Friday, December 20, 2013

Ten-Minute Break

By Nareen, 1L

Yup, I am using a whole five minutes out of my ten-minute study break on YOU! Just wanted to drop a few lines, and share my stress and anxiety. No biggie. :-) 

Two final exams down, two to go! In approximately 118 hours I will have my freedom back. I can actually see the light now...a few days ago it seemed impossible! I’m going to have to be honest with you though—the rumors are true—first year law school exams will be the most difficult time of your life. I don’t know how I managed to not get dumped and not get kicked out of the house.

Actually, I know how…the pity card. It works miracles! My friends and family feel so bad for me that they’re willing to do anything to accommodate my law school insanity. It’s kind of great. So I guess there is a plus side to all of this. Well, you’ll see me on the other side a new and improved woman! Here are the 3 things I’m looking forward to the most…

1. Movies

2. Dressing up (with a little less attitude)

3. And of course, the beautiful holidays

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Staying Sane during Law School Finals: It Can be Done

By Gillian, 3L

Everyone has their own study strategy – and I won’t bore you with mine right now – but what I will share is how to stay sane during the period between Thanksgiving and when that last final is over. 

This finals period I'm all about the
gingerbread lattes and the peppermint cake pops.
Keep Your Routine As Much As Possible
I remember getting this piece of advice from a 2L mentor when I was a 1L – during finals, try to keep to your normal routine as much as possible. If you read a novel every night before you fall asleep, keep doing that and don’t feel like you need to replace it with your Civil Procedure flashcards. Exercise is my big thing, so I make sure I still break a sweat 5-6x a week during finals. Having a small amount of “you” time will go a long way during finals.

Build in fun breaks
During finals, my friends and I spend way more time in the library than normal – but one thing we started doing during 1L (and have kept doing ever since) is we take an afternoon Starbucks break every day. The 10 minute walk over to LA Live’s Starbucks is the perfect break - we get our legs moving, and come back refreshed, caffeinated, and ready to knock out another practice test. It sounds silly, but having something to look forward to every day is huge – and it reminds you that there’s a world outside of the LLS library.

Study-break last year to check out the tree
at LA Live.
Allow yourself a small celebration after every exam.

Catch your breath after every exam. During 1L, you will have four exams your first semester – and it is easy to think you need to finish one and immediately head back into the library to continue studying for the next one. I have found that taking a few hours off to grab a meal (or a beer depending on the time of day) goes a long way in keeping me sane and charged to power through the next one. Luckily, Yardhouse is also at LA Live and that has become the go-to place for my friends and me post-exam.
Cheersing to a successful evidence final with my friends Connor
and Black at the end of 2L.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest blog: Law Review at Loyola

By Andrew, 2L

Law review is one of the most unique law school experiences. The process begins with the write-on competition where students read 150-200 pages of source material on a specific topic and use that material to compose a 10-page article. This 10-page article is then read by the current law review staff who decide whether to extend an offer based on the quality of the writing. Seems simple enough, except you only get 10 days to complete the assignment, and the entire process is immediately on the heels of a brutal 1L finals period. It’s really as much a test of your stamina as it is a test of your analytical skills or writing ability.

As my first semester on Loyola Law Review winds down, I feel fortunate to have been chosen, and I feel that I am learning and developing from this experience. Each semester law review staffers are required to produce a 25-30 page note about a legal topic. I have chosen to write about the conflict against al Qaeda and its classification under international law, a topic that really interests me. Being on law review has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with a professor who is an expert in the field of international law and produce an article on a topic that I am deeply passionate about. 

One of the best parts is the potential for publication. Each semester, several students’ notes are chosen for publication. Beyond that, students can seek out other avenues to publish their articles. For example, I recently had an article published on the Jurist, a leading source of legal news. I encourage everyone to complete the write-on competition because choosing to join law review is a decision you will not regret!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Finals week = not the end of the world.

By Jessica, 2L

For this entry, I have decided to write about finals at Loyola, because that is what is on my mind right now. Before you assume this is going to be an I-hate-life-get out-while-you-can type post and stop reading, let me assure you that it is not. Don’t get me wrong, finals suck and they are stressful but they’re not the end of the world. It’s not like you didn’t know you were going to have finals, it is law school after all. But there are some silver linings to the rain cloud that is finals. 

First, I have come to appreciate (and by appreciate, I mean rely on) the free coffee that the Student Body Association provides to us. There’s also tea for the two people that don’t drink coffee (that’s a joke; I’m sure plenty of people drink the tea also). Along with that, the Student Body Association also gave out free fruit this year. That’s good since many students have been surviving on diets of fried potato products, pre-packaged meals, and McDonald’s. 

Lately Los Angeles has been hit with an out of character cold front and it has been unseasonably cold. For people that are not from Southern California, that means highs in the 40s to 50s. I know this is a joke to most of the country, but our coats are for show, not warmth. We wear boots for the fashion statement they make and no other reason. I do not own water-proof clothes or shoes. When it’s that cold we just don’t know how to function. It’s been quite a fashion show here at the library. I have, however, been thankful for being able to come to campus instead of huddling in a corner of my apartment for warmth (because I’m obviously too cheap to turn on my heater).

In case you didn’t know, Loyola is walking distance from LA Live.  So when I’m putting in 12 hours at the library (sad but true) I don’t feel at all guilty about taking a 2 hour dinner break to go to happy hour. It’s important to keep your sanity after all. Plus, last week, when I went there they were setting up for the Hunger Games premiere and I felt super fancy!

In all, no one likes finals but I have been able to make the best of it at Loyola. You’ll be mentally exhausted and non-law school things will seem irrelevant, but I feel that’s true anywhere. At least here you get free coffee, central heating, happy hour, and feeling fancy. That’s gotta be hard to beat.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Learning by Doing

By Yungmoon, 2E

I feel pretty confident in asserting that law school fosters the scientific phenomena otherwise known as time warp. I swear that I was just in my first week of lectures, blinked twice, and am now in my last week of class. While the fact that the weather in August is remarkably similar to the weather in November, these past three months cannot have gone by eventless. So, what really happened during Fall semester?
Just another sunny 70-degree November afternoon on-campus.
 First, I survived my first semester as Evening Student Bar Association ("ESBA") President. Among other things, ESBA hosted a networking panel and mixer with evening division alumni, implemented a student mentor/mentee program, and organized separate events for each class year. One of the things that really struck me about ESBA is how many funding requests we received from clubs. If you check out our Student Events Calendar, the sheer magnitude of on-campus extra-curriculars that happen every single day is staggering.

