Friday, May 31, 2019

Sunrise, Sunset – The End of the Year and the Start of the Summer

This is my last post of the year and I feel like the time has absolutely flown by. Before I start, I just wanted to thank you for checking out my blog! I hope I have given you a bit of insight into life at Loyola with some advice and fun anecdotes. I have already experienced so much in my classes, extracurriculars, Barristers’ Ball (check out the photo below!), and in my job hunt for the summer. Still though, there is a lot left to do before classes wrap up. I haven’t totally nailed down all of my summer plans but I am interviewing everywhere and there are still on-campus activities that could impact my summer – particular Loyola’s nationally ranked Byrne Trial Team.

On the job front, I’m in the midst of second and third round interviews with several firms. I won’t lie, I am a little jealous of the people who earned judicial externships. Most of my friends who applied for externship spots and have known since January what they would be doing for the summer. It would be nice not to worry about interviews but I’m still happy with my decision to try the firm route. In addition, there are additional externship opportunities available in the future after I’ve taken classes like evidence.

It is funny how my job interests have developed since the start of the year. In the beginning, I thought that I would only ever want to do transactional work. Recently though, I had to present oral arguments as part of my legal writing class. I was so much fun, I HAD to add several litigation firms to my job search. You never really know what you’re going to be good at or how your interests are going to develop so stay open possibilities.

The other exciting summer prospect that needs nailing down is the opportunity to be on the Byrne Trial Team, which is ranked 9th in the country! Tryouts are actually tomorrow and I need to practice my closing arguments and cross examination skills. If I were to make the team, I would have to attend a summer boot camp in the evenings in addition to my summer position. Wish me luck! Whatever happens, I’m excited for the summer and for the coming year.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer Is Here

I can’t believe this is my last blog post during my 1L year! I cannot express how quickly time has flown. When I first started law school, I thought this year would drag on, and don’t get me wrong, at times it seemed never ending, but looking back I have no idea where the time has gone. I am so thankful to have spent my first year of law school at Loyola. The friends and relationships I have made so far are more than I could have ever hoped for.

            It has been my honor to blog for Loyola during my first year and it’s been a pleasure sharing my experience so far. My plan for the summer is to work. I have been applying at employment firms and for entertainment positions. I have had wonderful informational interviews with very impressive attorneys that have given me helpful career advice and articulated the different steps I can to take to get where I want to be.  I will also be diving deep into research this summer as I have a plan to implement a new organization on Loyola’s campus in the coming years.

            I am excited to see what this summer will bring. While working and researching I will also be taking a summer school class. I plan to take Evidence so that I can lighten my course load during the fall semester and intern throughout the year. I also like the idea of not getting out of the “school mode” so taking a summer school course is perfect for me.

            Loyola has been very helpful in my career search. We are constantly getting emails and updates about open positions and there are numerous events educating us on how to format our resumes and curate our cover letters. Simplicity (a career builder and event website run by Loyola) is also a wonderful tool in searching for open positions. While final exams are still ahead of me, I often find myself reflecting on this year. A year ago today I was still in St. Louis about to finish up undergrad. It seems like a lifetime ago, and I have grown so much since then. This year has had it its ups and downs, but I would gladly choose Loyola all over again.

Summer is Here

Hello, Jury of Peers! I can’t believe that is the last time I’m saying hi to all of you. Yes, the semester is ending and graduation is so close! Also, my birthday is one day before graduation so I can say that I am twice as excited for May.
I feel that the time flew by, but I also feel that I am ready for a new chapter in my life. I am going to be a clerk for the DA’s Office in Los Angeles and I am so excited for that because I want to practice criminal law in the future so this is going to be a great learning opportunity for me!
Also I will start studying for the bar exam, but I am going to sit for the bar in February so I have more time to study and focus on the exam. I have to admit that I am a little bit scared of the bar exam but I will do my best and hopefully next year I have good news.
It was a pleasure for me to be a LLM student at Loyola Law School this past year. It was so far the best experience of my life and I am so grateful for everything that I learned and that I spent so much time on campus. I recommend to everyone out there to live this experience if you can, and I am sure you will not regret it!
Thank you Loyola Law School for being my home for this past year and I know you will always be my home! I am sure that all the opportunities and achievements that I will have from now on will be thanks to you and because of that I will be forever grateful.
For all the future LLM students, know that you are not alone: Loyola is your family! Also, the LLM alumni are your family too!
Now let’s see what the future has prepared for me.
Bye, Jury of Peers!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Summer is Here

It seems as though from the moment the school year begins, law students around the country begin thinking about their summer plans. While some students find their summer positions during the first few weeks of school through the OCI process, many use the school year to explore their options. As a transfer student at Loyola, I was fortunate enough to be able to still participate in the second round of OCI—an opportunity that not many schools provide to their transfer students. Although I ultimately decided to wait on making any summer plans, the OCI experience gave me a head start at developing my interview skills, finessing my resume, and getting familiar with the law school job market.

