Thursday, March 30, 2017

Networking and Career Development Opportunities

Loyola definitely offers its students a vast array of opportunities to network and learn more about legal practice areas. Each week, there are several different panels, events, lectures and workshops covering a broad selection of topics. Whether you’re interested in entertainment law, summer internships, civil rights or nearly any other law topic, there is sure to be an upcoming event tailored to your interests.

I have personally attended numerous lunchtime panels and events. I have become fond of faculty workshops where visiting academics come to present their research and answer questions/critiques about the papers that they’re writing. It’s fun and interesting to watch our professors ask very tough questions and wage intellectual battle with each other over the presented topics. Panel discussions are also great because you can get a broad overview of a different topic. I recently attended a panel about “law and technology” which was fascinating for a variety of unexpected reasons. I don’t always make a point to technically “network” at these type of functions, but I do tend to ask questions and introduce myself to people who I find particularly interesting. The great thing about networking in law school is that practicing attorneys all went through this process and are they feel a sort of kinship with current law students.

The Career Development Center also offers a lot of valuable events and opportunities for students. They’re always there to help with building your resume, interview preparation, general advice and a seemingly endless array of services. They also put on employer-engagement events and those often lead directly to interviews and jobs for Loyola students. I have always felt free to take advantage of the CDC and they’re happy and willing to help out in any way they can.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Networking and Career Development Services Opportunities

One of things I found most helpful during my short time here was the amount of ways I can network and be able to develop my career right from the start. Many student organizations have lunch time speakers and panels, as well as workshops and networking opportunities with guests from various organizations, agencies, and industries coming to speak to students regarding their particular field of work. I’m glad to say that I have attended quite of number of these, due to the interest that I have in various fields such as the public sector, in-house counsel, and the like. Attending these discussions during my break is a great way to learn more about life post-law school, as well as get a free lunch ;)

A lot of the programming put on by the Office of Career Development was especially helpful, most particularly the Public Interest Fair that was hosted at UCLA. I had spent an entire day interviewing with various employers in the government/public sector, which was really convenient since all my interviews were in once place, at one time. I also had the chance to speak with various other organizations and agencies at the fair that had set up booths for students who are interested and looking for more information regarding their area of work. The Career Development office, as well as my counselor, has been extremely helpful in helping me not only find an externship for the summer, but helping me make important decisions regarding my future in law.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Externship and Clinical Experience at Loyola

I have completed a judicial externship and have also participated in two clinics as a 2L. I think experiential learning is perhaps the most valuable opportunity given to Loyola Law students and puts Loyola in a different class than other schools.

I did a judicial externship in the summer between my 1L and 2L years. I applied all across the board to every federal judge in Los Angeles and ended up with an offer from a federal magistrate judge. The experience was great for me. Judges and their clerks have a lot going on, and they could use help when they can get it. I was completely open to doing whatever work was thrown my way. My judge and her clerks responded by giving me a lot of projects. While I worked on matters that would tend to be low on the priority list for a judge or career clerk, as a learning law student I was glad to have the opportunity to make my mark on those projects. I was able to greatly improve my persuasive writing and my judge was extremely generous with her time and gave me a lot of personal feedback. I came away from that experience a much better writer and more confident to move forward into my remaining law school years.

The clinics offered at Loyola are a great way to learn, grow, and impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. In my work with the Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic (JIFS), I’ve been able to write briefs on behalf of our clients, respond to their needs, and to represent them in court. It’s been a lot of work but I can’t recommend joining a clinic enough. There’s something about working with real stakes and legitimate deadlines that will drastically improve your legal mind. In my experience, you’ll find yourself well supported by experienced attorneys, but at the end of the day, you need to own your work product and represent your client’s position competently and with vigor. Gaining that experience while still in school is so incredibly valuable and will end up looking great to employers when the job hunt is on.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Summer Externship Plans

There’s so much more to law school than just obtaining your law degree. It’s amazing how many things you can get involved in here at Loyola, for the benefit of your education and your future career. This summer I plan on externing in the public interest sector, and it is one of the things I am looking towards working for after I graduate. I am excited to look into what my potential future career will consist of.

The Career Development Center helped me essentially with finding a job for the summer, which at the beginning of the year, I didn’t even know where to begin with that endeavor. My career counselor helped clean up my resume, cover letter, and explained to me the process of applying and what potential externships I could look towards concerning my interests.

I have not yet selected a concentration, but I am considering various options. Many of the 2Ls and 3Ls I’ve sought advice from suggested that I take up one, because it can be beneficial in the long run towards my career, since it would highlight and add emphasis to that specific subject of law.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

And the Winner is: Loyola Law School

First things first, can we talk about the Oscars this past Sunday?!? It was easily the most memorable thing I have ever seen on an awards show. I don’t know about you guys but for me, it was so uncomfortable to watch, but at the same time, I could not force myself to look away. Although I felt bad for the La La Land team, I was thrilled to see that Moonlight was rewarded for being such a beautiful and honest movie. Okay, we can move on now.

If you do not know me, the one thing you would probably figure out within fifteen minutes of our first conversation is that…I eat, live, and breath the entertainment industry. My love for the field is at the core of my very being. I know, I know—I can be a little dramatic sometimes. In all seriousness, since I was just a child, I knew that there was only one industry that I could ever be fully satisfied with. And that, my friends, was how my lifelong passion for the entertainment industry was born.

For this reason, when I was trying to decide where I would spend the next three years of my life, it was either going to be Los Angeles or Manhattan. I knew that I definitely only wanted to attend a law school with a strong entertainment law concentration. As it happens, Loyola has consistently been among the top of entertainment law programs in the entire country. Thankfully, I was smart enough to apply to Loyola and blessed enough to be accepted. I guess you could say that things worked out because along the way, I have gained some amazing friends and been privy to some pretty incredible opportunities, many of which the Entertainment and Sports Law Society organized.

