Thursday, April 28, 2016

Summer Plans

This summer promises to be a fun, exciting experience for me. I have an externship lined up with a federal magistrate judge which will begin shortly after the Spring semester ends. I plan on working in chambers full-time for about eight to ten weeks. I am very much looking forward to it, as it was my first choice for a summer activity. I briefly considered looking for a paid position in the private sector, but decided it would be best at this early stage of my education to extern with a judge. I realized that the only draw towards a private firm would be the ability to earn money, which is usually a very compelling reason to do something. In the long run, though, I knew it would be best to gain experience which could better prepare me to earn an income in a year or so.

Loyola’s staff did help me along the way to securing the position, and their assistance was integral. But that’s not to minimize the individual effort that one must do as a student to make things happen. The process of manually sending out application packets “blindly” to judges was very time-consuming and there was a very real fear that they would not even bother opening them. My career counselor, Jolene Horn, and Loyola’s externship coordinator, Rebecca Delfino, did give me very valuable advice that would help me appear attractive enough as an extern candidate to get my foot in the door. They helped me punch up my resume and cover letter, and gave me interview tips that helped me stand out as someone that a judge and their clerks would want to spend time with. In the end, I had an interview which lead directly to an offer.

Time will tell if there will be time for “fun” this summer. I will likely spend my off-hours playing with and taking care of my daughter. My wife and I are hoping to do a bit of travel as well. She works at TOMS shoes and I may accompany her on one the company’s “giving trips” where they hand out shoes in developing countries. One other activity I am planning on is to take “improv” acting/comedy classes. I plan on pursuing litigation, which means I need to increase my public speaking abilities. I have heard that these classes help dispel any fears of public speaking; and also I’m a huge comedy nerd so it should be just fun and entertaining as well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Season of Change: To be continued...

There’s something alluring about working for the District Attorney’s office. I’m not sure if it is the opportunity to work on the cases, the courtroom experience, or professional relationships fostered. Either way, I will be rolling up my sleeves and returning for a second summer in the Victim Impact Unit. I spent last summer working on intimate partner violence and child molestation cases. My tasks ranged from transcribing 911 calls to preparing a motion for a murder trial. Every task presented was an opportunity to impact a case. I felt very connected to my work, proud to be apart of a team, and honored to shield victims.

Law school engrained confidence in my own intuition and capabilities. As I prepare to enter Summer 2016, I am considering applying to business schools. I love learning about the law but would like to pursue a masters in business administration. While in law school I discovered an interest in learning more about business. I cannot ignore the curiosity that is constantly nudging me to take the next step. I am nervous, I am worried about debt, but I am confident I will make the right decision.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Summer Plans

For this summer, I plan on going to Rome and never coming back…ok so that’s not happening. I actually plan on externing during the summer. For whom though, I am not yet entirely sure. I’ve sent applications out to the LA District Attorney, the Orange County Public Defender, and the LA Superior Courts. I have an interview with the OCPD next week (I’m writing this on March 15[beware the Ides].). I’m still waiting to hear back regarding the other two. I might take summer classes, but that depends on the work load of the job I ultimately end up with. Preferably, I want to either take California Civil Procedure or Evidence (sounds fun I know). Once again, Loyola has been incredibly helpful regarding informing me about the courses of action I can take during summer. I often get emails about available externships or summer courses. Every single one of these externships I applied for and classes I’m thinking about were conveyed by Loyola. Will I have time for fun? NOPE!!!

Ok kidding again. Will I have all the time in for world for fun? That’s a definitely no. Will I have time for some fun? Sure. Disclaimer: I’m a nerd. I’m sure I’ll still have time to read kung fu novels. I’m sure I’ll still have time to play short games in NBA 2k16. I’m sure I can still watch the Boston Celtics sweep the 74-8 Warriors in the NBA finals (ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Sure I won’t nearly have the freedom of past summers, but it’s a worthy trade off as I inch closer and closer to a full time professional career (get back to me in 3 years when my hair is completely gray and maybe my tune will be different).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Summer Plans

Looking for a summer job can be quite stressful, especially as a 2L. We all hope to find something that will turn into a post-graduate position, as that is the ideal situation for a recent law school grad. I got great tips from other students and faculty as I was looking for a summer job in the beginning of the year. One of the best things I did was emailing firms in the area that either didn’t participate in OCI or didn’t have any postings on Symplicity. It did take up a lot of time and required some research into each firm, but I thought it was a good way to expand your chances of securing a summer position. I actually ended up getting my summer job through Symplicity—I saw a posting and applied and went through the normal interview process. I will be working at a firm that focuses on product liability, antitrust, bankruptcy and litigation. And I get to go to the New York headquarters for a week for an orientation with the other summer associates!