As the year progressed, I began putting in more effort into my summer job search. One resource I relied on heavily was Loyola’s Symplicity job page. As positions became available, Loyola’s Career Development Office would share these opportunities with students via this online platform. The page was updated almost daily and allowed students to apply to the positions directly from the postings themselves. Ultimately, it was through Symplicity that I secured my summer position.

This summer I will be working as a Summer Associate at mid-sized law firm in Downtown Los Angeles. I will be pursuing my interest in Employment law by working for the firm’s Employment practice group. I had initially applied for the position on Symplicity in late Fall. I remember thinking that the position seemed too good to be true but thought that I had nothing to lose by applying. After not hearing anything back for a few months, it seemed fair to think that I should probably start exploring other options. Right before Spring Break, however, I got a call for an interview and the rest is history!

I could not be more excited to start my position this summer. I can confidently say that Loyola’s Career Development Office and my counselor Katrina have been instrumental in helping me secure my summer position. Many of my friends at other schools are surprised at how committed Loyola is to placing its students in unique and prestigious externships, jobs, and practical learning opportunities.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

And Just Like That, Another Year is Over

Welcome back to the Jury of Peers, readers! I hope this blog post finds you happy and well!

Can you believe it?! This is the last entry for the academic year! The spring semester is coming to an end, and summer is just around the corner, which means final exams, last minute studying, and summer jobs! It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year again, but 2L really has gone by so so SO FAST!

I am currently in the process of attending my final lectures for the semester and getting prepared for the exams season, which to be honest is and will always be a nerve-racking and stressful time. It’s truly crunch time trying to work on and finish course outlines, finish office hours for my clinic, the Project for the Innocent, and make sure I’m on top of all my readings and assignments for my courses that are still in session.

In addition, I am also in the process of figuring out what I want to do this summer. I am currently working on the transactional tract for the entertainment law concentration and one of its requirements is experiential. So I am currently trying to decide if I want to do an externship/field placement for credit during the summer or if I want to do another form of employment or internship. I am also trying to decide if I want to take classes over the summer so I can clear up some space in my schedule during my last two semesters and take other classes that I am either interested in or think would be fun. That being said it’s a lot to think about, and to be honest, I’ve been putting the thought of it on the backburner because I’ve really been trying to focus on my classes and getting the grades I need to put me in the best position heading into 3L. Am I stressed? You bet I am. Am I worried? A little. But I’m not letting myself get bogged down by those thoughts when there’s still a lot of work to get done this semester! There’s plenty of time to worry about jobs between now and the summer, and I’m hopeful that everything will work out!

On another note, I’m hoping to find some time to relax and spend time with family and friends this summer. It’s my final summer of law school, and I think that calls for some adventures!

So until the next time readers… enjoy your summer and see you in the new year!

Friday, May 24, 2019

School's Out For Summer!

Well, not yet. But we are OH SO CLOSE. It is hard to believe that this is going to be one of my last summer breaks ever (it is still a break even when you are working full-time, right?). Next year, when I graduate, my summer will be completely devoted to the bar exam, so I do not count that one.

This summer, I will be working for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office as a certified law clerk. I also worked there last summer, but as a 1L, I wasn’t able to be certified, so this summer will be even better because when you are certified, you get to speak on the record. I will be making motions, conducting preliminary hearings and arraignments, and assigned to a specific felony unit. And not only will I get to do all of this, I will actually be getting paid for it (which is rare when working for a government agency).

