Meaghan Driscoll became a Krista Colleague in 2011 at the moment she realized her plan to become a lawyer was missing a vital step. She wanted to advocate for the poor, but she couldn't advocate for people she didn't know! Working side by side with marginalized women and children at St. Margaret's Shelter in Spokane, she came to see life and the legal system through their eyes. Today the second-year student and Thomas More Scholar at Gonzaga University School of Law is discerning her next step in her field of public interest law.
When her peers focus on career mobility, they aren't always exploring "'what type of person do I want to be?'" she says. Meaghan approaches her future by asking herself deeper questions about her vision and values. "I see discernment as a community effort," she says. "I make a point of talking to people with different backgrounds and who I assume would have different insights. I also try to pay attention to what's going on with me emotionally and how I'm responding to what they are saying." Spending time with Krista colleagues and other former volunteers who share her service-motivated perspective is also helpful. Recently, after an organic process of reflecting on everyone's input and her own principles and feelings, she decided not to pursue an available opportunity.
"Being nurtured to think broadly, to put yourself in someone else's shoes, and consider the perspective of disenfranchised people completely changes how you view a legal case," she says. "Knowing ‘the other' changes how you look at things." Meaghan's next big challenge is to resolve her tension between wanting to tackle systemic change by focusing on policy, or trying to create change from the ground up by working with clients in a legal practice. "I get joy out of working with people," she says. "I wish I could do both!