Next, I was able to start mediating at The Center for Conflict Resolution ("CCR"). In total, I participated in four mediations with a co-mediator. Besides gaining practical legal experience such as learning about eviction and divorce, I gained invaluable experiential practice by calling parties, communicating with very emotional people, and thinking on my feet during mediations. Above all else, the staff at CCR was wonderful - they truly mentored the student volunteers by providing guidance and encouragement. It has been a wonderful two semesters for me at CCR, topped off by impromptu ice cream on my last day from my amazing supervisor, Matias. Yum!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why I Applied to Law School at 29

By Diane, 1E

Many evening students don’t enter law school straight out of undergrad. I, personally, had no idea I wanted to pursue an education in law until I was in my late 20’s. My parents would have loved seeing me off to law school instead of watching me board a flight to Paris at the age of 22, but the idea of committing myself to 3 more years of intensive schooling simply didn’t appeal to me at the time. I was young and I longed to be free to see the world. Well, now that I’m a working mother, I’m really glad I took the time to do that. I’m pushing 30, and I feel like I’ve lived 6 different lives—one at home with my parents in Palos Verdes, one at UCSD, in Paris, in Romania, one as a working mother back in Los Angeles, and now as a student again. It hasn’t always been easy, but each step has brought me to where I am now.
So, which one of the many events led me to take the law school path? After I returned to Los Angeles from Europe, I began preparing to get my license as a real estate salesperson. I dove right into the business with a prominent brokerage, Shorewood Realtors, upon completing the license exam. Not surprisingly, my first clients were my parents. My dad had specialized in developing townhomes all over Los Angeles County for many years, so my first transaction involved a prime piece of land in Redondo Beach, just a few blocks from the beach, sold to my parents. There were two nearly identical pre-war bungalows built on the land, and since the construction of new townhomes would not be able to begin for 2 or more years, my parents decided to rent the bungalows out.

I was given the responsibility of finding and screening the tenants. The first of many interested parties to inquire about the bungalows ended up being one of the selected residents. I had some doubts about the tenant—during the screening process, some red flags were raised, but none so blaring that I had to pass. And to be completely honest, I was new to the business and had no idea which references to check and double check. Well, now I know!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Middle School Mock Trial: The Best Way to Fulfill Loyola’s Pro Bono Requirement

By Gillian, 3L

As you may or may not know, Loyola Law School has a pro bono requirement. Before graduation, every student must complete at least 40 hours of uncompensated legal work. Many students choose to enroll in a clinic (and Loyola has some great ones) but I love kids so I knew I wanted to find a way to work with them.

Over the summer, I heard about a program called the Prime Time Trials and immediately signed up. The idea behind Team Prime Time is to create after-school programming for at-risk children from low-income areas of Los Angles. Additionally, the founder of Team Prime Time believes that when children are pushed, they will meet those expectations, but if expectations are lowered, they will sink to those expectations. The trial also serves as a way for kids to get acquainted with the law in a positive way, and to view a legal career as a real possibility for themselves.

For the first few weeks of the program, I worked with about 15 other LLS students to draft a problem for the mock trial. We ended up modifying an assignment we had for our 1L Legal Research and Writing class, which was a trade secrets issue. We incorporated some fun pop culture references to make it fun for the kids…and for us.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Who said law school’s not a blast!

By Nareen, 1L

Every year, my friends and I dress up for Halloween and celebrate big! But this year when October approached, I had accepted the fact that Halloween would not exist. With finals one month away, I was lucky enough to get all my studying done in time. Little did I know law professors love Halloween almost as much as they love hypotheticals!

With Professor Nockleby’s suggestion, our section threw a Torts Halloween party. One hour of class, one hour of fun, and a “Casetume” contest! Our challenge was to dress up as any figure from any case from any class! If you’re in law school, then you won’t think my excitement is totally pathetic. If you’re not, I’m pretty sure I can lure you over to the dark side with these pictures.

Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad

 Pictured left: The girls with their hair protruding are supposed to be fireworks!  I'm the train conductor pulling a passenger into my train.  Very famous case!


Monday, November 18, 2013

From “No Longer a Student” to a “Law Student”

By Reichen, 1E

I started this fall in Loyola Law School’s Evening program which will take me from anywhere between 3.5 and 4 years to complete. This program is for people who work full time or, like me, run a business. Before I started, I attended the six week “Summer Institute” (SI) preparatory course the school offers, taught by Professors Archer, Bakhshian, and Craig. This preparation proved invaluable to me because I learned the basics of what it takes to survive in law school. Before SI, I admit to not knowing what IRAC meant, nor did I know what it meant to “brief a case,” never mind how to brief one. Never mind knowing how to read one with the eye of a lawyer. The list went on, but I truly felt like I was ahead of the game when the first day of class came. Not only did it help to know how to handle the first slew of reading assigned and to prepare for the first active class, but I felt more familiar with the purpose of law school in general. This helped my confidence, and I was able to shake off the normal disorientation most feel at the start of any program. Although SI helped me academically, my biggest challenge was yet to come: adjusting to how much time I would no longer have to do as I pleased.  

I was 39 years old when law school started for me this fall and it had been 17 years since I had earned my Bachelor’s Degree from the Air Force Academy. I had been through 9 years of military service, and then another 8 more as an entrepreneur in the entertainment world. Now I run a start-up company and direct the activities of about ten other employees of the company. Although I can’t say that managing those careers and the one I have now weren’t/aren’t a challenge in time management, I had no idea of the discipline I’d actually need manage my time through this semester of law school.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Some Do's and Don'ts thus far...