I am from Sacramento County and ultimately want to end up back there one day, so I was a little worried about going to school in Los Angeles at first. But I soon learned when I started interviewing up north as a 1L that Loyola is respected all over California, especially in prosecuting offices, for turning out trial-ready attorneys. I was specifically asked about the Hobbs program (which I am in) and my interviewers knew what the Byrne Trial Team was from reputation. I know for a fact that just having “Loyola Law School” on my resume made a difference in my interviews. It not only made me stand out in the sea of Northern California schools, but its reputation absolutely proceeded itself.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Loyola's Pro Bono Requirement

Loyola has a pro bono requirement, that each student must fulfill before graduating. Being part of a law school that puts such an emphasis on helping others, makes me extremely proud and I look forward to exploring the various opportunities to assist in the community.

As a 1L, I have not completed all my pro bono hours yet and frankly, I am not even close. I have signed up for a few events here and there, but the bulk of my pro bono hours will be fulfilled in my 2L and 3L years. I recently signed up to be a mock juror for the “Young Lawyers Program”, that helps high school students learn about the legal system and practice their skills. This is a program I had planned to be a part of this semester, but their meeting times conflicted with my class schedule. I definitely foresee myself making room for this program next year, as working with high school kids, is very near and dear to my heart. Before law school, I had worked with and trained middle school and high school aged students in basketball and mentored them in other areas as well. I would love to transition those skills over to teaching students about the legal system and peaking their interest in law. I cannot think of a better way to fulfill my requirement. ☺

There are a plethora of other events/clubs/activities that satisfy the pro bono requirement awaiting me. From clinics to volunteering on the weekends, Loyola makes sure we have various opportunities at our avail. Clinics are an amazing way to fulfill your pro bono requirement. They provide hands on experience for students in a variety of fields.

My interests in law school still lie heavily in the entertainment and sports world. I would love to find a way to incorporate sports law into a pro bono activity/event. I definitely plan to do some digging over the summer to find a way to make it happen. For now, I will continue to be on the look out for all the wonderful ways Loyola allows us to help our community.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Forty Hours

As you may or may not know, Loyola was the very first law school in California to institute a mandatory pro bono work requirement to graduate. During your three (or four) years, you must complete 40 hours of approved pro bono legal work. These hours generally cannot be related to your summer internships or clerkships. It may sound like a lot of work but there really are A TON of opportunities to earn pro bono hours from organized clinics, to election volunteering, to random opportunities emailed to you daily.

Full disclosure: I went to catholic schools most of my life where community service was just part of the fabric of attendance. I had service requirements for elementary school and a one-hundred-hour service requirement at Damien High School. The first time I didn’t have a service requirement was when I went to undergrad. Needless to say, the pro bono requirement did not faze me at all and was actually a feature that drew me to Loyola!

Just thinking about the requirement forces you to consider what’s important to you – what do you really feel passionately about? For me, that is housing. I came of age during the Great Recession when close friends of mine were seriously threatened by the prospect of losing their homes. I worked my very first job in the legal field during that time and it happened to be in bankruptcy. Every single day, I met and spoke with clients whose mortgages were vastly greater than the value of every last possession they owned, including their homes. It was an incredibly rewarding experience. It seems counter-intuitive but, through bankruptcy, many clients were actually able to reestablish their financial footing and put their lives back on track. My first pro bono position was naturally at a firm that specializes in tenant-land law, as you well know if you have read my prior blog posts.

You can start working toward your pro bono requirement after the first semester of your 1L year. Just like summer employment (also discussed in prior posts), Loyola delays when you can start accruing hours until after finals because your first semester is all about your classes and how to succeed academically. Once the last day of finals is over though, you are free to start earning your pro bono hours. I won’t lie, I actually thought that we couldn’t start earning hours until second semester started. When I applied to work over the winter break, my goal was really just to gain experience and put my newly acquired knowledge into action in an area that excited me. It was only after I started that I realized I could also earn pro bono credits. All-in-all, I’d say my mistake worked out well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Loyola's Pro Bono Requirement

One of the qualities that distinguishes Loyola from other law schools is the school’s unwavering commitment to public service. After all, the school was built on the Jesuit values of serving the community and applying the knowledge gathered in the classroom in the form of public service, all while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

When I first heard about Loyola’s 40-hour pro bono requirement, I must admit I was a little bit taken aback. 40 hours seems like a lot and with the busy schedule of a law student, every minute of your time seems accounted for. However, after only a few weeks of school I realized how doable and important those 40 hours really were. Today I can confidently say that fulfilling pro bono hours is probably one of the easiest and most fun parts of law school.

As I’ve mentioned in prior blog posts, the experiential and extracurricular options at Loyola are endless. Whether you’re interest in tax law, employment law, or criminal law, there is an organization for you. Because Loyola emphasizes the importance of public service, many of these groups provide students with the opportunity to do the required pro bono hours in a particular practice area that they may hope to pursue in the future.

