawyer as a human being – one who sheds tears of empathy for those in suffering, and, wiping away her tears, stands up courageously to fight for those who have been wronged in the name of justice.
As I sit here struggling to gather the words to bid you this bittersweet farewell, I’m coming to realize that the very thing I joined the Muckraker to escape has, over the past two years, become my home. From you, dearest readers, contributors, and fellow muckrakers, I learned the beauty of lawyering through expression. Many are the times I have woken up to your verses of compassion, fallen asleep to your lullabies of hope; I’ve had evenings of, at times, hysterical laughter, mornings of tears. Walking with my eyes glued to my phone, immersed in the spirit of your prose, I’ve tripped over dozens of cobblestones, knocked over flowerpots, and slipped on frozen puddles.
Seasons and lovers came and went; there were times of chaos, and moments of change. But amid all of this, I found hope in the words, the voices, the Art of this community.
I found life in your imagination.