Before I started Rocket Matter, I didn’t really know the first thing about lawyers. I’m a software engineer, and I only started a legal tech company because my lawyer friends were complaining about their terrible software options. With only slight exaggeration, I can say my only exposure to the legal profession was unflattering jokes and LA Law.
Then I got to know my clientele and met thousands of attorneys at trade shows. I spoke to criminal defense attorneys who explained to me that they were the last line of defense for our constitutional rights. I met consumer bankruptcy lawyers who were helping people in desperate situations fight institutions much bigger than themselves. And I met family lawyers who help people get through some of the most difficult and traumatic experience of their lives. Wherever I looked and whomever I spoke with, I was encountering a lawyer helping someone weather a tough situation.
Helping lawyers became a mission of ours. At our monthly staff-wide meetings, we discuss the critical role lawyers play in society. I explain that business and administrative tasks are often overwhelming for them, and it is our job to minimize those things so that our lawyers can do their jobs. It fires us up and gives meaning to our work.
Over the past weekend, lawyers from the ACLU delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump’s immigration executive order. In one weekend, lawyers elevated their status to those of the firemen in the wake of September 11th: National heroes.
Those of us who are not in the legal business can march, spread news, organize, and donate cash. But the people on the front lines are attorneys. We are just supplying the materiel.
It is not unreasonable to think that Donald Trump’s immigration ban on Friday will go down in American history as a very dark chapter. It’s possible that in hindsight, this executive order will share a place with the Alien and Sedition acts, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the internment of Japanese civilians during World War 2.
Americans want to be safe, as do I. But we cannot let fear erase where we came from. We are a nation of immigrants, and many of us, like me, are here because our ancestors were trying to escape persecution.
This is not a Trump versus Hillary conversation about campaign promises. This is not about jobs, economic policy, or Obamacare. We are talking about a real executive order affecting real human beings. It is un-American and immoral. So I join my role models and much more successful tech CEOs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Sergei Brin in protesting this policy.
To the lawyers entering this fight to protect fundamental American ideals, I wish you the best of luck. Let us know what you need. We have your back.