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Man-I`s Blog

Howard (Man-I) Beckford

May 27, 2009

Alumn-I & I Inna Rub-a-dub Style

It has been almost four years since the class of ’09 sat down to write our personal statements, required for law school admission.  In four months we will be writing attorney affirmations on behalf of our clients. This fact gives support to the words of a great African King who once stated, "gone are the days when a good heart and noble intentions were enough to bring about positive change; a leader today must also possess the proper education required to create a better society.”

There will always be an abundance of people and even some “friends” who will attempt to dissuade you from embarking on the journey to become an attorney (It’s too expensive, difficult, time consuming, the games section of the LSAT is simply impossible). Some advice should not be taken. After earning my law degree, I can say with reasonable certainty, that law school is very doable. It was straightforward, but not simple. Ninety percent of the task is to know, and not believe that you will succeed. You must be prepared for late nights, long hours of studying, moments of self-doubt and the potential for fractured relationships along the way.

The quest to become a lawyer requires tremendous discipline and extreme commitment. Everyone wants to become a lawyer, until they begin studying for the LSAT.

A law degree has the potential to make one a more informed citizen, with the ability and responsibility to support and assist your fellow man in protecting his inalienable rights. Whatever your position is on Iraq, you will have a better reasoned and more succinct view, if you know how to IRAC.

I remember being very disappointed during grade school, after I received a sub-par grade from my favorite teacher. My mini-depression was ended when my mother asked, “did you do your best?”  I knew that I had not. The point was, if you work as hard as you can in life, failures will be more limited and much more bearable. The same is true for law school.

Graduation was a wonderful experience. I had a chance to see the pride expressed by a poor, young teenage mother of two, who sacrificed everything she could so as to send her children to the best grade school available in her rural community. It was also an opportunity to express my appreciation to PW, LG and all the professors in attendance for their hard work over the years. The most important profession under the sun is that of a teacher. I am more certain of this fact than ever before.

The most rewarding part of Graduation ‘09 was a standing ovation given to our friends and family for always being there to extend financial, emotional and loving support before and during our law school careers.

Finally, in the words of a Jamaican prophet, “Good things do not get old, they become antique.”

I will always have classic memories of my time spent at Pace University School of Law, from studying the intricacies of international law to riding motor bikes across a West African beach while enjoying the most beautiful of sun sets.




Howard (Man-I) Beckford

4L Day (Class of 2009)

international law; criminal law and immigration law

May Pen, Jamaica

Undergraduate degree:
BA in History and Sociology from St. Lawrence University

Human Rights In Action (HRIA) selection committee member; Secretary, Black Law Student Association (BLSA)