Friday, May 11, 2018

Summertime's Calling Me

To be honest, I am actually really excited about this upcoming summer. My last final is on May 15th and only a couple of days later, I will be in Ireland for a study abroad program through Fordham Law School. While the program consists of a few weeks, it will be centered around International Intellectual Property — an area which is of particular interest to me. At the end of the course, I will be jetting back to Los Angeles. Work wise, I will be continuing my remote work for an entertainment law firm and will also be a full-time intern at one of the most well-known Hollywood guilds. If you know me at all, you will know that I could not possibly plan a more perfect combination of my last summer plans than a happy marriage between studying abroad and interning in entertainment law.

When I was trying to decide what to do this summer, I knew I needed to make the most of it. After all, this is very likely to be the last summer break that I will ever have — a rather disheartening fact. Based on the plans that I have set in place, I feel like that mission was accomplished.

Monday, May 7, 2018

How I'm Planning to Spend My First Law School Summer

I’m writing this blog post on April 4, 2018 – exactly 50 years to the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as he stood at a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. Fifty years after his death, the social ill he fought most in his lifetime – the persistent scourge of racial segregation – is still very much alive in our country.

This summer, I’m externing at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which enforces California’s anti-discrimination laws in employment and housing. In particular, discrimination in housing continues on as a barrier to full racial integration of our communities. This injustice has quantifiable effects on our cities, including Los Angeles. Many of the worst problems cities face – pollution, poverty, violence – are more prevalent in communities that are more segregated.

I’m not under any kind of delusion that my three months of intern work at the DFEH will have much, if any, measurable effect on the current work being done there. And, of course, making even a small dent in the vast problem of segregation is a life’s work. But I couldn’t be more excited to be dedicating my summer, and maybe more down the road, to chipping away at the issue.

Even more, I’m excited to learn about the work that goes into enforcing anti-discrimination laws, and to meet attorneys who fight for fairer, more integrated communities on a daily basis. I doubt Dr. King would be satisfied or even particularly encouraged by the progress we’ve made in fighting segregation since he was killed. But I want to honor his memory, and the ideals he fought for, by pushing that fight along any way I can.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Summer Plans

I had initially planned to do a lot of things this first summer of law school. A lot of people talk about this summer as being very definitive and I was certainly feeling the pressure. However, I’ve decided instead of lighten up a little bit and enjoy my summer.

As an evening student, I am required to take some summer courses in order to complete my classes on either the four-year or three-and-a-half-year plan. I don’t have to take every summer, but I like the idea of focusing on one class for a few months, so I plan to take Constitutional Law. Additionally, I’m going to continue working part-time as a tutor and possibly work on my pro bono hours! I’ve been volunteering with Neighborhood Legal Services since before I started law school and am in the application process now for an externship. I’m hopeful that I’ll get it and be able to, not only put a dent in those pro bono hours, but also gain valuable experience. Externships provide a unique opportunity to figure out if you like different areas of law and also experience what life is like for attorneys working in those fields. This summer, however, I’m just looking to figure out what it is that I enjoy doing and hopefully help some people in the process.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Summer Plans

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearing the end of the semester already! What’s even harder for me to believe is that I’m nearing the end of my first year of law school! This time last year I was finalizing my decision to come to Loyola and getting ready to leave my job, and now I’m here! It just goes to show that time flies so fast…

With the end of the semester coming up, it’s time to start thinking of and figuring out what to do for the summer. The advice I’ve received from the faculty of Loyola’s Summer Institute program is to try and find a position that will not only let me gain more experience in the field but also learn something about an area of the law that I may or may not have thought of or considered before. It’s honestly mind-blowing to be in this position again because the last time I was on the hunt for a job I was trying to figure out if law school was for me, and now here I am trying to find experiences that will help me figure out what career path I should take! While I haven’t solidified my plans and secured a position yet, I plan to work or volunteer this summer to broaden my understanding of the legal world, gain invaluable experience, enhance my skill set, and network with other lawyers and professionals.

On a lighter note, this summer I also plan to catch up with all my family, friends, and sleep! It’s not a lie to say that law school has been a lot of work, early mornings/late nights, and countless pages of reading and writing; so I think after a year of pushing myself to do my best and get out of my comfort zone I deserve a little break from the memos, homework assignments, and case briefs before I have to jump back into school mode.