Although I am stoked to take some entertainment law courses next year, for now, I am trying to navigate through my core classes and excited to learn more about my 1L elective—international law with Professor Glazier. The process for picking your elective is pretty straightforward. Each student ranks their preferences for the courses, and the Registrar's Office makes every effort to make sure you get placed in one of your top three choices.  I was incredibly lucky to have been placed in my first choice and have already learned a lot, including that you can pay a small fee and become a Baroness or Countess of Sealand…To be honest, I’m still contemplating whether to become Countess Holly or Baroness Holly. Thoughts? I chose international law because I feel like it is incredibly important to know what’s going on not just in America, but all around us. Additionally, I think learning about international law is even more important given the current day and age.

Anyways, I have to get back to studying for my Contracts midterm, so wish me luck you guys. I want to leave you with one takeaway: Let there be no confusion here—in my eyes, there is only one winner for best law school and it’s Loyola.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What I Appreciate Most About Loyola

One of the things I appreciate most about Loyola is the faculty, and their dedication to their students. I have had numerous interactions with my professors during class time and office hours, and I have noticed that every time I speak to them regarding a question about class, to a specific topic I am having difficulty in, they are more than willing to go the extra mile to make sure I have a stronger understanding of the subject, and that I am prepared to handle these issues in the future when I am practicing.

Loyola prepares its students to be more than ready after graduation to able to apply the concepts that are learned in the classroom to real world situations that are likely to come up when working as an attorney. And it’s not just from the faculty—the career center is always helpful and available when I need to speak to them regarding potential externships, as well as interview help and resume/cover letter building.

My experience thus far has helped me gain a better understanding of the law, and that I am not just learning what the law is, but also how to apply it, and the various rationales for its implementation and the reasons why we have it. Being here has helped to reinforce why I wanted to study law and become an attorney.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Loving the Balance at Loyola Law School

What I love about Loyola is that there is always a balance on display when you’re here. I see people lounging in the sun during the afternoons, talking and laughing. On that same day I will also see people intensely studying in the library, surrounded by books, print-outs and empty coffee cups. I can attend fun Loyola events at bars and clubs which are thrown purely for the fun of it. I can also attend a lecture or panel where the topics could not be more serious. I hear people talking intensely about some litigation issue out of one ear, and here people gossiping about their social life out of the other ear.

There are young people here, older people here, and there doesn’t seem to be a disconnect. There are people from all walks of life all gathered into one place achieving their own goals while helping each other out. People celebrate their diversity here while also enjoying their existence in a place where ethnicity, age, race, social status don’t matter so much.

The environment at Loyola is balanced, equalized and normalized in a way that the outside world wishes itself to be. As someone who is a bit older than average, I sincerely hope that the younger students (and incoming younger students) appreciate this sort of environment as much as I do. There are not many places where intellectual honesty is valued as much as, say, the sort of car you drive or whether you look amazing in your Instagram photo. I think Loyola keeps the older feeling younger, and the younger feeling more mature. We can all learn something valuable from each other, and that is what makes Loyola a great place to be.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I Love Loyola and So Will You

Valentine’s Day just came and went this week. For those of us who had Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” on blast all day, I say, ‘Good Riddance’ until 2018. Honestly, it really seems like 2017 is flying by, and my first-year classes at Loyola are probably the reason why. This semester, many of my classmates (and myself) are overwhelmed because we are having to balance job searches with classes. I thought last semester was rough, but this semester makes it look like child’s play. Don’t get me wrong; I would not trade a minute of it.

Quite frankly, I am happy at Loyola. There is something about going to law school in downtown Los Angeles. As a kid growing up in rural Alabama, I was always passionate about the entertainment industry. Naturally, like Billy Joel with New York, I was in a Los Angeles “State of Mind.” Side-bar: If you have never heard Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”, do yourself a favor and listen to it immediately. He’s nicknamed the “Piano Man” for a reason, you guys. Back to our Loyola discussion: The thing I love most about Loyola is the people. Both the faculty and the students here really do, in my opinion, make Loyola an incredibly unique and inspiring place.

I have been very fortunate during my time here to meet some incredibly genuine, smart, and helpful people that I am proud to call “friends.” Whether we are in the library hunting for a study room to prep for Contracts or we are grabbing a quick bite/Diet Coke at Sonia’s after Civ Pro, I know that I can count on them for help with schoolwork or just to help me escape the stress of Memo-writing. The people really do make the experience. As someone who is prone to being introverted when in a new atmosphere, believe me when I say that your law school friends will play such huge roles in your life.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Building Relationships with Faculty

For me personally, I haven’t yet had too much of the opportunity to build a close relationship with a faculty member. However, this does not mean that I don’t want to in the future. In my short time here at Loyola, I’ve met many faculty members—most of them my own professors—that I would love to get to know outside of the classroom setting and learn things about them, such as their reason for pursuing law, what attracted them about the field they are currently in, and what steps I can take to get to where I want to end up after law school.

However, I have gotten to know some professors a little bit through office hours when I have questions regarding class material. I feel that this is a good way to connect to professors because there is open, face to face communication, rather than exchanging emails that can be quite distant and impersonal.

The faculty themselves are readily available when it comes to asking questions in class and in office hours. Faculty members are also quick to respond via email, which I find is super helpful, as I am not always on campus to be able to go upstairs in the Burns Building and drop by. Also, it’s very easy to run into a faculty member at Sonia’s, and the professors I’ve encountered are always engaging and often strike up conversations with me.