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Why did I come to law school?

By November 23, 2015December 16th, 2019Uncategorized
The following blog post is by student staff member Olivia Graef.
Organ trafficking. This has to stop. It makes my stomach sick; I can only do so much research on it at one time before I must stop. I can only handle so many stories of children having their eyes gouged out,[1]of organ harvesting done without anesthesia,[2]and of people debilitated from having their organs taken.[3]A desperate person willing to sell his kidney may get as little as $2,500.[4]Others have their organs simply cut out of them with no pay. For instance, China harvests an estimated 11,000 organs a year, and many of these come from political prisoners and a targeted religious group, Falun Gong.[5]

Still it is an extremely difficult challenge due to the extremely high demand; people in wealthy countries demand organs. Their lives are at stake. However, other lives are at stake as well. Who survives? This has resulted in “transplant tourism” or “organ tourism. China has become a huge destination for transplant tourism.[6]Mr. David Matas is a prominent immigration and human rights lawyer who is trying to further expose and end these tragic crimes.[7]“The practice made international headlines in 2006 with a report by Winnipeg-based human rights lawyer David Matas, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. He turned that study into a book, Bloody Harvest: The Killing of Falun Gong for Their Organs.”[8]

The worries of law school pale in comparison, and I become ashamed for ever having harbored so many anxieties over exams, briefs, footnotes, and other deadlines. I forgot why I came to law school as I stumbled through the rule against perpetuities and multiple levels of hearsay exceptions. I never thought I would go to law school. I never saw myself writing up contracts or practicing tax law. But then I encountered the Center for Global Justice. When I realized that lawyers could fight human and organ trafficking through their legal work, I was hooked. I came to law school and am working for the Center for Global Justice in the hopes that they will better prepare me to be more effective in combatting this horrible, bloody trade of human organs. However, the wonderful aspect of the Center for Global Justice is that I do not have to wait to get a J.D. to do legal work on serious human rights issues!