Thursday, December 8, 2016

Last Fall Finals -- Ever!

One of the challenges you may face in law school is figuring out what study method works best you. Do you prefer flash cards? Do you prefer a group setting? Do you learn better alone?

I used to worry about how other people study. I learned quickly commercial outlines didn’t work for me, neither did study groups. I know that I learn best alone. During exam season it’s just me, my textbooks, lecture notes, markers, highlighters, giant post its and my coffee. I prioritize my studying based on the order of my finals, and comfort with the course. I am a visual learner. As I review the material, I take handwritten notes in an outline form. After I’ve finished, I have to see how everything connects. I like using big poster sized post-its. I simplify concepts and write rules and exceptions. Visually seeing how everything connects, in addition to rewriting the rules and exceptions, helps me memorize and understand the law.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I usually reconnect with my classmates after I’ve done most of the heavy lifting for exam season. However, exam season is draining and can induce anxiety. I check in with my Loyola friends throughout exam season, we motivate each other and lean on one another when needed. Here at Loyola, I think most people do study in groups. We have private rooms in the library and when I pass them around this time of year, they are usually filled with groups of three or four. In fact, study groups usually form early on and people stick with their groups throughout the school year. After finals are done, we come together and usually celebrate at LA Live.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Study Groups

While I see the value in participating in study groups, it has never been my preferred method of studying.  I find that my study process that either stops and starts frequently, or launches like a rocket and ends only when there’s no more fuel.  In that context, I feel like my study habits aren’t very conducive to group study sessions.  When I’m having trouble focusing, it’s usually due to other projects or assignments crowding their way into my headspace.  When that happens, I find it best to disengage from what I initially began studying to address the other matter.  That doesn’t go over so well in a group environment.  And when my focus is clear and laser-like, my thought process is best left unexplained.  At that point I just “follow the muse” and do not question my progress until hours later.  In those moments, I probably won’t speak a word to anyone for the entire duration of the study session; conversing only seems to throw me off what I’m doing. 

That being said, I find that it is helpful to bounce my ideas off peers.  I’ll often have a chat window open and exchange ideas and best practices with my peers if we’re working on the same things.  That can be a huge time saver, and it also serves as a valuable echo-chamber where you can hear if your ideas are great, or need serious work.  But I think whether or not you’re studying in a group, it’s important to have a keen focus on your current task.  If a group helps facilitate that focus, then that’s great.  If not, there’s no harm in going it alone. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Importance of Study Groups

Right off the bat, I know that my time in law school would not have been the same if it were not for the friendships that I have made during my short time here. My friends have pushed me into becoming a better student, and helping me gain the confidence that I did not know I had. Throughout the rigors that law school gloriously offers, my peers have been an amazing support system—people that I can turn to and rely on, and most importantly, understand every step of the constant struggle.

I have always been an independent person, so study groups were never really appealing to me. I find that studying by myself limits distractions, and I tend to be more productive because I work at my own pace, and not at the pace of others, who may be ahead or behind with the subject.

However, that being said, I find that there are merits to studying in a group. For one thing, there is solace in knowing that one is not alone going through the ups and downs of constant stress and anxiety. And it is also helpful to study in groups because it can lead to the sharing of concepts/ideas, which can only help you learn better. By teaching or learning from your peers, it helps to reinforce your own understanding, while also reinforcing the understanding of others.

The student body and atmosphere here at Loyola have been more supportive than I thought it would be. The students that I have encountered have been genuine individuals, and eager to help or be helped when offered or asked. I think it surrounds the underlying idea that every student is here for the same reason, and that everyone you encounter is either going through or have been through the same struggles that you are. The relationships that I have made during my time here not only help to maintain my sanity, but also help me grow overall as a student.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Summer 2016

I’ve heard through the grapevine that the summer before you start law school is the last summer that you actually get to enjoy (so I should make the most of it, haha). To be blunt, I did not take that advice lightly, as I spent the majority of my break traveling around the world, wholeheartedly earning the nickname “jetsetter” from my friends. I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in central and northern Europe, starting my journey in Copenhagen, and making my way through Berlin, Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm.

One of the most memorable moments of that trip was exploring the countless amount of cities and finding out what each place had to offer. I wasn’t just a future 1L student, I was, in my own sense, a foreigner wanting to experience the culture (and by that, I especially mean eat ALL the food…how many people get to say that they’ve had bratwurst in Germany and meatballs in Sweden??).

Traveling the world this past summer has shown me that the world is a much bigger place than my own backyard, and that there were so many places, people, and experiences I had yet to discover. After spending a good portion of my summer outside of the country, I can comfortably settle again in my home city of Los Angeles where, let’s face it, I won’t be leaving anytime soon as long as I’m in law school. 😊

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My 2016 Summer

I spent this summer doing more law-related things than I did as a 1L. Being a 1L is largely about reading, studying, attending class, taking notes; all in search of a sort of vague academic goal. Some people want to excel and be ranked high in the class, some want to do as well as they possibly can, and some others just want to get through it in one piece. But while there is certainly a lot of “law” involved in being a 1L, it’s also an exercise in being challenged and pushed to your academic potential. 

