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.