Harvard, Notwithstanding

Janice Brown

By Janice Brown,

I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Montana and my law degree from Gonzaga University. Two schools that I attended mostly because of the proximity and because I didn’t really understand what Harvard (or other great schools) meant. Oh yeah, and I could not have gotten in.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my two schools and serve both of them in advisory ways now (who would have thunk it back when I attended, but that is another story). But, they aren’t Harvard and that scared me when I first joined the profession. There were so many people who have achieved so much more and were innately more intelligent than I could ever aspire to be. 

In time, though I have developed another perspective – Harvard, notwithstanding. I still respect others’ academic, economic, philanthropic, societal and artistic achievements, but now I have come to believe that my special God-inspired talent has a place among the greats. And that belief inspires me, feeds my curiosity, fuels my heart and my audacity. There is something that I was meant to do that is uniquely my calling, that was carved from only my life experiences. That is the same for all of us lawyers. We just forget sometimes. 

It is my calling to remind you.