By Marlee, 1L

DO realize that books are heavy! I was that naïve girl hoping to use my beloved arm candy to trek my case books around. However, I soon realized that I was not stylish, I was lopsided. I had an aching right shoulder and a broken arm-strap before I finally decided to upgrade [or maybe it was downgrading?]. Anyways, I am now sporting a large Burton bag. It is almost the size of me, but hey, it has many compartments and I am no longer lopsided! Rolling backpacks, normal backpacks, whatever your preference is, you have to find what will get the job done!

DON’T get caught up in all the negative things you read on the internet. Of course I have searched “law school, law school survival, help I’m going to law school, freaking out about law school...,” and let’s be honest, some of the results are not the most positive. But the good news is, law school is what you make of it. It is challenging, difficult, and probably different than anything you have ever done before. Succeeding at anything takes commitment and hard work, and law school requires the same dedication. Look at law school as an opportunity and a privilege that most individuals do not have. If you have the chance, take advantage of all the great things law school has to offer instead of getting caught up in someone else’s negative experience.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LLS Campus Event: “Miss Representation” Screening

By Gillian, 3L 
On Sunday November 3rd, I attended an event on campus put on by the Women’s Law Association. The event consisted of a screening of a documentary called “Miss Representation” as well as a panel discussion and Q&A with some notable Loyola alumni. The trailer for this film can be found here
The film was written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and delves into how the portrayal of women in the media leads to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power. I didn’t agree with every point the movie made and thought that some aspects were overly generalized, but I did jot down a few points that stuck out to me:  
  • Women with high self-objectification have lower self-efficacy. 
  • 67 countries have had female presidents or prime ministers. (The United States is not one of those).
  • 65% of teenage girls and women have an eating disorder. 
  • The rates of depression have doubled in women between 2000 and 2010.
While it might be easy to place the blame solely on the media for these stats, it is likely there are other confounding variables at play. 
One aspect of the film that did hit home for me, though, is that women tend to be highly critical of each other, and I think that can be seen throughout aspects of the legal profession, and is something that I think a lot of us can keep in mind.
The Panel
After the film, we had a short panel discussion with some Loyola alumni (who all have stellar resumes). Professor Elizabeth Pollman led the panel discussion, and we heard from: 
  • Tracey Freed, Senior Counsel at Sony Pictures & LLS Adjunct Professor 
  • Cassie Palmer, Kendall Brill & Klieger, LLP 
  • Cindy Panuco, Hadsell, Stormer, Richardson & Renick, LLP
  • Laura Blau Michel, The Rubicon Project
It was particularly interesting to me to hear these women share their experience and perceptions on gender in the workplace, although it was slightly disheartening to hear that they all thought the themes from the film were alive and well in the legal field today.   

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

“Life is all about balance.” - mom

By Nareen, 1L

At times, I have found it very hard to believe her . . . like that one time I finished an entire tub of cookie dough ice cream in one sitting or that other time I spent over 7 hours watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one day. So I can’t say balance always works in your favor. But for the most part I’m going to have to concur with my mom.

Last week, during a mid-semester orientation, legal career expert Ms. Susan Gainen spoke to a group of first-year students, about how to conduct oneself as a future lawyer. While it was very easy for a female student to leave that lecture thinking they had to wear pantyhose for the rest of their lives, I paired Ms. Gainen’s advice with my mom’s advice. If I want to be a professional in the legal industry, I have to look and act like a professional in the legal industry.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Law School Midterms vs. the Flu

By Nareen, 1L

As I sit in front of my laptop with an incapacitated left arm due to the painful flu shot I received this afternoon, I think of the past 2 weeks and how I made it out alive. So let’s rewind to about 15 days ago when the common sneeze became my worst nightmare. One sneeze, relief…two sneeze, dust…three sneeze, allergies. Four sneeze…INFLUENZA!!! Well at least that’s how it went down in my mind. Twelve days to my first ever law school exam, the torts midterm, and I was getting the FLU!

You’ve heard the rumors that nothing is ever the same once you start law school and I believed that full heartedly when I enrolled, but to be downright petrified of getting sick was not a feeling I had anticipated. People get colds all the time. You do what you got to do and you get better. Well, not so much. There was no time to go to the doctor, no time to go to the pharmacy, no time to make soup, no time to sleep it off! No time to get better! All I could do is put on my metal armor, aka really warm clothing, and fight.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Testing the Waters

By Marlee, 1L

Uncertainty, precariousness, unpredictability, variability, inconsistency- these are a few words that make my Type-A personality cringe. Instead, I prefer certainty, consistency, and a plan. However, these words seem to sum up my life recently. While law school is new and exciting, it is far from anything certain, and the scariest part about starting anything new is uncertainty. Uncertainty about how to study, outline, or how I’ll ever train my body to wake up and function at 6:30 every morning. Looking around at my fellow type-A 1L’s I can tell I am not the only one trying to cope. However, immersing myself in Loyola activities has helped bring some stability into my life and has helped me adapt to what will be my new home for the next three years.

Tactic One: making friends with people in my section. So far my 1L life has been spent with the people in my section. Everyday from 8-12 we share the same classes, same breaks, and same library after-hours. Luckily, the best part about making friends in my section, is everyone is going through the same transition together. When I can’t figure out a topic, there is always someone to help. If I need to vent about a memo (I have re-written eight times, and still can’t figure out) there is someone to share my pain. And when I am spending hours upon hours studying, it is so nice to look around and see my classmates right there with me. Besides that I truly love the goofy individuals in my section, I really think it has been important to be able to learn and grow with the people experiencing the same challenges as I am. With that being said, while starting something new is scary, it’s much better to go through it with others.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Make Friends in Law School

By Diane, 1E

For all the extroverts and social butterflies who are afraid they will lose themselves in books once they hit law school—fear not. One thing you will hear over and over again during orientation and alumni panels is this: Students make lifetime friends in law school. 