So when I began working as an extern for Judge Suzanne Segal this summer, it felt like it was actually time to start working with the law. The theories, rules, and other “testable” materials quickly faded into the background of my legal consciousness. They were replaced with a real-world version of law – where clerks and judges and lawyers try to convince each other of things, spend long hours reading and researching, and spend even longer hours writing. Luckily for me, my judge had faith in her externs’ ability to do substantive work, so we were given projects on the first day and plenty of uninterrupted time to work on them.

Even though I was working for free (even having to pay for downtown parking every day), I never felt like the goal of my externship was to dispense free labor. I learned so much about writing and research that I still feel indebted to Judge Segal and her clerks for the time they spent editing and advising my projects. Not only that, working with clerks and judges gave me valuable insight into how courtrooms operate and what’s expected of those who walk through that door to argue a point.

Once my externship ended, I was relieved to not have to wear a suit every day, and took a week-long trip to Iceland. It was amazing. Upon returning, I went directly into the OCI process which lasted right until classes started up again. OCI was taxing and burdensome, but it is also a rite of passage for those who have high career ambitions. If you’ve ever wanted to know “where you stand” after the 1L year, OCI is certain to answer that question for you (for better and worse). Overall, the summer was eventful and full of law. I wouldn’t lie, though – it was tough and was certainly no “break.”

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Summer Sixteen

I spent my summer at the District Attorney’s office prepping preliminary hearings. I appeared on record for the first time and questioned witnesses. I also had the privilege of arguing an opposition to a motion in front of a judge. When I wasn’t in the courtroom, I was back inside my unit researching and writing motions. My experience tied together criminal procedure, evidence, and criminal law. In addition to building on previous knowledge from courses I’ve taken at Loyola, I strengthened other skills such as witness interviewing and courtroom confidence.

I spent most weekends reconnecting with friends and family. I celebrated my 25th birthday in August at a theme park. Even though I worked full time, I made sure I had time to recharge and disconnect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Before you read any further, YES, there IS more to a law student than just school. (Even though law school takes up the majority of your time and energy.)

…BUT, with the remainder of whatever else that is left of me that I have yet to give up to my studies, I surprisingly do have interests and a life outside of that sphere, most of which are the complete opposite of academia.

I came straight to Loyola Law from undergrad, where I was involved in my sorority, and held various executive board positions. Most of my free time in undergrad was dedicated to either school, spending time with my sisters/friends, playing volleyball for the club team on campus, or spending time singing in a Christian rock band with friends from back home. I also spent a lot of time with my family and two adorable dogs, as well as exercising my claim as an avid Star Wars fanatic. 

Whenever I manage to break free from the tight grasp that is my 1L year, I try to spend as much time with these various activities as possible. I do as much as I can to retain the side of me that isn’t just a “future lawyer”, because I know that there’s more to life than just “the law” (even though it doesn’t really seem that way right now from my perspective). Don’t get me wrong—I love Loyola, and I love being a law student—but it’s nice having another world outside of the demands that school imposes. For now, it’s reading, case briefing, outlining first, everything else, later.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


“You’re going to blink and before you know it, you’ll be a 3L,” words of wisdom told to me as I prepared to enter my 1L year. As I select classes for Spring 2017, I can’t believe graduation is around the corner. 1L me wasn’t so sure I’d make it this far. Law school was more challenging than I had initially anticipated. In the beginning, everything seems foreign. You are learning how to brief a case, how to analyze the law, figuring out what facts matter, how to IRAC, you sift through so much information.

What I didn’t realize back then is that the entire process of struggling with material is where the learning happens. My first reading assignment for civil procedure was on issue and claim preclusion. I must have read and reread each paragraph a few times. I did not understand what I was reading. I remember for the first time in my life, crying over that textbook. As a 3L, I remember that moment and laugh. Everything has changed. 

My name is Stephanie, I am in my last year of law school. I spend most of my time working and attending classes. In my free time, I play with my puppy Milo and experiment with Special FX Makeup.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Hello all! My name is Steve Riley, and I am a second-year law student at Loyola and a returning blogger to Jury of Peers.

A brief word about my background: I am a second-career student, meaning that I worked for roughly ten years between undergrad and law school. I got my bachelor’s degree in music from Berklee College of Music with no inclination to attend law school thereafter. I initially worked at a record company then transitioned to being a full-time drummer doing recording work, musical theater, and various freelance projects as a drummer and sometimes musical arranger.

I decided to try out law school after I started feeling like my music career wouldn’t “age well.” I wanted to do something academic for a change, and also find something that offered a more stable financial future. Also, two years ago, my wife and I had a daughter which changed my career outlook somewhat. But overall, I always imagined myself transitioning out of music at some point in my career. I still play drumming gigs on the side and play guitar every day for fun.

A good deal has changed since my first year at Loyola. I feel completely comfortable in the environment here, and have set my sights on more specific goals. It seems to me that the first year is about survival and, ultimately, grades. The major struggle of a 1L is knowing where you stand and if the choice to go to law school was a good, bad, or somewhere in between.

With the first year behind me, it seems that the second year is about trying out different career paths and seeing how they feel. That’s a much more satisfying place to be in as a student. You worry less about grades and pay more attention the career you’re trying to build. And as someone who is interested in litigation as a career, I dove head-first into the world of practice clinics that Loyola offers.