For me, I knew that I wanted to join one of Loyola’s clinics. One clinic that piqued my interest was the Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution’s Mediation and Conciliation Assistance Clinic. In joining the clinic, I wanted to get hands on experience with the community and develop new skills that would help me in my career as an attorney. Not only was I able to accomplish these goals, but I also fulfilled all my pro bono hours in just one semester of working at the clinic. While I initially didn’t know if I would continue with the clinic after Spring semester, I have no doubt that I will go on to participate in the clinic throughout my time at Loyola despite already having completed my pro bono hours.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Loyola's Pro-Bono Requirement

One of the factors that originally drew me to Loyola was their commitment to social justice, and their public interest focus. As part of our graduation requirements all Loyola students must complete at least forty pro-bono hours. While as 1Ls our primary focus is our classes, I’ve still had the opportunity to become involved in some of the pro-bono opportunities on campus. As first-year students we have the opportunity to complete up to ten hours of pro-bono work during our Spring semester. This semester I will complete some of my pro-bono hours by volunteering as a mentor for Loyola’s Young Lawyers Program.

Loyola’s Young Lawyers Program brings students from local high schools to campus to teach them the main aspects of litigation. Students learn how to write opening and closing statements, how to challenge evidence, and how to direct and cross-examine witnesses. At the end of the semester students compete with other groups as either plaintiffs or defendants. In our role of mentors, we assist high school students in preparing for their roles and we encourage them to continue their education. Participating in Young Lawyers this semester has been a great opportunity that I hope to continue next year. Having the opportunity to mentor first generation students is incredibly empowering and helping put together the trial gives me the opportunity to apply what I learn in the classroom in a practical way.

While I hope to continue being a part of Young Lawyers in the upcoming years, I am also excited to pursue other opportunities to help our community. For instance, next Fall I hope to apply for either the Street Law Teaching Practicum or the Civil Rights Law Practicum. I also hope to have the opportunity to work for the Project for the Innocent, which works to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted. I feel Loyola has so many opportunities to become involved with the community and to do meaningful pro-bono work that the hard part is deciding how to fit all my interests into my time in law school.

Friday, May 17, 2019

I'm Pro-Pro Bono!

So you’re currently a prospective student for Loyola, and you’ve just learned that Loyola was one of the first law schools in the country to both encourage pro bono student work and actually require it for graduation.  You must be thinking: “Wow, I have to do the school thing, and do 40 hours of pro bono work too? What’s pro bono work? How will I find it?  When will I have time?!”  But fret not reader, you have three years, including the summer to finish those hours.  Plus, there are plenty of opportunities available to Loyola students.  Let’s get started:

·       There are off-campus opportunities at the various non-profit organizations in the area, such as the ACLU or the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), that become known to students through listings in the “Need 2 Know News” mailer or emails from the Career Development Office or Public Interest Department.
·       The various clubs and organizations on campus have pro bono opportunities as well.  For example, when I worked as a research assistant for one of the professors at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC), we ran a project that sent law students of varied experiences and interests to go to the Detained Immigration Court in Downtown Los Angeles to sit in on the hearings and take down the information of those respondents who were unrepresented or eligible for pro bono legal representation.  These students were able to select their hours to volunteer and had the option to do it for pro bono hours too.
·       Additionally, there are opportunities through the different on-campus Social Justice Clinics, which include the Project for the Innocent, Immigrant Justice Clinic and Juvenile Justice Clinic.  Students can apply for these clinics during the spring semester for participation in the following year for either a single semester or full-year. 

Currently, I am in the middle of completing my pro bono requirement through my enrollment and participation in Loyola’s Project for the Innocent.  As mentioned in my previous experiential learning blog post, it’s a one-year requirement that involves evaluating and working on cases of those currently serving life sentences in California state prisons for the purpose of building a case of wrongful conviction.  These are real people with real cases, and the experience to date, because of this real-life component, has been heart-wrenching, moving, awe-inspiring, and humbling.
            As a clinic student we have a couple requirements, which include:

·       Attending a two-hour seminar once a week in which we learn about subjects, such as  the different issues present in wrongful conviction cases, complete assignments pertinent to the class discussion that week, and write memos and essays pertaining to our assigned cases.
·       Holding a minimum of four in-clinic office hours a week during the semester.
·       Completing a minimum total of 150 hours of work on our cases each semester.

