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).