I applied to be involved with both the Project for The Innocent and the Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic. I ended joining the latter (JIFS) and it’s been a great experience. The JIFS clinic, and all the others as well, give you real experience in working with clients, often who are disadvantaged or unable to pay high attorney fees for complex legal issues. The clinics are a great way to gain experience and learn more about the practice, not merely the theories, of law. I would recommend joining a clinic to any 1L or prospective student as they are exciting and challenging in ways that classroom experiences can’t match.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Summer Plans

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Season of Change: To be continued...

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

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Summer Plans

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

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Summer Plans

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

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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Over-Prepare, then Stay Humble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Summer Plans

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Networking Opportunities

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Moving and Shaking

Loyola has given me several opportunities to network and explore different areas of law. Most recently, I attended the Speed Networking event sponsored by the Career Development Center. I was able to spend five minutes with alumni and polish my networking skills. The five minutes allowed a limited time to introduce ourselves and meet the alumni. I found this experience helpful and insightful. We were put on the spot to come up with a professional and welcoming introduction and expected to carry the conversation. The attorneys came from varying backgrounds and were very enthusiastic to offer us advice outside of the networking event.

In addition to the alumni events, another source of networking is among peers. Many of my classmates have provided invaluable connections and resources. I have found that people genuinely want to help each other where they can. For example, I recommended a fellow section mate for a judicial externship this spring. I spent the previous semester as a judicial extern and knew he would make an excellent fit. He is currently an extern for my previous supervisor with a different Judge.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Loyola provides a multitudes of networking opportunities. I would like to start with the most obvious, the alumni mentor program. The school will try to pair up participating students with alumni mentors who graduated from Loyola. The pairings are often made through considerations on background and areas of interest. My mentor is amazing, often touching base with me regarding school life and classwork. He even gave me a tour of his office. Although he does not work in the area that I am primarily interested in, it really gave me a new perspective on keeping an open mind towards various practices of law (he originally was interested in criminal law like me but ultimately works in health law now).

There are also numerous panels and lunches on various subjects such as judicial externships, immigration law, etc. These panels often include Loyola Alumni, but also includes lawyers from other schools. The primary aspect of these panels are to provide insight on the areas of discussion for the day, which really allows me to have a better grasp on the day to day life of a lawyer or how the particular area of law is typically practiced. These are extremely helpful for a clueless student like me who never knew how anything worked before attending law school. Regarding the alumni, they genuinely care about giving back to the school and guiding the path for future students. There is one Bankruptcy Judge who has appeared in numerous events, including spring orientation, a clerkship panel, and the government fair. Her willingness to help students, giving her email out to every single student at orientation, was quite touching. When it comes to networking in general and the school’s own alumni network, Loyola is simply fantastic.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Networking Opportunities

Everyone has a lot to say about law school—how it’s going to be tough so you need to manage your time well and study early, hard, and often. Another piece of advice I’ve heard is to “network, network, network.” Most students find their post-graduate jobs because they know someone who knows someone who has a job available. Luckily, Loyola has an endless amount of opportunities for students to network with professors, alumni, and professionals. Student organizations often have panels and guest speakers come to talk about their experiences in the legal world. These events create the perfect environment for networking, as students can talk to the guest speakers and exchange information. Clubs also hold networking mixers. In fact, I just attended a mixer for Business Law Society and we had an array of business and tax professionals and professors.

In my opinion, the best thing to do is find the area of law you’re interested in, join that specific club on campus, and attend all of the events the club puts on to increase your chances of meeting people who you can connect with. Another great option is to attend Loyola’s networking events. I remember going to an event last year called speed networking, where the students had 8-minute meetings with attorneys, so they were able to meet about 7 different people throughout the hour. That event was a great way to improve networking skills, which play an important role in the search for summer and post-graduate employment.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Networking Opportunities

I don’t like the connotation of “networking,” That is, net-working. Sounds like a duty, instead of an opportunity. That being said, “networking” is necessary for a healthy career. So I prefer to network like Immanuel Kant.

Kant said to never view people as means-to-an-end; but rather, respect them as autonomous agents. Thus, the better view is not to engage people for what they can offer. Instead, engage everyone for who they are.

That means socializing without ulterior motives. Find something to appreciate in everyone. Listen to them. Really listen to them. We don’t learn anything from talking, because we know everything we have to say. Thus, the more we listen, the more we learn.

Use empathy when listening. Reasoning makes us smart, but empathy teaches us what reason cannot; viz. wisdom. Use feelings to understand others, and people will appreciate it.

Attend a lot of networking events. Loyola makes it easy, hosting many events. Attend one per week. While there, enjoy networking not as a means-to-an-end, but as an end-in-itself. And bring good vibes. It’s an opportunity to meet active, ambitious people—like you. Shake hands, introduce yourself, think less and listen more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Networking Opportunities

Networking is going to be crucial here in law school. For me, it landed me my first judicial externship. If this scares you because you’re not a great networker, join the club. Networking scares most people. For law students it can sometimes seem intimidating talking to such successful individuals, whether they are lawyers or judges, etc. A classic piece of advice is to just be yourself and have some personality! Talking to them doesn’t have to be so boring. You can crack jokes (appropriately of course), and ask unique questions, and smile and laugh. I think these small things are highly noticed on their end, and much more memorable than talking to a robot.

