"When I was 8 years old, I handed my dad a folded up sheet of notebook paper and asked him for an autograph. Of course, he was very happy to sign it for me and handed it back, only for me to unfold it and reveal a contract I had written for double my weekly allowance. On a more serious note, it is becoming increasingly important in today's digitalized and commercialized world to be aware of what rights we're signing away each time we blindly hit 'I agree,' and on a broader note, to be aware of the laws that govern us and how to apply them.
Fast forward to when I was 14 years old, I had the opportunity to be a part of a program called Youth & Government, where I was able to write a bill and present it in the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. While I was there, I ran into my district Representative and recognized him, striking up a conversation and mentioning that I was his constituent. On a whim, he invited me to his bill signing later that day with Governor Jay Inslee: a completely random chance occurrence. I decided to take it. There I was, in Governor Inslee's office, and absolutely terrified. But what he said then really stuck with me. He told me it was so important what we were doing, that youth were getting involved with the law and making our voices heard.
When I was 14 years old in Governor Inslee's office, I wasn't even an American citizen yet. Even if I had been of age, I wouldn't have had the right to vote. Yet there I was, feeling like my voice was truly being heard. That feeling of empowerment at such a young age was absolutely unforgettable. What if this experience was shared between students across all of America? What if we all learned how to exercise our rights and felt that same feeling that we are powerful, our voices matter?
In August of 2019, I was taking a Lyft ride and mentioned to my driver that I wanted to be a corporate attorney after my graduation. He told me that what amazed him the most about lawyers is that they know their rights and that they're not afraid to stand up for them through persuasive, well-worded communication. I just remembered thinking that these are qualities every leader should possess, not just future attorneys. And thus, Legally Ours was born. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, Legally Ours seeks to build the principled, knowledgeable leaders of the future who are not afraid to speak truth to power: to hold corporations accountable, to demand more from politicians, and to create change in their communities across every profession."