 That’s right. You thought law school was all about cutthroat competition and ousting classmates in order to slide into a coveted “top 10%” position, right? While I won’t speak for every law school student, my experience so far hasn’t been like that at all. Do we all want to graduate? I’m sure the vast majority of us do. Do we want to graduate with lackluster grades? Probably not. But do we want to succeed at a classmate’s detriment? Nope. If anything, the competition experienced in law school pushes one to excel—not with the intention to watch others flail helplessly behind, but to keep up and be in good company. It’s what I like to call, “healthy competition.” It’s precisely this healthy competition that helps friendships in law school flourish.

Of ACS and Cupcakes

By Sarah & Mark, 3Ls

Between Turf Club and almost weekly events, even in law school many people often ask, what is ACS? When I started law school, I wondered as well. Almost three years later, I can tell you ACS has been one of the best club experiences I’ve had.

The American Constitution Society is a progressive organization dedicated to discussing the constitutional issues in a way where we critically think about how the constitution should be reflective of the needs of the people. It is the progressive counterpoint to organizations like the Federalist Society, which tend to favor “strict constructionist” or “originalism” views of the constitution.
As first year law students, my friend Mark Bolin and I didn’t have much time to think of constitutional law issues between Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Civil Procedure, and all the studying. But reading Scalia decision after Scalia decision can get a little trying on a progressive’s heart. We started going to our Loyola Chapter of ACS’s events on campus, and soon became a part of the leadership in our first year. We helped the then co-presidents, Elian and Jason, host such events including: Steven Colbert’s Attorney, Trevor Potter, coming to campus to speak about the Federal Election Committee and A Supreme Court Preview, with great legal minds Erwin Chemerinsky and Laurie Levenson. Mark and I were hooked.

26 Hours a Day, 9 Days a Week...

By Marlee, 1L

Figuring out how to balance school, activities, friends, and family is a tenacious challenge. It seems as if it is impossible to fit all the activities I want to do in a mere 24 hour day, 7 day week. There are certain days where I just can’t seem to accomplish any of the goals I set out to accomplish. I find myself skipping that spin class I promised myself I would go to or canceling my lunch plans with my very pregnant sister. While I rationalize my flaking as “being too tired” or “having too much work” I have found that setting time aside to accomplish those goals outside of school is just as important as hitting the library.
Yes, law school is time consuming and requires a lot of attention, but maintaining a healthy, happy, and well-balanced life is just as important. I have noticed when I am overwhelmed it seems that piling on the readings and pulling an all-nighter seems like the appropriate solution. However, it seems as if the opposite is true. When stress levels are at a high, the antidote is simply taking a break. 

I have always found being active is a great way to relieve stress. Now, more than ever, I have realized the importance of using exercise as an anxiety relief. My new drug of choice is spin. Around six when I hit a wall and could easily fall asleep, I make sure to go to a spin class, run around my neighborhood, or go do a cheesy exercise video with my roommate. I notice that taking an hour away from reading and thinking and allowing some endorphins to flow really helps change my outlook. Knowing when it is time to put the case book down and take a break is crucial.

My nephew, the cutest kid ever
Also, taking time to see family and friends has helped rebalance me when I feel overwhelmed. After our first law school test, 1L’s had no class the Tuesday after. I had planned to spend my day reading and working on my memo. However, after snoozing my alarm until ten, I woke up and realized that my day of productivity was going in a different direction. I decided to spend the day with my sister and nephew. I knew in the back of my mind that I could do work, but I knew that I also needed to take a break. Unfortunately, I had canceled plans with my sister one too many times as I prepared for my test in the week prior. I spent the morning with her and my nephew watching Dora the Explorer and picking out pumpkins. While Dora the Explorer wasn’t exactly the kind of entertainment I had expected, my morning out was the perfect activity to transition from studying mode and back into school mode. I was home later in the afternoon and was able to focus on school refreshed and refocused.
The bottom line is, it is easy to get caught up in everyday demands, but it is important to remember life outside of law school and finding what is needed to maintain a happy, healthy, balanced life. Whether it is watching a favorite TV show, going out to lunch with a friend, taking a work out class, or taking some me-time, a break every now and then is necessary. Sometimes taking a step away from “the grind” is all you need to get re-motivated.  


Law School Lingo

By Gillian, 3L

Before I started law school, I heard all of these different terms get thrown around and I had no idea what they meant. So I thought I would devote this post to de-mystifying some of the terms you may hear before you begin your 1L year.

Case Briefs or “Briefing a Case”: Some professors may require that you “brief” every case you read before coming into class. This means writing out a short synopsis of the case, broken down into segments such as facts, procedural posture (which court we are in and how it got there), the issue, the court’s analysis, the holding, and any concurring/dissenting opinions. Case briefs are helpful in figuring out what is important to know for class, and there are many case briefs floating around online that can be helpful to look at if your head is still spinning after you first read a case. That being said, briefing is always best if you do it yourself. I like to “book brief” – meaning I don’t prepare a separate document, instead I highlight directly in my textbook, using a different color for the facts, procedural posture, issue, analysis, and holding. I have found this helpful when I get cold-called -- I know what to look for in my textbook.

Outlines: You will hear a lot about outlines and when to outline. Outlines are essentially a comprehensive study guide of everything from an entire course, written in a bullet-point style to aid in memorization prior to exams. Outlines are available online, but as I mentioned earlier, since ultimately you are responsible for the information, it is just better if you make your own.

Commercial Supplements: These are books available for purchase from companies like Emanuel Law Outlines, Gilbert Law Summaries, and Examples and Explanations. These are broad explanations tailored to each class, and can be helpful in reinforcing concepts or explaining something differently from how your professor conveyed it. These are helpful to make sure you understand things, but again, your professor will be writing your exam so it is most crucial that you understand what is covered in class.

Bar Review: This is another one that can cause some 0L confusion. Bar review has nothing to do with studying for the bar – instead it is the term for law school events at various bars or clubs throughout Los Angeles. Get it?… “Bar” review… I have no idea who coined that term, but I bet they were pretty proud of themselves.