There will also be panel discussions and guest speaker lectures that can give you an opportunity to network. A memorable panel discussion that I went to at the very beginning of first semester was an entertainment law panel discussion. This was when I was interested in practicing entertainment law. It was helpful because it simply taught me more about the field that I thought I wanted to go into. However, after speaking with various entertainment lawyers and even a couple judges, I realized that it probably isn’t the field I want to go into. But, I would not have figured this out so soon if I didn’t attend panels, network, and talk to people.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More Than a Legal Education: The Loyola Experience

I remember touring law schools before the start of 1L year. I paid close attention to the facial expressions of the current students leaving classrooms, shuffling around campus, and exiting the library. I wanted to know what the campus was really like, what I would be immersed in. I knew I wanted to go to a law school that not only provided excellent opportunities, but one where students were genuinely enjoying their experience. Two years into this journey, I am so glad I came here.

I love the friendships, professors, opportunities, alumni, student organizations, and of course Turf Club. I also surprisingly like our library, you would think I hate by now haha, but I don’t. The staff is very friendly and always willing to help. So when I think about what I really love about Loyola, I think about what makes me really happy here.

The simple answer is the people. Professor Dan Martin has a tradition of making fresh cookies at the start of every semester, available to all students. He is a research professor and is one of the sweetest people you will meet on campus. Professor Martin is just one of many professors that go above and beyond for students. Some professors give out their personal cell phone numbers, others forward externship opportunities, and others excitedly engage with you when discussing a topic after class hours. The enthusiasm of the professors makes learning such dense material entertaining and enjoyable. Oh, and a little less intimidating.

The Loyola alumni are actively involved with students. My alumni mentor has been an invaluable resource to me. I recently participated in Spring mock interviews where I learned valuable tips on making a lasting impression. I like the close feel of our community. It is easy to see why alumni come back to mentor students and why professors are genuinely happy to teach. We spend so much time here, it ends up becoming some what of a second home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Loyola Externships

This summer I accepted an offer to be an extern for a federal magistrate judge. I am very excited to have been offered this position and it’s precisely what I was hoping for when I started sending out my resumes. Unlike state court externships, there is no electronic method for submitting your materials to federal judges. This meant that I put together around 30 physical packets with a cover letter, resume, grades, and writing sample and mailed them to various federal judges. I was planning on electronically submitting my materials to the state courts as well, but I got an interview and offer before that was necessary.

Loyola definitely helped me along the way in this process. I didn’t even know what a judicial extern did until second semester orientation, where all returning students attended a panel about judicial externships. The panel extoled the virtues of externships, speaking about the value it adds to your resume, and the real-world significance of working with a judge. I was sold on the idea after that panel. Then I discussed my options with my career counselor, Jolene Horn, who then edited my resume and cover letter and counseled me at length about interviewing in the legal world. In addition, Professor Rebecca Delfino, Loyola’s externship coordinator, answered any technical questions I had. I could send emails to either one of them with questions and they answered within an hour or two! I was pretty amazed by their commitment to student’s summer opportunities.

This semester, I chose Immigration Law as my first “elective” course. I knew pretty early in the school year that this was the class I wanted to take. I felt like it was the one that struck the most “personal” chord with me amongst the ones that we could choose from. Immigration law has effected me less in my own life than it has for millions of others, but has played a large role in the lives of my wife’s family; who immigrated in the 80’s from El Salvador. I have always felt that it’s important to stick up for the rights of people who are fleeing oppressive situations and want nothing more than a shot at success in a place where that success can actually be found.

What I’ve come to “love” about Loyola after several months here is its inclusiveness. As a guy in his early 30’s with a toddler and a music degree from 12 years ago, I definitely expected to be seen as an outsider in law school. In fact, before I applied to law school I was quite sure that people with arts degrees were not even allowed to apply. What I’ve found at Loyola is that my “outsider” status has been a benefit. Amongst my professors, I have received nothing but encouragement and confidence in my abilities to do what is asked of me. My peers have been extremely nice and even curious about my background. Overall, Loyola values how their students are performing and participating in the law school culture. Whether a student attended Harvard as an undergrad, or a student was a theater actor before coming to law school, what matters is what you’re doing now.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Externships, Clinics, Etc.

I think most students would agree with me that second semester of 1L year is a lot harder and a lot easier at the same time than first semester. By the time second semester comes around you have a better understanding of what’s expected of you, and since you’ve learned what should and shouldn’t be done from first semester, you can now tailor your study habits to be more successful. A huge stress factor that comes along with second semester is the pressure of finding a summer job. This really stressed me out for quite a bit. Not only was I worried that I wouldn’t get hired, but I was worried about my application materials being flawless. After all, this takes time, and with six different classes and a major writing assignment in progress, I just didn’t have time. The second orientation came around and it focused a lot on networking. Networking is scary, but unlike most it has never been too great of a fear of mine. During a networking mixer with judges, lawyers, and other successful Loyola alumni, I began talking to a particular judge and we really hit it off! We had an awesome, genuine conversation. After following up with her some days later, I sent her over my resume and she was so pleased with it that she offered me an externship over the summer in her chambers. So, because I got this so early in the second semester, I actually did not have to apply to anything at all. This saved me tons of valuable time to put towards my studies.