It may sound like a lot of work, on top of academics, but to date, it’s been a manageable and unique experience that’s allowed me to learn about the justice system and prevalent legal issues, fulfill my pro bono requirement for graduation, and gain invaluable legal experience.  I have found that participating in pro-bono work has been such a unique experience that’s allowed me to explore a different area of the law and become a more well-rounded student and future lawyer. So I’m definitely pro-pro bono work while in law school!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pro Bono is Fun!

As part of my graduation requirement here at Loyola, I have to complete 40 pro bono hours before I graduate. That goes for every single student at Loyola: we all have to complete 40 hours of pro bono work. It is part of the school’s commitment to public interest law.

I didn’t start working on my pro bono hours until this year as a 2L and now I have over half of the required hours done. I was able to satisfy many of my pro bono hours by being a bailiff and helping set-up the National Civil Trial Competition, or NCTC. NCTC is a national trial advocacy competition that is hosted by Loyola every year. The Byrne Trial Team plays a large part in hosting the competition, which is why I was so heavily involved this year.

As a bailiff, I kept time for the trial advocacy competition and was the liaison for the competition judges. I was able to watch several impressive trial advocacy teams compete, which was incredibly entertaining, while at the same time satisfying my pro bono requirement. It was nice to have the opportunity to not only satisfy my requirement, but also have fun doing it and be really interested in the subject matter!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Networking and Career Development Opportunities

Law school is a sea of unknowns. Almost everything you encounter is unfamiliar. For me in particular, the place, the people, the city, the structure, the professors, the content, was all new. Loyola definitely realizes how all these foreign experiences can weigh on a first-year law student and they do an excellent job at taking some of that pressure off of us.

Among the plethora of challenges, learning how to network is one of the most pressing difficulties of law school. Loyola hosts a variety of networking panels, guest speakers and other career development events to help kick start our career search and to give us much needed experience at networking with all kinds of attorneys.

I have been lucky enough to attend a variety of these events. I am part of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society as well as a 1L representative for the Woman in Entertainment Law Society and Woman’s Law Association. They, along with other Loyola clubs, have put on a host of wonderful events this year, in which attorneys from different fields travel to Loyola’s campus to talk to us about their experiences in their chosen industry and to give us advice about the steps we should be taking to set ourselves up for success. While I have enjoyed all of the guest speakers thus far, the most memorable was when the general counsel for the Lakers, Dan Grigsby, visited Loyola to share information on how he was able to work his way to such a prominent position.

Loyola puts on brown bag lunch events and panels, which involve a variety of attorneys speaking about their experiences and answering any questions we may have. Further, Loyola organizes numerous networking events. I recently had the pleasure of attending the spring law firm reception, where about 20 firms came to campus and we were allotted time to speak and network with representatives from the firms. This event was extremely helpful, and I followed up with many of the employers that I was able to speak with. These panels and events are extremely advantageous in building our network of connections and in facilitating our growth as future lawyers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Networking and the Summer Job Hunt

Networking and job hunting can absolutely be one of the most intimidating and challenging aspects of a legal education. Networking is one of those soft skills that cannot really be taught and the hunt for work is unending. I don’t claim to be a master of “working the room” or of sniffing out the premium job postings but I do feel much more confident than I did just six months ago. I owe that in large part to all the events and emails from the Career Development Office.

During the Fall semester, Career Development was actually forbidden from talking to us 1Ls! The idea is that we should focus on our studies and not even worry about employment. As soon as the Spring semester started, though, job hunting season starts in full-force. Since January, most days have been occupied by some sort of information session on various areas of law or legal research. So far, I have been to events for in-house counsel, corporate transactional law, a panel on becoming a judge, a focus group with a real estate firm, I just got home from the spring job fair, and I have an upcoming information session on the Navy JAG Corps. I also continue to organize similar events for the Real Estate Law Society and the Wine & Spirits Law Society. All the while, I’m still sending out resumes and follow up on any job opportunities I hear about. Needless to say, if I’m not studying, there is still plenty to do.