Law school can be its own little world sometimes with its own unique language. Now you can feel a little bit more informed when people start saying things like “Oh, I have a really great contracts outline I can send you.”

Back to the Grind

By Yungmoon, 2E

The start of classes means the start of getting to see my old comrades again.  We became very close in the evening division due to our small (or shall I say... elite) class of 42 and also because we survived some very tiring nights of class together.  So, it was great to see everyone and share stories of how we spent our few months of freedom (or limited freedom for those who chose to take summer classes).

Starting 2E was a much more comfortable transition than starting 1E.  I knew how to find my classes and professors online, I knew how to find out which books I needed ahead of time, and I knew where to find assignments for the first day of class.  Beyond logistical issues, I found that I really knew what worked well for me in terms of managing my time and how to read cases.  I even found that I started taking notes in small chunks of outlines.  I hope this will make things easier when going back to outline later in the semester.  

All of that being said, the old law school adage says, "First year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death."  While I will have to adapt the saying since the evening program runs 3.5 - 4 years, I've found that there has definitely been more work this semester.  Especially because I have been able to continue on at The Center for Conflict Resolution ("CCR"), thanks to a very accommodating work schedule.

Here is what a typical week looks like for me:
M: 10-12pm Criminal Law, 1-5pm work, 6-9pm AppellateAdvocacy
T: 9-1 work, 2-5pm CCR, 6-7:15pm Civil Procedure
W: 10-12pm Criminal Law, 1-5pm work
Th: 9-1 work, 2-5pm CCR, 6-7:15pm Civil Procedure
F: 9-3pm work

It's a more fluid schedule than last year, and I am spending less actual hours in class.  But I also find that once meetings start to kick in for Evening Student Bar Association, I oftentimes find myself at a standstill at random points during the day, wondering where I am supposed to go next.  Luckily, one of my 2E or 1L classmates is usually there to point me in the right direction.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why 2L Is Better Than 1L

By Jessica, 2L

Coming back to campus this year was so different from last year! Everyone always talks about how terrible 1L is and how you never go through anything worse (and by the way, side note, some of those people are a bit dramatic in my opinion. 1L is a beast but it’s not impossible and I didn’t spend a year of life miserable, but I digress), but after that it gets better. Man oh man; those people were right on the money. Here is why:

You are now free to set your schedule
Gone are the days where your life is at the mercy of the Registrar. Want all your classes done before noon so you have all your afternoons and evenings free? Do it. Want all your classes on 2 days? Do that instead. With that, say goodbye to Friday classes. Unless that’s your deal in which case, live it up! The point is it’s all up to you.

There is generally less stress
This could be further broken down because there are so many reasons for it but in the interest of time, I combined them. First, you are not taking 5 bar prep classes anymore. A lot of people have 4 classes now and 1 or 2 of them are bar prep. That means you have less work to do and thus, more free time. Second, the idea of telling your teacher that you don’t know the answer to the question they just asked you is no longer terrifying. We come here to learn the law. If everything was obvious after reading we would be overpaying and spending too much time in school. Third, since you have a year of experience behind you (some) concepts aren’t as hard to understand.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why I Love Loyola’s Campus (Or, True Life: I am Obsessed with Frank Gehry)

By Gillian, 3L

One of the most common responses I get when I tell people I go to Loyola is the following: “Oh, LMU? I love that campus! You’re so luck to be by the ocean.” I chuckle and explain that actually the law school has it’s own separate campus near Downtown LA’s Staples Center/L.A. Live, and although we are not beach-adjacent, the campus is pretty cool in its own right.

Oh, and the fact that it was designed by my favorite architect, Frank Gehry, doesn’t hurt either. (If you haven’t heard of Frank Gehry, do a Google Image Search STAT. He’s the genius behind Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Bilbao, Spain’s Guggenheim Museum, and tons of other architectural gems around the world.)

View from the top of LLS's parking garage.
Loyola’s campus consists of one city block (between Olympic and James M. Wood streets, on Albany Street) and all of the buildings are contained on this campus. Although Loyola does not have some of the amenities of that a full-blown undergraduate university campus might, such as an on-campus gym, multiple eateries, or non-law students, the campus itself makes up for that in my opinion.

The Ritz-Carlton/J.W. Marriott
at LA Live
Frank Gehry brought his quirky point of view to Loyola, and his post-modern style permeates the campus. I love the fact that the Loyola campus has a true identity, and isn’t just some random brick building hidden in the corner of a sprawling university. Additionally, I love the fact that I can sneak in views of DTLA’s skyline as well as the Ritz-Carlton/J.W. Marriott (if you know me you know that I have somewhat of an obsession with this building as well. It is just so cool!)

One building on campus, the Burns Academic Center, which houses classrooms, faculty offices, and our cafeteria, is distinctly yellow and features zig-zagged staircases. This is definitely not your average law school building. Gehry once explained his concept for the Burns building on the Architectural Tour section of the Loyola website:
I took the stairways that would normally have been inside and spilled them onto the outside of the building with the idea that it would animate the façade and bring people out onto the front of the building, animating the building with human beings. When classes break, you see the front of the building covered with people running up and down the stairs. That complements the people walking around in the space below and gives it a lot more excitement. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

What would I have changed about my summer (before law school)?

By Brittney, 1L

When my summer officially began, I proclaimed that I would spend the summer “getting ready for law school.” At the time I took that to mean traveling, relaxing, going to the beach, practicing my hobbies, and watching every crime drama there was. I also bought Getting to Maybe, but the unfamiliar concepts required more mental energy than I was willing to exert at the time. A friend of mine in business school told me that I had to make up my mind on the type of law I wanted to practice by the time I started school. I began to research various career paths and narrowed it down significantly. While this advice turned out to be completely untrue–I’ll have to blog about the 1L rumor mill another time-it did expose me to many areas of law I never considered and I’m glad that it got me thinking about my post-law school plans.