I am hopeful that summer will provide me with the opportunities to learn outside the classroom and gain some practical experience while also have time to get some rest, relax, and recharge before the school year starts up again. (Fingers crossed!)

Well friends, it’s been delightful sharing my thoughts with you this past year. Thank you for reading and following along on my journey through 1L year.

Until next time! Have a lovely summer!

Monday, April 30, 2018

School’s (Almost) Out for Summer!

I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by! It truly seems like I started writing this blog a couple weeks ago, not months and months ago.

I am almost sad that the year is basically over, but I am ready to start picking my own classes and start learning on the job! First year law students are not allowed to work during the year, so the summer after 1L is the first opportunity we get to start applying our newfound knowledge towards a real law job.

This summer I will be working full-time as a law clerk for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. I will be primarily working with the Misdemeanor Unit, but I will also have the opportunity to assist other units as needed. I will be doing legal research, case intake, and assisting in arraignment hearings. I will be in court at least one day each week and have the opportunity to observe different argument styles and motions. I am looking forward to exploring my interest in prosecution and putting my criminal law and civil procedure courses to good use!

I would not have gotten this position without the help of Loyola. My criminal law professor inspired me to apply and sparked my interest in the position, and having Loyola Law School on my resume made me stand out. My interviewers raved about the other Loyola students that they had hired and about what great trial lawyers come out of Loyola. The reputation of LLS is not bound by the lines of Los Angeles County, and I know that it helped put me over-the-top in my interview.

I will also be remotely doing part-time research for Professor Jessica Levinson as a research assistant this summer. The research will be for her weekly radio and television appearances and I am really excited to have the opportunity to explore and research different areas of the law! Without Loyola, I never would have had the opportunity to learn from Professor Levinson or had this chance to continue developing my research skills. I am so grateful for the first year that I have had in law school and this Loyola community. I cannot wait to be back next year and do it all again!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Welcome To My Life

For those of you reading my blog posts for the first time, I am a second year student at Loyola —- aka I’m a “2L.” This year could not possibly be any more different from last year (1L.) Last year, I never had to worry about the work-life balance or endure Friday classes. However, during the fall semester of my 2L year, I was really struggling if I’m being honest. I was working 20 hours a week and going to class full time. The thing I found most challenging was on Mondays and Wednesdays when days seemed to never end. I had a 1 hour and 45 minute commute in the morning to work, worked from 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM, 30 minute commute from work to school, and then class from 8:10 PM - 10:10 PM. I have never felt so drained as I did last semester.

With that being said, I made a conscious decision to not overextend myself this semester. For the most part, I have been spending this semester focused on my classes, extracurricular commitments, seeking out summer employment, and doing occasional remote work for a firm. I also have carved out time for myself — finally making time to go to the gym and spending more time on my hobbies. In other words, I am really trying to make 2018 the year where I can honestly apply the cliche, “New Year, New Me.” All in all, this semester has been my favorite since I started law school. Most of my courses are centered around the area of law I want to practice which makes doing the readings a lot less brutal. Although I am often stressed and complaining (a little too often), I am honestly really sad that I only have one more year left at Loyola. I’m definitely going to soak up as much as I can and enjoy every minute during my final year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Law School Life

My typical law school day looks quite a bit different than it did a year ago. For starters, I am only on campus two days per week, and the rest of the week I’m working at a law office. It reminds of my senior year in high school, when I got out of school at lunch. But instead of hanging out with my friends all afternoon or playing drums, my “free hours” now consist of legal work and raising kids.

My typical law school day begins the night before my class days, when I do my homework for the next day. That is usually just reading the assigned texts but could include writing or watching something as well. In the morning, I am usually awakened by my four-year-old daughter who now just comes into our bedroom and demands breakfast around 7am. I feed everyone, see my wife off to work (with our daughter in tow) and then head to class.

Since I’ve condensed my classes to just two days per week, those class days are long. I use the breaks in between classes to do coursework and catch up on other things. When classes are done, I drive home and sometimes catch a quick nap before my wife and daughter return. When they get home, my daughter wants to invariably play games or rough-house with me. We play for a bit and then I make dinner. After she goes to sleep, I will usually hang out with my wife and then play guitar and listen to music before I go to sleep. My off-campus days are much the same except that I go to work instead of school. Either way, my days are pretty full but not oppressively so. Even with a hectic schedule, I still manage to find some extra time to go to the movies, see friends, and keep up (somewhat) with my musical skills.