A major part of what I think is great about Loyola are the down-to-earth students and faculty. This may sound trivial, but I was initially worried about people judging me for my, “too laid back and casual” demeanor and dress. Coming from an athletic background, and being the only girl in my family, I tend to wear a lot of casual clothes. I was told before law school started that, at some law schools, students dress business casual even to class. So, I thought Loyola would be one of those schools. However, to my surprise, people are very relaxed here and I don’t feel like such an outsider when I wear my hoodie, jeans and sneakers. The faculty members are also very down-to-earth and are more than willing to talk to you about things other than law.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Externships, Clinics, Etc.

I want to try everything at Loyola Law School.

Assuming I work hard and smart, this is my game-plan: this summer, I extern at the Los Angeles Superior Court. This fall, I extern in United States Federal District Court. Next spring, I extern at the 9th Circuit of the Federal Court of Appeals. Next summer, I extern at the California Court of Appeal.

In other words, I want to building a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of our legal system by seeing it from multiple points of view. I want to develop my legal writing, continually. I want to be a legal activist.

After that, I work in public interest at a Loyola clinic: preferably civil rights, juvenile justice, and landlord-tenant law. Loyola requires forty hours of pro bono work—a wonderful excuse to do good.

I want to author amicus briefs, participate in Scott Moot Court, and other Loyola academic teams.

After graduation, I want to apply for clerkships. Then, I’ll practice real estate law. Then, after a few decades, I judge for a few more, and become a professor. I write books, textbooks, and highly acclaimed articles on many topics.

Remember, this game-plan presupposes discipline, diligence and luck. I can’t control the future. But I can control my present actions, and Loyola has given me the resources to succeed.

Loyola gives its students opportunities. Loyola hires distinguished professors, who are interested in social justice. Loyola helped me apply for externships. Loyola has almost weekly events, and vibrant on-campus clubs. Loyola alumni stick together.

Work hard first year, because 1L classes are common language to all lawyers. If you find the stuff interesting, good. If not, then don’t worry. Excellent lawyers don’t require excellent grades.

Classes can be challenging, but nothing worth striving for is easy. Pay attention in class. Ask questions to classmates. Read every page of assigned reading. And never sell yourself short. The opportunities are fertile at Loyola.


• “Amicus Curiae” briefs are “friend of the court” briefs by interested, non-parties to the lawsuit.

• California state court includes the Los Angeles Superior Court, and the Court of Appeal [sic] for the Second District.

• “Clerkships” are judges’ lawyers. They write decisions for the Judges, as a paid court employee.

• “Clinics” are small service organizations, which specialize in specific areas of law.

• “Externships” are legal internships.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Loyola Experiences

One of the best things about Loyola is that the school has so much to offer to its students, from various clinics to externships to clubs for every area of law (we have a wine law society so I’m not kidding when I say every area of law). I got to extern last semester at the US Attorney’s Office in the Tax Division after applying through the school’s job site, Symplicity. Everyone gets scared by the word “tax,” but the externship combined property, evidence, civil procedure, and bankruptcy, along with a little bit of tax law. The experience was definitely different than what I had imagined, but it showed me different areas of law I had never been exposed to previously. The externship also allowed me to observe the life of a government lawyer and compare and contrast it with what I had witnessed working at a private firm. My time at the US Attorney’s Office also taught me that research is such an important part of being a lawyer; thus, getting an opportunity to strengthen my research skills was invaluable.

The faculty and LLS alumni were a huge part of why I chose to attend Loyola. The entire staff here is so helpful—you often hear stories of professors helping students find jobs or calling firms to endorse students for a position. I also had met and talked to several Loyola alumni who all truly enjoyed their time at law school. It’s amazing to talk to graduates who still have close relationships with their professors from Loyola. I think it’s a testament to the close-knit community on campus and it makes me appreciate all of the people I’ve met and became friends with thus far in my law school career.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Externships, Clinics, Etc.

There are many things to love about Loyola: the faculty, the blend of personalities, etc. One particular great aspect is how much the school offers and reminds students of opportunities for practical experiences. So often do we get emails (I’m not being sarcastic I promise) about a wide range of externship or clinical opportunities ranging from judicial externships to immigration clinics. Many of my classmates have already secured summer positions. They range from federal district court externs to LA DA extern positions. I’m personally waiting on hearing back from the Los Angeles District Attorney Consumer Division and the Superior Courts. What is great is that it was because of Loyola that I even knew to apply for these spots in the first place. The former was posted through our Job Search system while the latter was due to a panel that talked about the perks of becoming an extern for the state courts.

What’s also pretty awesome is how the elective courses allow us to explore our respective interests. Most of our courses are predetermined, but 1Ls get to choose an introductory elective course that allows us to get a foot in to the area that we are interested in. Plenty of my friends are taking Innovation (basically IP) while I think one fifth of my section is taking Immigration Law. I’m personally taking Intro to Admin Law. As someone who wants to ultimately work in the government sector, Admin Law is quite informative despite the difficult readings. Furthermore, the professor is great. My Admin professor teaches my section’s yearlong Property class along with this current Admin class. Snarky and brilliant, it’s been great. Unfortunately for him, his football club Chelsea just lost in the Champion’s league. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll be fine.

All in all, it’s been a great start of the semester. However, I have this graded memo that I have to return to now. Please don’t judge if you hear me cry in the library (I’m probably 40% kidding right now, maybe 20% kidding by tomorrow).