Along with working, I hope to squeeze in some weekend trips with friends and family. I really want to go to Catalina because I have never been and I feel like it’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time now! I also hope to find some time to go to the beach—after spring break, I’ve realized how few times I’ve actually gone to the beaches that are so close to us. But before I can think of summer, I need to take the MPRE and get through finals…less than 2 months to go!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Over-Prepare, then Stay Humble

Since my last blog post, I secured a summer externship with the Honorable Judge Fruin! This week, I’m registering for a summer class (either Ethics, Evidence or Appellate Advocacy). Last week, I mailed out two dozen applications for Federal externships this fall. Overworking myself? Probably.

Nevertheless, I know that any worthwhile goal requires sacrifice. Thus, I feel anxious, excited, bold and timid. But mostly happy. I’m doing things I believe in and reaping the rewards. Only a minority of people enjoy their work. That includes me.

I have advice for you. As usual, it’s also advice to myself. I recommend completing applications/assignments days before submitting them. For example, students apply for summer externships as early as Dec. 1st. So a judge received my application on Dec 3rd, but had finished all his hiring by Dec 2nd!

Don’t wait. Have work done well before the deadline. Especially because things take longer than expected. Remember, it’s always better to over-achieve than under-achieve. Poor decisions only impart temporary gratification. Good decisions last forever.

You can’t change the laws of statistics! But you can change how many times you avail yourself of the probabilities. Create opportunities. Send Thank You notes. Over-prepare, then stay humble.

Meditate on this question: “what’s the best thing I can do right now in my life?” Be idealistic and practical. Remember efficiency isn’t effectiveness. Consider your short-term pleasure and long-term happiness. Listen to your conscience. Plan concrete steps. Do them dutifully. When delaying gratification, it earns interest.[1]

[1] What rate of return does our delayed gratification earn? It varies. Hope that yours exceeds the Fed Funds rate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Summer Plans

This school year has gone by so quick! It finally hit me that I was getting ready to enter into my 2L year when my legal writing professor handed us a packet this morning that talked about landing legal jobs after law school, interviewing, how to dress, and the bar exam. Anyways, before that time comes I will have to get through the summer, in which I will be externing at the Pomona Courthouse. This also means that it is now time to go shopping for business clothes, professional attire, and more comfortable heels. Since I will be working there almost full-time, I’m not sure how much time I will have for too much other law-related things. However, on my spare time I do love to research weird topics and read heavily controversial books about politics, race, or whatever else seems interesting. So, I’m looking forward to reading things other than law books and hopefully relaxing a bit over the summer.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Networking Opportunities

Loyola has a lot (and I mean a LOT) of networking events, expert panels, and talks of all sorts. Every day, you can expect to receive several invitations and reminders in your Loyola email about events coming up. How many, or how few to attend is certainly up to the individual. Not all of them are super relevant to everybody, given that a lot of groups are based on gender, ethnic, or other very tailored interests.

At the beginning of the year, I attended some informational sessions about various groups on campus, based on my initial thoughts about what I wanted to achieve at Loyola. Since then, my preferences have narrowed down a little bit, but there are still plenty of interesting options. I recently attended a panel about judicial externships at various courts, which lead to me applying for, and getting, a summer position as an extern for a federal judge. That panel cemented the fact that the externship was how I wanted to spend my summer, and made it clear which options I wanted to pursue.

I recently attended a lunchtime panel about a court that has been set up in Cambodia to prosecute crimes against humanity committed by Pol Pot’s fascist regime in the 70’s and 80’s. International law is not a particular interest of mine, I just thought it was a very interesting topic. I ended up learning a lot about the challenges of setting up these sorts of tribunals in countries with deep-seated corruption. Just yesterday, I went to a panel discussion about the realities of being a litigator in practice. That was definitely more geared toward my interest, and I came away with a lot of great information. Specifically, it was interesting to hear from litigators who work in huge firms and those who work in solo practice or with one other colleague.

Networking events are definitely something I’ve been wanting to do more of. These events have always been slightly uncomfortable for me, but I know that Loyola events will help me get better at the practice. Since my summer position is secured and our big 1L writing assignments are finished, I will be looking into attending more networking events before the semester is done.