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July 20, 2022

Open Letter to Elephant Journal & its Mindful Community: Why I Subscribed.

 

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I hang my gritty law bling on Elephant Journal as a Legally Blonde Benefactor.

Dear beloved Elephant Journal community,

I’ve just updated my account to “benefactor.”

In the process, I wanted to extend my heartfelt appreciation to you for your patience with me as a member and a community writer. At the same time my annual account was expiring for the first time, my first year working as a paralegal and legal advocate, then legal analyst, went from ultra responsibility to mad opportunity to legally-blonde-in-awe.

While you were emailing me to update my information, I was Head of Development at a nonprofit law firm tasked with making sure we hit our $30,000 goal at our charity gala—while still being threatened by COVID-19—so that we could keep legal services free for the senior citizens of Santa Cruz, at a dire time, after foregoing major fundraising in 2020-2021 (due to the pandemic).

The week after the gala, I had zero time to downshift before I landed a contract position for the city attorney in the heart of Silicon Valley, closing federal cases. The kind of cases you hear about in the news, the ones that imprint on your soul with images that stay with you post-shredder. And all of this while still working part-time for a private attorney in estate planning where I’ve been expanding my knowledge of law in interpersonal settings and finance (imagine crossing crypto and trust funds). I’m a budding investor now, and I buy stock in the $80 shampoo instead of buying the $80 shampoo; that’s the game women were never intended to figure out. Most importantly, it has been a privileged whirlwind working for three unique, high-powered legal boss babes with a crammed, Airbnb-needing, overlapping legal schedule.

Then Roe hit. And you must know, the legal community was dropping cuss bombs that day. It was nearly impossible to focus at work. I saw your abortion articles, and well, everyone’s abortion articles. My inbox was hemorrhaging. I was in shock and reflexively passion-tweeting while grappling with how I felt emotionally, legally, feministly—especially from my nuanced f*ckgirl perspective.

Luckily, I follow some profound accounts (including Elephant) and their perspectives are helping me come to terms with what this “legal earthquake,” as my favorite Con Law professor Elizabeth Joh put it, means.

So, my sincere and grandest thanks for being there when this writer took a needed pause with a woke breath. It wasn’t because I had nothing to say, but so much to say, and finding the time to say it, and how to say it is important to me. After all, this mindful f*ckgirl is introspective and passionately calm in chaos, not a reactive aggressor.

I look forward to writing more when the feeling words come with the lenses I’m currently acquiring and sharpening. If I have let you down, dear readers, in any way, I apologize. I did not foresee the mental challenge but also the gift of juggling nonprofit law, private law, and government law in my first year as an employed and expanding legal and social justice advocate. Frankly, I’ve been beside myself at the cases I’ve touched and I look forward to seeing how they’ll inform me as a writer.

I can’t think of a better endeavor than a lifetime of Elephant Journal to hang some gritty law bling on while I research if a woman can sue SCOTUS for attempted murder. You should know that the work that earned it is what gives so much fuel and meaning to the outpouring of words that drops, often effortlessly, from all the talent you lovingly create space for here—and that is what I admire so.

To quote Benny Drama, the White House intern, “Democracy is on the line.”

Compassionate thanks,
Jodi Felton, Mindful F*ckgirl

 

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