Thursday, February 25, 2016

This Life, in LA

Most of my days start at 9 o’clock. I brew half a pot of coffee, and start my workout: three hours of reading and thinking. By 1 o’clock, I’m at school.

Rent eats most of my money, but it’s a great investment. Living alone doubled my efficiency. Plus, I reject wi-fi, TV, and traffic, so I waste little time. I even avoid cooking to skip washing dishes. While driving, I listen to educational podcasts (viz. Hardcore History, Common Sense, and The Investor’s Podcast). While walking on the treadmill, I read. I try to improve myself emotionally and intellectually, everyday.

Law school eats most of my time, but it’s a great investment. At orientation, Dean Hayden said that law school bestows power, and thus responsibility. I completely agree. Learning the rules of society will help me fulfill my ultimate responsibility: repaying my blessings with interest. I’ve decided to become phenomenally rich, to spend my money improving society.

My average day ends at midnight. I go to my balcony and start writing: philosophy and poetry, which I’ll publish some day. But for now, I’m still on my first draft.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Law Student

         There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t feel extremely busy. Typically, I am up no later than eight o’clock every morning (except for weekends in which I sleep in until noon). My classes end at about five o’clock in the afternoon. After class I may grab a bite to eat, but not too long after I will typically head to the library to study until about ten o’clock (depending on how much work I have to get done). After this, I will head home, eat dinner, shower, and usually squeeze in about one more hour worth of work before bed. Besides my usual routine of exercising at least a couple times per week, I am not able to keep up with many hobbies during school. Although, I don’t consider working out a “hobby.” To me, it’s more of a necessity, so I absolutely have to fit that in my weekly schedule. While in law school, I balance my life by creating healthy habits and routines. The gym is one of the few things that I refuse to give up for law school. Also, I make an extra effort and time to cook healthy meals, clean up, and stay organized because these things help me to keep a clear head. Making an effort to do these small things helps me to stay “balanced.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

Daily Schedule

Here is a slice of life during the law school strife. I wake up at 6 a.m. (there are day sections and afternoon sections, I got day….obviously). I shower (hooray hygiene) and then do my hair. Under no circumstances, will I not do my hair. I begrudgingly stomp downstairs and retrieve my coffee (located inside my beautiful Boston Celtics travel mug). I live in Redondo Beach, so my commute takes an hour in the morning. That sounds bad, but I get out early and often take only twenty minutes to get home. Most of my classes start around 8 a.m., so I’m usually in class by the time I get to school. Classes are great. My professors are hilarious, so class seems to fly by. The following is an actual interaction in class today:

Professor: What town is this again?

Me:…..uh…..Los Angeles?

Professors looks at me stupefied.

Me: OHHHHHHHHHHHH, you mean in the case. My bad.

After class, I either immediately go home to avoid traffic or have lunch with my friends. If there is a long gap before my next class, we might go to the library and work on homework together. I know it sounds bad, a constant cycle of classes and reading, but it’s honestly not that bad when everyone is in the same boat. When I get home, I either do the next day’s reading or just rest or relax if it was a long day. Yes, relaxing is still a possibility in law school. As I am writing this, the Warriors are destroying the Spurs. Seriously, the Spurs have so many turnovers right now that I think at one point the ball flew out of the screen and into my hands. My favorite hobbies are reading and playing video games, but honestly it is quite difficult to keep up with that when you are so busy reading cases and have no time to invest in a novel or story oriented video game. But hey, this is the start of my professional life so some sacrifices has to be made. I’m still watching sports and playing “dumber” video games though so keeping up with hobbies is still possible. Honestly, I’m the type that goes nuts when I have too many options to choose from during the break (I get bored without work), so school is quite welcome when it is not too burdensome.

School is not everything though, despite how important grades are. Family and friends provide a nice balance. I will have a family dinner this Saturday, and Lunar New Year’s (commonly known as Chinese New Years) is coming up soon. I am definitely looking forward to indulging myself in a plethora of rice and meat. In the meantime, time to go to bed, with the alarm set to 6 a.m.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Day In My Shoes

This semester, my daily routine has been pretty consistent, since I come to school Monday through Thursday. I usually try to get the majority of my reading for the week done on the weekends, so each day, I wake up and review a little as I eat breakfast to remind myself of the materials for class that day. I’m taking four classes this semester—Ethical Lawyering, Constitutional Law, Trusts & Wills, and Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes—plus law review. I have two classes every day, except for Wednesday, which then gives me ample time to attend to law review duties and to my own personal errands.

Having three-day weekends every single week is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I get an extra day off each week which means an extra day to catch up on school work or, more likely, to catch up on sleep. Because of my undergraduate career, and now the second year of law school, I’ve become accustomed to having three-day weekends. This is where the curse fits in, as the real world, especially the legal world, does not have three-day weekends every week. But I guess I might as well enjoy the extra time while I can.

This schedule also allows me time to see my family and friends on the weekend and still have time to do some homework. The balance between school and my personal life is not too difficult for me to maintain but it comes from years of learning time-management skills. The best way I get work done is when I know I have something fun to do later on, so usually I’ll spend a few hours reading and then go out to dinner with my family or meet some friends. Setting little rewards for yourself will help you get your work done and allow you to enjoy your weekends at the same time!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Law Student

My typical law school day begins at around 8 am. As I lie in bed, my bedroom door will swing open and my rambunctious daughter will storm in yelling “Dan!” (she means “Dad!”, but her 2-year old pronunciation is understandably shaky.) I will then lounge for as long as I can while my dog, toddler all swirl on and around the bed while my wife fixes her hair and make-up for work.

