Friday, April 5, 2019

Loyola Professors Are Great Teachers, And Invaluable Mentors

The faculty at Loyola are one of the school’s greatest assets, without a doubt. Not only are many of them top-tier scholars in their respective fields, they’re also fantastic mentors. When I started at Loyola last year, I hoped I could lean on the faculty for insight and advice – after all, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but I really had no idea what that looked like in a practical sense. I was inspired as soon I set foot in my first class (Torts, with Prof. Adam Zimmerman). Prof. Zimmerman made the subject fascinating and real, particularly when he staged debates, or helped us think about how legal issues manifest in everyday life. Outside of class, Prof. Zimmerman shared career advice. He also talked to me about his scholarship, and he didn’t talk down. For a 1L, that’s a nice bit of encouragement.

And that was only the first professor I had. As I progressed through my first days – and then, through to my second year – I met professors who do work in fields I’m passionate about. Some of them have proved to be amazing allies – in my work with the Public Interest Law Foundation, for instance. Others have taken the time to write letters of recommendation, or even just given me recommendations about where I might go as a lawyer to pursue my passion for social justice. As a soon-to-be lawyer staring out at the open ocean of professional possibilities, their words have given me much valuable direction.

Perhaps more than anything, however, I simply feel indebted to many of my professors for how well they have taught me about the law. That includes, of course, the legal doctrine – the standard for summary judgment, or the exceptions to the warrant requirement. But it extends far beyond that. For example, Prof. Zimmerman, on our last day of Torts, talked about how one of the greatest things you can provide for a client, as an attorney, is a chance to be heard; to have their day in court. That’s an empowering idea for me, particularly as I ponder a career serving the underserved. I appreciate my professors immensely for giving me the tools to help others have their chance to be heard.

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