Monday, April 9, 2018

Continuing My Legal Education Off Campus

The one thing I have looked forward to most since starting law school is finally getting off campus. Not that I don’t like digging into legal concepts – as I’ve said before, it’s actually a pretty fun exercise to learn about the concepts that drive the law, especially if you’re into subjects like philosophy or history.

But I came to Loyola specifically to be a public interest attorney, and I’m chomping at the bit to get started. Two years ago, I was working as a full-time freelance writer, supplementing my income with my side hustles. In the morning, I’d drive past the courthouse downtown and see people dressed up in suits; I envied how many of them had a career using their intellect to make positive changes in the city. In the evening – in between working at a family portrait studio in Silver Lake and cranking out articles about the L.A. music scene – I’d run laps around the park by my house and plot and scheme about how I, too, could contribute to the city in the same way. I registered for the LSAT, bought a practice book, and never looked back. Now, every class, every seminar, every final exam gets me closer to what I imagined on those evening runs.

This summer, I’ll be externing at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and in the fall I’ll be externing in the chambers of a Federal District Court judge. I’m nervous and excited – I don’t know what the experiences will be like, and I’m sure there will be steep learning curves and plenty of entry-level awkwardness. At the same time, though, I know that even the work I contribute in my short tenures at those offices will contribute something to the work they do. And I’ll be a step closer to working every day to serve the city I call home.

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