Then, usually around 8:30, my wife will leave for work and I’m “on duty.” Depending on when my first class begins, I am in Dad Mode until I have to leave. In Dad Mode, I’m not really allowed to read or study or do any law school related duties. I can try, but my Dad Services will be requested immediately. We play, eat, read books, watch Sesame Street. At some point during the morning I will quickly shower and maybe we’ll go for a walk if there’s time.

Not more than an hour before my first class starts, my mother-in-law will show up to take over the parenting job. I wish her “good luck” and head out to school. At school, I head immediately to class and settle in for the day. I will always work during lunch and class-breaks, because of the extra responsibilities that await me at home. After classes, I will either head home to relieve my mother-in-law, or stay behind a bit to do some reading. If there’s an excessive amount of work to do, I will stay into the evening, sometimes 7 or 8 pm. I usually make it back before “bed time” for the little one.

After she goes to sleep, I’m again free to study and read for the next day. My wife and I will attempt to hang out for as long as we can until we turn in for the night around midnight. With a heavy workload for the next day, sometimes we can’t find much free time, but usually we can hang out for at least a little while during school nights.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, music is a big part of my life. In order to scratch the musical itch, I carve out some time most Saturday nights to play at my long-standing gig at The Grove in West Hollywood with my band. Most other music-related work has gone by the wayside in favor of school. My work-life-music ratio is usually pretty balanced, thanks to the help and support of my family, especially my mother-in-law who has been a godsend. I am able to be an active Dad, a law school student and a musician and husband as well. My key has been a supportive family and working diligently while on campus.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Slow But Steady

This semester my classes are in the afternoon. My typical day begins with cooking breakfast and making a fresh coffee. I eat as I listen to podcasts. I like beginning my days at a slow pace. There is a calmness in mornings I appreciate. Maybe it is the silence of my thoughts, or maybe it’s because I haven’t faced my work just yet.

Once breakfast is finished, I open my books. I use this time to go over notes, finish up any reading I have left, or begin the next days reading. I take my time with the material and usually leave my apartment thirty minutes before class. After classes finish, I either head to my apartment or the library to continue my studies.

I keep up hobbies and interests outside of the law. Specifically, I have been working on product development with one of my mentors. I like creating, building, and designing. I have been working on a new beauty product since August 2015. Right now we have just completed the technical drawing. The next phases scare me, but the entire process is exciting. I have learned valuable business lessons. In addition to entrepreneurship ventures, I enjoy participating in volunteer programs. This Valentines Day I will be waking up to make “love bags” and sandwiches. We will then pass them out to the homeless community in downtown Los Angeles.

If you are interested in participating, the event will take place February 13. For information, contact me at

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Winter Break

First semester was fascinating.

Thanks to reverse selection, the people at Loyola Law School are some of the most genuine, genius human beings. The teachers are quirky and interested in social justice. The events are educational and usually provide free beer. I can’t speak for every law school (because of my small sample size) but my experience in law school has been amazing.

The reading was fascinating.

I like books with a new author for every chapter, because they diversify facts and opinions. They provide holistic frameworks for thinking about a subject. They increase my odds of reading good ideas, and insure against my risk of reading bad writers, since the articles must be brief.

That’s why I like reading case law. The judges write from all over the 20th century, and all across the United States.[1] The statutes are their tools. The lawyers are their guides. And the caselaw is their map. Every case contemplates different issues, rules, facts and conclusions, often going where no case has gone before.[2]

The teaching was fascinating.

Law professors doesn’t just teach the laws. They teach the history, psychology and philosophy of law. They teach the cause of laws, and their effects. They teach us to critique current laws, and imagine new ones. We read both good and bad law. And after a while, the types of law begin to over-lap.

The legal system is fascinating.

Entering law school, I didn’t want to be a lawyer. But now I have faith in the system. Judges are constantly enforcing justice and liberty. They stand comfortably on the foundation that precedent has established. Remember that the law reflects the morality and character of its authors, and I’m proud of American jurisprudence.

There are caveats, however. At best, our judges carefully apply the law; but at worst, the Supreme Court acts as a legislature of nine. At best, our legal and moral arguments are the same ones; but at worst, lawyers must argue that apples are oranges. At best, law is organized justice; but at worst, law is corrupt.[3]

Of course, as first year law students, we are still sheltered from real-world legal realities. But it’s nice in here.

[1] Most cases are from the 1900’s, but I’ve read cases from 1350 to 2015.
[2] The cases are usually high quality, once again because of reverse selection.
[3] Bastiat, Frédéric.The Law. (1850).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winter Break

At the end of the semester when exams are over, most people are ecstatic because they’re finally done, but scared and fearful because few people actually know how they did on their exams. I was extremely proud of myself for making it to the end of the marathon, but I was also disappointed because I thought I could have done more. But, this is not unusual thinking since I always tend to think I could have done more. Law school is full of perfectionists and I’m no exception. No matter how gruesome, exam period was much needed because it taught me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. First semester as a whole was a major learning experience.

