Reflection by Rachel Ijams: Judge Crane

Last week, the mentoring circle went downtown to visit Judge Crane. After braving an incredibly slow 2 train and the unforgiving subway doors (I still have a bruise on my upper arm), we made it to the courthouse. Judge Crane was kind enough to take the time to introduce herself and explain the purpose of the court before letting us watching two hearings from the jury box. In just that short time, we were able to observe some classic courtroom scenes: lawyers insulting each other, lawyers flipping through thick stacks of evidence, even a frustrated court clerk.

The civil cases on the docket (at least in my understanding) consisted of one debate regarding whether a man should be considered a true employee (for insurance purposes) and the other was settling a disagreement regarding a debt between the two clients. Although we only witnessed a small step in the overarching court case, I now have a greater understanding of the many small steps that go into each ruling.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the visit, in my opinion, was hearing about Judge Crane’s commitment to her position. Despite being overworked and exhausted she still conveyed an incredible amount of dedication to her duties as a federal judge. Despite the frustration, she recognizes the importance of every decision she makes and is willing to work to make sure each of these decisions is the right one. Although she happens to be a judge in federal civil court, her engagement and sense of responsibility and justice are traits to pursue in any position within the legal field.

Rachel Ijams is a First-Year in Columbia College studying History. On campus, Rachel enjoys tutoring elementary school students and working with various political groups. She is most interested in both criminal and international law, but is excited to learn about other areas as well!

Ingrid Pan