In addition to the full load of events, Career Development also sends out TONS of emails about off-campus networking events and job postings. Unfortunately, most of their emails are sent out around same time every day so it can definitely become overwhelming. Around 10:30 AM on any given day, you can count on receiving anywhere between ten to twenty emails from Career Development all at once. It doesn’t sound like a lot, especially if you’ve spent some time in an office job, but when you’re bouncing from a two-hour class in the morning right over to a noon panel, to a pair of afternoon classes, all while receiving other emails from student groups, classes, research event announcements from Lexis and Westlaw, it can certainly add up. My advice is to give each email a quick glance, look for any words or phrases that interest you, flag the ones that you want to come back to later that evening, and move on. Most events and emails honestly won’t be that interesting but you have to check anyway. No one but you will discover those hidden gems that everyone else overlooked! That is precisely how I found my clerkship with the Tenant’s Law Firm over the winter break. You just never know what sorts of interesting opportunities are out there or what connections you might make.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Networking and Career Opportunities

One question that I’m almost always asked on job interviews is: “So why did you decide to transfer to Loyola?” After interviewing a handful of times, I realized that this would be a question that would follow me throughout my time in law school and beyond. While I could easily rattle off a number of reasons why I decided to transfer to Loyola, I took a little more time to think of a strong, honest, and accurate answer to this favorite interview question.

The answer I have so carefully crafted so far highlights Loyola’s huge network and unwavering emphasis on experiential learning. Whether you happen to meet an alumnus at your local coffee shop or get the opportunity to interview for a job with a Loyola alum, it seems as though Loyola graduates dominate California’s legal scene. Further, as I had mentioned in my last post, the student organizations, clinics, and other experiential learning opportunities at Loyola give students the ability to get real world experience that becomes invaluable upon graduation.

With this massive network in place, the Career Development Office and other organizations on campus have been able to connect students to some of the most prominent attorneys in a variety of different fields. The goal is for students to develop meaningful connections within the field and ultimately become the next group of thriving attorneys.

For me, one of my biggest concerns has always been finding a job—whether it be a part-time externship or a full-time summer job. Consequently, I can easily say that the Career Development Office has become an amazing resource and my counselor, in turn, has become my go-to person for anything job related.

Aside from the traditional OCI process and the school’s constantly-updated Symplicity page, the most helpful experience so far has been the Law Firm Reception put on by the Career Development Office. At the Law Firm Reception, I was able to pass out my resume to many potential employers and speak to them regarding any open positions they may have in their offices for the upcoming year. Many of the attorneys there came from highly esteemed law firms and were Loyola alums—yet another testament to Loyola’s wide-reaching network.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Networking and Career Development Opportunities

I feel like every week there is at least one event on campus catered to teaching students about a certain area of the law. Brown bag lunches are always great because students are able to hear straight from practicing attorneys what it is like to be in their line of work. Loyola alumni consistently come to campus to speak with students, which is incredibly helpful for getting a fresh perspective. For me, public interest law week has been the best experience because it brings organizations to campus so that students can meet with them and explore the opportunities that are available. I haven’t taken advantage of the other opportunities on campus just because I haven’t had the time, but I’m really looking forward to doing so in the coming two years. It is a little more challenging to find ways to stay involved and network as an evening student, so I am planning to quit my current job and dive into legal work in the near future. I’m sure that when the time comes, I will put Loyola’s programming to good use!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Networking and Career Development Opportunities

Since the start of the year one of the biggest buzzwords has been “networking”. Everyone around is doing it, and everyone thinks we ought to do it. While the concept of networking seems daunting – perhaps because it has the word “working” in it- it is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, sometimes putting on a nice suit and nibbling on hors d'oeuvres can be a nice change of pace for a 1L like me. In general, the main requirement to network is the ability to carry on a conversation for a brief period of time. Probably the most difficult part for me is the small talk portion of it, but over time I’ve learned ways to strike up a conversation. Even for those people whose personality is not as outgoing, Loyola provides safe opportunities to learn how to do it. In any given week Loyola holds multiple networking opportunities such as panels with judges, networking dinners and brown bag lunches to help facilitate our immersion into the world of networking.

For instance, this semester the Mexican American Bar Association held a mixer on campus where students had the opportunity to mingle with judges and attorneys. Opportunities like this are really valuable because they provide a comfortable space to network and make great connections with people in the Los Angeles legal community. I appreciated being amongst my classmates while I developed my networking skills because being around familiar faces allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience. I also greatly appreciated the opportunity to network with people with a similar background to mine. Networking with Mexican American lawyers not only allowed me to learn more about the different areas in the law, but I was also motivated to see the support network who is invested in success of students like me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Benefits of Networking and Career Development Events

One of the things I love most about Loyola is their commitment to helping students network, learn more about various areas of legal practice, and connect them to established lawyers in those fields. I have found so many of the events at Loyola extremely helpful to helping me narrow down which area of law I’m interested in practicing, and helping me to make meaningful connections with lawyers who have experience with that particular area of law.