After exams were over, of course we had to start our winter break off by having some fun that night. I didn’t do much pertaining to the law over break for the simple reason of it being called a “break.” For me, this meant that I was going to do things that I couldn’t normally do while in school. So, I went hiking and kept myself very active. I also spent some quality time with my niece and nephew, who are age 2 ½ and 9. My family and I took professional holiday photos and my oldest brother got married.

Since it had been raining extremely hard the week before school started, as we were studying, my close friend and I were able to catch a rainbow appear in the sky! We were thrilled! We took this as a good omen that our second semester was going to be even more positive and full of even more surprises.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter Break

Ahhhh…exams. The fabled exams of law school came and went and we’re all still here to tell the tale. My impression of my first round of law school exams was that they were impressively difficult. My professors truly fired every missile they had at us and crafted some insanely labyrinthine puzzles for us to solve. I came to law school for a good challenge, and they brought the goods. I learned some lessons about preparation: get outlines done earlier, don’t hesitate on making the flashcards (just make them and thank yourself later). Despite some missteps, I’m satisfied with my performance and hope my section-mates feel similarly.

My winter break was excessively busy. First, Christmas came at full-speed right after the last exam; and there is absolutely no similarity between being college-aged at Christmas and being a 33-year old man with a wife and toddler at Christmas. We hosted our families; which meant shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping gifts, decorating, and sweeping pine needles out of square inch of our floor-space.

Any free chunk of time in the days before and after Christmas I spent working on music projects that I had been hired for the three weeks off I had. In my insane hubris, I decided to freely book myself during all my “off time” with drum recording work and musical arranging work. While it was really nice to dust off some of those abilities that had lain dormant for months, I did bite off more than was reasonable to chew. Luckily, I was able to get it done with no time to spare before I was off to my last activity of the break.

The Saturday before classes began, I drove my mom, my wife and I to Berkeley, CA at 6am because my brother and his wife had just had their first child, a day ahead of schedule. So, I became an uncle as of two days before writing this! We got back home the night before my first day of classes. All of this added up to a very full and exciting winter break, if not completely exhausting! As I sit down to read my first few chapters of the new semester, I can’t help but feel like it’s a bit of a respite from the wildness of my winter break.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The 1/2 Way Mark!

I don’t think there will ever be a semester where I confidently believe exams were great. I am a worrier. Even when I am prepared, I worry. I prepared for finals earlier than usual and felt confident while taking the exams. After finals, I realized I am half way done with law school. How quickly time has escaped!

Winter break was relaxing. I spent the majority of it with family and friends. I spent a short time in Miami enjoying the summer weather. I stepped away from law school and spent my break recharging for Spring semester.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Break

The exam period was the most pleasurable experience of law school. *insert pause. Alright they weren’t really the best. In fact, they were quite brutal. It wasn’t the absolute worst though. For our first year, there are two yearlong classes and two semester long classes. The semester classes had finals, but the yearlong classes had midterms. The midterms were shorter and worth only around 25% of our grade, so it took some pressure off of the exam period. Luckily, my finals were in my favorite subjects (Criminal Law and Torts [sorry property and contracts I still like you guys]), so finals were still manageable despite the toughness.

Winter break was pretty amazing. The only thing related to law that I did were summer judicial externships applications. Judges started accepting summer applications December 1st, so before finals or right after finals were the main period of applications. Applications are accepted on rolling basis, so they are often sent even before we get our official transcripts by the end of January. Transcripts can be sent in later once we received our grades. Although daunting at first, the externship department was a tremendous resource that helped guide me through the whole process.

Although I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary over winter break, it was definitely a welcome respite from the first semester of law school. I caught up with many friends who I didn’t get to hang out with during the semester. Like most people, I watched Star Wars. Although I’m not a hardcore Star Wars fan, it was still an enjoyable experience. Sorry if a bigger nerdout was expected. Christmas dinners were great. I did a White Elephant exchange with my friends, and I got an adorable glittery blue unicorn. I then did a Secret Santa exchange with my family, and got the Mistborn Trilogy of fantasy books. I made it my goal to finish by finals, and I sure did. Reading the final 500 pages in an 8 hour sitting the night before spring orientation left my hand cramped but myself so satisfied. Once again, another fantasy world extinguished and reality reentered. This semester, it is time to take on the elective Administrative Law (which is taught by my amazing Property teacher) and Civil Procedure. Welp, time to get back to the grind.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Winter Break

After long hours spent in the library studying for finals, I was very happy to go home and spend time with my family. Winter break always seems to fly by because of the holidays, but I enjoy the vacation nonetheless. Most of my break was spent sleeping and watching TV, as I’ve reached that age where my friends are all working and don’t get three weeks off to come home. I did get to catch up with a couple friends who flew into LA for Christmas though and it was nice to see old faces.

The best part of winter break by far is having my parents cook for me. I love all Persian food, but so many recipes require time that a law student like myself does not have. But my parents have mastered the art of cooking Persian dishes, so every dinner was like a little treat for me. I also got to spend quality time with my older sister (mostly at the mall) whenever she wasn’t working. I’m very close with my family, so I love hanging out with them—our family dinners basically consist of me competing with my dad to get the most laughs (I usually win :-)).

For me, winter break is a time to recharge—I definitely enjoyed the chance to turn my brain off and somewhat forget about school. However, like all good things, winter break had to end. So let the countdown to spring break begin!