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.