Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Pro Bono Work

Like most post-graduates, I had no idea what I was going to do next when I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2015.  I had graduated early but had absolutely no plans for what I was going to do during my gap year.  One thing I was sure about was my interest in the law.  I knew that law school was in my game plan, however, I was still some time away from starting law school let alone studying for the LSAT, actually taking the exam, and applying to schools. 
            Having gone straight through the education system, I decided it would be important to my development to take a break to sort through my options and determine what my next move would be. I decided that the only way to know if my interest in the law was strong enough to pursue a career would be to get hands-on experience in the legal field.  So for the next two years, I worked as a legal assistant at a law firm and learned what it meant to be legal professional and a member of such a vast community. 
            Working at a boutique law firm definitely had its perks.  First, it allowed me to develop a working relationship with my boss and learn from her example.  Second, it allowed me to work and interact with clients on a daily basis.  Much of my time at work was spent talking to clients, discussing the particular details of their cases, listening to their issues, and ultimately trying to resolve them whether by contacting opposing counsel or directly filing for a hearing with the court. 
            These two years of hands-on interactive work really solidified my decision to go to law school and become a lawyer.  Thus, when considering law schools, one of the most important factors for me was the opportunity for hands-on, interactive work.  In fact, one of the reasons I chose Loyola was their emphasis on experiential learning through their various legal clinics (i.e. Immigrant Justice Clinic or Project for the Innocent) and their pro-bono requirement.  The fact that they put such an emphasis on giving back to the community while at the same time giving students a hands-on opportunity to learn and explore their interests was a selling point for me.    Fast forward one year later, and I’m in the middle of my 1L year and looking to start applying and participating in these unique experiences.  I can’t wait to get started!

            Until next time friends!

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