Monday, March 12, 2018

What I Love About Loyola

Some of my favorite aspects of Loyola are the same things that brought me here in the first place. Others are things I discovered that I honestly wouldn’t have expected.

If I had to pinpoint one thing that drew me to Loyola, it was really the school’s impressive clinics. Among the offerings, there’s an immigration clinic that actually handles a long list of cases and is directly involved with other organizations in the city – not something that I saw happening at the immigration clinics at other law schools. And, of course, there’s the Loyola Project for the Innocent, which has literally made headlines around the world.

What I assumed, and what has been confirmed by my experience here, is that the strength of these clinics indicated that Loyola – again, unlike some other local law schools – is deeply involved in the city of Los Angeles. It’s true, and it’s probably the thing I love the most about this school. As I’ve attended law fairs, made connections in the city, and gotten involved in volunteering with local organizations, I’ve seen how enmeshed this school and its graduates actually are with the city.

That, of course, extends to the school’s physical location on the fringes of the Pico-Union neighborhood, just a few blocks from downtown. I was already in love with living in this city long before I started going to school here. Studying so close to the heartbeat of the city has allowed me to stay involved in music, see lots of music shows, and continue to – at least intermittently – do some freelance writing about the culture scene. I don’t think I could have done that anywhere else.

The one thing I wasn’t expecting, however, is what a great student community there is at Loyola. On every campus tour at any given law school you’ll hear that the kids at this particular school aren’t like the others – they don’t tear pages out of library books or try to steal your laptop when you aren’t looking, or whatever. I’ve only ever attended one law school, but I can say definitively that the student body here strikes a crazy balance between being dedicated to academics while also being extremely supportive of each other. I can’t imagine the community being better anywhere. And if there’s anything I particularly love about Loyola, it’s that dynamic – creating a community inside campus, while staying deeply in tune with the community outside.

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