The most memorable thing I did this summer was to drive up the coast from Los Angeles to San Jose. I had never driven that far by myself before, but I thought it would be nice to have some time to reflect, practice my photography, and catch up with some of my family in San Jose. If you’ve never made the drive up Highway 1, you should definitely put it on your bucket list. The scenic view alternates between the ocean and the mountains, with pastures and livestock in between. Along the way I stopped at Pismo Beach and was greeted by amazing frozen yogurt and quaint little shops.

Monday, September 30, 2013

La Raza does Denver/3L adventures

By Sarah, 3L

This fall I began the last year of my law school career. I spent the past summer gaining my first taste of real litigation experience at my firm, deviating from my usual tax law love affair. I learned so much during the summer, and was really enjoying weekends and evenings free to go to the Hollywood Bowl or Dodger Games(well when not in summer school!). 

Although Most people say 3L is a breeze, my balancing act for this fall requires a lot of my time! I’m taking 17 units at school (including a myriad of tax classes), working about 20-30 hours a week at my firm, and I’m active in the leadership of several of the Loyola Law School Campus organizations. However, even with all my tax law homework, litigation motion drafts for work, organizing (insert campus org) events, and a concert or musical crammed in on the weekend, I still try to find the time to fit in networking and personal growth. 

Attending the Hispanic National Bar
Association's Annual Conference, Summer 2013
One of my ways to fit in networking (along with enjoying a wonderful community) is through being active with La Raza de Loyola. Not only are the students of La Raza incredibly supportive of community member’s successes (and at times failures), our alumni also are extremely dedicated to supporting the organization as well. Thanks to a generous donation from Ricardo Perez ’10, Jennifer Macias and myself were able to attend the Hispanic National Bar Association’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado while representing La Raza de Loyola.

I will always remember my unemployed summer before law school

By Nareen, 1L

“I am sorry to inform you that my last day will be on June 29th.” I never knew that vocalizing such a simple statement would be so liberating and frightening at the same time. I had been working in retail for over four years, and I had been employed for over eight. Was I really giving up my financial freedom that easily? I was definitely ready for a month of pure summer break before three years of mental drainage, a.k.a. law school. But financial aid wouldn’t kick in until August! How would I survive!

Soundtrack of my summer?
Lifestyles of the Rich &
Famous by Good Charlotte.

Well, before you go ahead and start feeling sorry for me, I will confess…I lived at home with my parents, as I still do. But I supported myself. I paid my car bills and cell-phone bills and medical bills; and I supported my obsession with fashion and managed to have a decent social life. So maybe you can feel a little sorry. I mean, allowance at 23? No way. The small amount of savings I had would have to get me through the next fifty days.

For the first time in my adult life, I was unemployed. Unemployed, unemployed, UNEMPLOYED! I fell in love with the word very quickly. Breakfast at noon, heels on a Tuesday, hookah for lunch, and midnight showings of brand new films. Life was beautiful. My self-made calendar had never looked so white. July was all mine, and I wasn’t going to let money get in the way of my once-in-a-life-time, carefree break from responsibility.

Moving back to Los Angeles and beginning a new chapter in my life

By Marlee, 1L

As I walked along Garnet Avenue, I reflected on my favorite times in San Diego. Brunching, beaching, and happy hour along the beach were activities leading up to the culmination of my residency in the city. I began my summer in Pacific Beach packing up my townhouse and reflecting on the past four years I had spent in one of the happiest places on earth. I was moving back to Los Angeles and beginning a new chapter in my life. Despite my attempts at denying the fact that I was no longer a college student, I knew it was going to be a summer different than its predecessors. The reality was, once August rolled around, I would no longer be stepping on to San Diego State’s campus as an Aztec, but I would be exploring downtown Los Angeles as a Loyola law student. By the time I had turned in my last bluebook, I realized I had expended too much effort on my
Graduation, Spring 2013
graduation plans, and not enough on planning my last summer before I embarked on the beginning of the most important journey of my life. While I did not know much about what my summer entailed, I knew for certain that my mind would be focused on the upcoming fall as a 1L. As I headed away from El Cajon and up the 405 North, stuck in hours of traffic I knew I would eventually have to grow accustomed to, I had a nagging thought in the back of my mind: to prepare for law school, or not to prepare for law school.

 Every lawyer, law student, or recent law school graduate that I interacted with pre-summer time, gave me their two-cents on the summer before law school game-plan. Some urged that I scour immediately and buy every single law prep book that has ever been written. I was ordered to read those sacred books from front to back, ten times, at least. While others, emphasized the importance of enjoying my free time, because once law school started, I would be thrown into a whirlwind of case briefing, outlining, and reading. Five freeway exits and one-hour later I finally determined I would take the latter approach. With that in mind, I almost immediately traveled to Hawaii with my boyfriend to spend a week snorkeling with sea turtles and hiking volcanos. I spent time with my family and beautiful two-year old nephew. I walked my two delightful wiener dogs who together rightfully serve as my best friend. I slept in as late as I possibly could and tried to inspire myself with a variety of self help literature downloadable to my Nook.

Summer 2013 Recap: Firm life, Fitness, and Fun

By Gillian, 3L

This past summer was one of my busiest, but also some of the most exciting and rewarding months I’ve had. During the time I was away from school, I spent time working at a big civil defense firm, but also found time to tackle some personal goals and explore Los Angeles.

View from the top of our firm hike in
Will Rogers State Park, Summer 2013
For ten weeks, I worked as a summer associate at Reed Smith’s downtown Los Angeles office. Reed Smith has a variety of practice areas, and I was able to complete assignments in the areas of commercial litigation, labor & employment, insurance recovery, appellate, and financial services. The bulk of my assignments consisted of researching a particular area of the law for an assigning attorney that was relevant to the larger scope of litigation, preparing a memorandum on the law I found, and discussing it with the assigning senior associate or partner. Many of my assignments dealt with civil procedure or evidence issues, so I particularly enjoyed implementing things I had learned in my law school courses into a practical, real world setting. Beyond research and writing, I also completed some pro bono work with Public Counsel, where we had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of CalFresh recipients at a welfare office. It was my first time really interacting with clients, and it was a nice change of pace from my normal assignments. The firm also wove in a few exciting summer events – some of my favorites included a hike in the Pacific Palisades, sailing out of Marina del Rey, and going to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. I had a great experience at the firm this summer and was definitely lucky to have that opportunity.

