Adversity Is My Angel: The Life and Career of Raúl H. Castro

By Raúl H. Castro; Jack L. August Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE LAW

Applying and gaining acceptance to law school in the immediate post-war years differed entirely from today’s process, which requires high academic achievement, competitive LSAT scores, and three or more letters of recommendation to a selection committee. Nevertheless, my path, unique compared to most, had its share of blind obstacles to overcome, disappointments, and no small amount of luck. I compressed an enormous amount of life, learning, study, and work into each day between the fall of 1946 and the spring of 1949. As the new decade dawned, I emerged as a private attorney with a practice in Tucson, Arizona.

In the first week of September 1946 David Wolfe and his new wife, Jean, accompanied me on the two-and-a-half hour drive from Douglas to Tucson. I had little money and no place to stay. After scouring the Arizona Daily Star’s classified ads, I found an inexpensive place owned by some nuns at Third Street and Seventh Avenue, seven blocks north of downtown Tucson. I rented the screened-in porch on the front of the house, and David and Jean rented one of the apartments in the house.

Next I headed to the student employment office at the University of Arizona (UA). Dr. Victor Kelly, whom I had met in Flagstaff, headed the department, and I told him that I needed a job. “I want to go to law school,” I told him, “but I don’t have the funds. Can you help me get a job?” He ignored my résumé and college transcript, stated that there were no openings, and that I should seek employment at the Mexican Consulate. I replied, “Dr. Kelly, I’m not a Mexican citizen. I’m an American citizen. I’ve got no business going to the Mexican Consulate. They help Mexicans, not Americans.”1

Disgusted, I left his office and went directly to the liberal arts building where I met with Dr. Richard A. Harvill, who was the dean of liberal arts.2 I audaciously told him, “Dr. Harvill, you have a fine Spanish Department, but it can be improved, and I can improve it for you.”

He looked at me quizzically and said, “What do you mean?” I replied

-33-

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