How I Spent My Summer

By Diane, 1E

As a working mother, I had fantasies of enjoying a solid month of leisure before beginning my first year of law school as an evening student. I wanted to spend the last 30 days of my summer in my pj’s reading law-related books, watching Game of Thrones (GOT) on DVD, and relaxing in Santa Barbara with my husband.

Alas, this fantasy was not realized. I wound up mad-scrambling to organize my life, getting no further than the 3rd chapter of One L and the 6th episode of GOT. I did manage a to toss in a weekend in Solvang, courtesy of LivingSocial, with my husband. And, I managed to complete Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (a book which effectively made me very curious about international human rights law).

How did the rest of my summer unfold and why was it so chaotic? Well, I’ve been working as a realtor and property manager for over 2 years. It’s a career that started after almost 4 years of living abroad in Europe (France and Romania) post-undergrad. My job in real estate allows me to have a flexible schedule, but it also requires potential 7-day workweeks. Last summer, I had several lease listings to find tenants for, and one of those properties was my own.

Wilkommen in Deutschland

By Yungmoon, 2E

As a newly minted 2E (second year evening student), I am very excited to be a returning blogger.  When I last left off, I had just survived finals and was looking forward to a summer of working at The Center for Conflict Resolution (a clinic through school), and studying abroad.

I can honestly say I never thought I'd have the opportunity to study abroad once I graduated college, but Oh! The Places You'll Go in law school. Wanting to specialize in Patent Litigation, I searched for a program with a strong Intellectual Property emphasis.  George Washington University's program at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center was a perfect fit.  Loyola allowed me to earn four units towards graduation, and so on June 26th, I embarked on a 2-day journey round the world to Bavaria.

For anyone interested in Intellectual Property, the program is a perfect fit.  I took Internet Law, European Patent Law, Patents Technology & Society, and Artistic Freedom & Control in Copyright.  I did not feel behind in the substantive material in any of the classes as a 1E.  The program lasted 4 weeks, with two classes of 1:40 long each day.  There were no classes on Fridays or on every other Thursday, so really, there was plenty of time to... appropriately prepare for class... as well as explore Munich.  It was a stark contrast (in a much welcomed way) to my typical schedule during the year.

Our school was located right by Marienplatz, which is famous for its clock tower:

We had several scheduled trips during the program, including tours at the BMW factory plant, European Patent Office, German Patent and Trademark Office, and GEMA (which controls German copyrights).  

This is the view from atop the German Patent and Trademark Office:

Of course there were several non-official excursions as well, including the Hofbrauhaus and Salzburg.  Overall, it was a wonderful experience to immerse myself in the field of law in which I'd like to practice, especially in an international setting while enjoying Weissbier und Breze every day!  Many international students participated in the program and added a wonderful perspective to class discussions.  

Enjoying an afternoon at a bocce ball biergarten with classmates:

It was a wonderful way to spend the summer, and I highly recommend studying abroad during your law school career if you are able to.  For evening students in particular, the summer after first year is a perfect time to do so.  So go abroad and experience Wienerschnitzel for yourself - you won't regret it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Days, Summer Nights

By Yungmoon, 2E

The end of spring semester was quite a whirlwind!

In January, I transitioned from structural engineering to an Intellectual Property law firm. I found the job through Symplicity, Loyola's own job posting website by filtering results for year-round opportunities for 1E's. I have made great connections, gotten a lot of valuable experience with day-to-day management of priorities (and the all-dreaded billable hour), and have put some of my newfound law skills to good use. Not bad for a first-year evening student!

Now that I've made it through five months on the job and Spring semester finals, what's on the docket for the summer? Besides continuing to work, I plan to complete my pro bono graduation requirement at The Center for Conflict Resolution ("CCR"). The CCR holds mediations, where a trained neutral professional (the mediator) facilitates discussion that hopefully leads conflicting parties to a solution. The entire process is voluntary, and it is a great alternative for those wanting to resolve issues outside the courtroom. The CCR handles almost any problem, including landlord-tenant, family dispute, consumer debt, and co-worker issues, so I hope to gain exposure to a wide variety of topics volunteering there this summer.

I will also be studying abroad at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center in July. The program is a great fit for what I'd like to practice, and I'm very excited to become learned in the ways of International Patent Law and bratwurst.

I was elected Evening Student Bar Association President for the upcoming year, so a good portion of August will be dedicated to preparing for the upcoming year. I'm hoping to add more mixers and opportunities to meet alumni, a mentoring program, and reallocating funds to make sure evening students have events that fit into our schedules.

In conclusion, my first year as an evening student was crazy, hectic, overwhelming, fulfilling, surprising, and I wouldn't change a single thing about it. I have made wonderful friends from my classes as well as within the administration. With their support, as well as the continuing support of my amazing family and friends, I am excited to say: Bring on 2E!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

By Yungmoon, 2E

Law school professors are generally notorious for being demanding, tough, and unrelenting. I know I have certainly felt pushed to do my very best this year in terms of preparing for class and turning in my best work. But this month, the 1E's saw a softer side of the enigma that is The Law School Professor.

Prior to the submission of our last Legal Writing brief, Professor Dudovitz brought us candy to keep us going down the homestretch.

The day after our deadline, Professor Trisolini brought us cookies in Property class. Afterwards, Professor Scott gave us a break from Socratic method and did not force anyone to be on the hot seat. And, in an unprecedented move, she even offered students the opportunity to leave class early and listen to the class recording later.

Finally, two days after our deadline, Professor Dudovitz brought us pizza in class.
Life as an evening student is difficult. Many of us work full-time and take four classes each semester. While our professors' gestures were appreciated at face value (especially because so many of us were in desperate need of sugar), what meant the most to us was that they recognized our hard work and efforts.

And that recognition, with a little sugar, is just what we need to keep us going through to the end of finals.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First-Years' Day Out in the Ninth Circuit

By Yungmoon, 2E

A few weeks ago, Professor Dudovitz announced in Legal Writing class that the judge for whom she had clerked was allowing her students to attend oral arguments in his courtroom at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This was a perfect opportunity to observe oral arguments, as all first-year students at Loyola are paired off to argue as Plaintiff and Defendant in oral arguments of their own.

We are fortunate that Loyola is located so close to the downtown courthouses, and it was difficult not to feel a sense of awe walking into a federal courthouse, going through security, and seeing judges' names inlaid in stone above their courtroom entrances. The door to our courtroom looked like the entrance to a private vault at Gringott's (sorry, Harry Potter reference), and the courtroom itself was huge and contained detailed architecture and rows of wooden benches.
Any misconceptions I had of oral arguments resembling Perry Mason or Law & Order episodes were pretty quickly shut down. There was no fist pounding, no throwing of papers, and no pleas for justice. However, what I did hear sounded an awful lot like what I hear in class. Typically a student is called on to recount a brief and is questioned on the reasoning the court used to arrive at its holding. The answers to the questions are not always in the reading, and students are forced to think critically while undergoing questions in a line of fire. And much like the questioning we endure in class, the attorneys at oral arguments endured the same questioning from the judge.

After oral arguments, we were permitted to go inside the judge's chamber and ask him various questions. As someone who will apply for a judicial externship at some point during law school and would like to practice litigation in the future, the entire experience provided wonderful exposure as to how a court operates and what skills are important to succeed. Moreover, it provided an affirmation that the substantive material we cover in class, as well as the way in which we cover it, is providing us with practical and useful experience.

Most of all, Professor Dudovitz taking the time to organize and accompany us on the trip showed me that not only is our faculty well-connected to the current legal field, but they are also willing to do whatever they can to help us succeed.

Last night, I went through my first-year rite of passage and completed my own oral argument in front of a volunteer judge. I may not have been as suave as Perry Mason, but I will say that it was a good first step toward my first oral argument at the federal courthouse.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trading Spaces

By Yungmoon, 2E

A few weekends ago, I volunteered to be a witness during an on-campus practice for the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team. They were preparing for the National Trial Competition's Regional Tournament. I knew Loyola's trial advocacy program was ranked fifth in the nation, but other than that, I really had no idea what to expect.

I walked into Robinson Courtroom (incidentally, which is where I have Torts class), to find team members wearing suits. After being briefed as the defendant's expert witness, I took the stand and participated in questioning, cross-examination, and re-direct. The defendant was claiming insanity, and my job as his forensic psychiatrist was to present his test results and my professional opinion in a way that would convince the jury he was mentally ill. Honestly, I never thought I'd be learning about the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test in law school, but when in Rome...

Overall, I was very impressed by the professionalism and skill of the team members. The questions were clear, straightforward, and expertly formed so that there was no room for ambiguity in my responses. Professor Levinson judged the trial, and she was no-nonsense and extremely thorough.

One of the reasons I chose Loyola was because I wanted practical and hands-on opportunities in school that would prepare me for a career in litigation. Between the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team, the Scott Moot Court Team, year-round externships, and the Hobbs District Attorney Clinic, I think I've found more than enough to keep my hands full.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Change of Command

By Yungmoon, 2E

It's not often you walk into your Contracts class and see the Dean of the school standing at the front of the room. Dean Scott, Associate Dean for Faculty, normally teaches our class. However, in a startling turn of events, we discovered that she was human, and that she had fallen victim to the flu that swept across sunny Southern California.

So there stood Dean Victor Gold, Dean of Loyola Law School, prior CBS news legal analyst, in all of his glory, ready to impart his knowledge to a group of evening students with a mere four months of legal training.

Contracts is the hardest of the first-year courses for me. It isn't always exciting, it isn't always tangible, and frankly I find the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that governs transactions for tangible goods to be as dense as rice pudding that has been left out overnight. Suffice it to say, I was skeptical that Dean Gold could effectively whittle down the material to a comprehensible level.

The UCC Statute of Frauds requires certain types of contracts to be evidenced by a writing in order to hold the contract enforceable. There is a myriad of exceptions and requirements to consider in a Statute of Frauds analysis. In other words, Dean Gold had his work cut out for him, especially considering it was 9:00pm on a Monday. However, Dean Gold was up for the challenge.
Besides thoroughly explaining the statute in a manner that showed his understanding of every nuance of the section, Dean Gold was accessible. He was funny, he asked students to participate, and he played along with every hypothetical we threw at him. For someone who is in charge of over 1,000 students and has to think on a macro scale, I was impressed with his ability to switch gears and to put his micro thinking cap on, especially under such short notice. Anyone would have found it reasonable had he canceled the class or asked another professor to step in, but Dean Gold proved he is not above spending his Monday night with a group of first-year law students.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Orientation to the Real World

By Yungmoon, 2E

By the time December exams were over, I felt like I had survived Navy seal training camp with my fellow classmates. I slept and ate my way into January, whereupon I discovered I had an email from the school requiring my attendance at 1E Orientation Part II. I'm sorry, did you say orientation? As a veteran 1E Spring quarter student, I felt like I had conquered case briefing, outlining, and the all-dreaded Socratic method style of questioning.

As it turns out, Orientation Part II was filled with as much helpful information as Orientation Part I. We learned about networking, professionalism, how to have a successful first conversation with someone, and we even had an opportunity to put those skills to use in an alumni networking happy hour. We also met with panels of alumni in small groups to ask frank questions about their jobs, the market, and how they obtained their positions. Rather than shying away from the current less than stellar status of the legal job market, Loyola decided to respond by arming its students with skills and tips for using professional contacts to gain access to jobs that are never posted. I was really impressed with the quality of the speakers and the material that the school was able to pull together.

Looking back, Orientation Part I was really about surviving law school, and I was grateful for that information in August when my biggest concern was about my academic performance. But Orientation Part II reminded me that my ultimate goal is having a career as an attorney. Now does this mean I can skip my Torts readings this weekend? No, but at least it does give me a little more motivation in getting it done.