For me, one of the most helpful things that I have done was signing up for an Alumni Mentor. Prior to law school, I didn’t know a single lawyer. One of the first questions I asked my mentor was what I can do now, as a law student, to prepare myself to be a great lawyer, aside from the obvious things like studying and attending class. My mentor stressed the importance of gaining legal experience while in school, and after several conversations offered me a job at his law firm for this Spring.

As a 1L, much of the what we’re learning can often feel isolated from the “real world.” While it’s easy to relate the subject material of classes like torts or criminal law to common life experiences, it’s much more difficult to relate classes like civil procedure to things that we actually experience in everyday life. This has been one of the most useful advantages of working that I have experienced. Not only have I learned very practical skills like sorting and filing pleadings and other documents, I am also gaining real world experience doing legal research and connecting civil procedure rules to actual on-going cases. The rules of civil procedure have become less of a foreign idea and more of a familiar concept.

I've also attended several of the guest speaker lectures during the lunch hour and I've found that it's a great way to be exposed to new and interesting areas of the law and to get perspectives that I might not otherwise be exposed to. Overall, I would strongly recommend taking advantage of as many of the programs as possible. While law school can be difficult, and the job market can be daunting, Loyola is a school that definitely does not take a "sink or swim" approach to things. They help out every step of the way.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Loyola (and the World) Is Your Networking Oyster

Welcome back to the Jury of Peers, reader! So let’s address the elephant in the room… you’ve probably heard it a million times: “Succeeding as a lawyer means Network. Network. Network.” To be honest, when I first came to Loyola and heard this, my heart sank a little. Not only would I have to read cases, write memos, try to survive cold-calling, apply for jobs, and eventually take the bar, but I would have to talk to people. And not just any kind of people: Strangers. Not just any kind of strangers: Strangers with law degrees, professional careers as attorneys, and perhaps even experiences in the field or area of law I would be interested in. Yikes. It was a lot to take in and definitely an intimidating thought as a 1L still trying to figure out law school.

In retrospect, the strong emphasis on networking during 1L actually is more beneficial in the long run. I think Loyola made it really easy to find and attend networking opportunities during 1L and grow to be more comfortable with them. So here, are a few examples of all the various networking experiences that are available to 1Ls during their first year:

· Spring Semester: All 1Ls participate in mock oral arguments as part of the final graded component of the course. This isn’t just an opportunity to network with other 1Ls in the different sections and the various legal research and writing professors! It’s an opportunity to network with the Loyola alumni who have volunteered to serve as the mock judges and who currently hold positions in different areas of the law. In my perspective, the legal writing department made it a fun and memorable experience to mark the beginning of the end of my 1L!

· Spring Semester: The Career Development Office hosts the Spring Law Firm Reception. This is an event that allows students to meet with representatives from different law firms and participate in “speed-interviewing.” It’s a great way to get your name out there and meet with firms all while having the convenience of being at Loyola. I participated in this event as a 1L, and it was definitely a learning experience! It taught me how to think on my feet, and I learned the importance of the 60-second elevator pitch when meeting new people and potential employers who inevitably ask: “Why law school,” “Why be a lawyer,” and “Tell me about yourself.”

· All-Year: Different law firms in the Los Angeles area host networking nights and invite Loyola students to come to their offices and meet with their attorneys. I participated in one of these networking nights in the final weeks of my 1L. I got to go to a “big-law” corporate firm housed in one of those big shiny skyrises in Downtown Los Angeles. I was in awe not only of the amazing views of my favorite city but also of how vast the firm’s network and presence were in the legal community. I may not be pursuing “big-law” after law school, but it was definitely a unique teachable moment!

· All-Year: The Career Development Office holds “Brown Bag Lunches.” This is an opportunity for 1Ls (and students from other years) to have lunch with some of their peers and a Loyola alumni from a particular area of the law. I personally haven’t had the chance to participate in one of these yet, but it’s on my list of things to do before I graduate!

Until next time friends!!!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Networking Is The Best Working

Something that is great about law school is that you take a lot of different classes, especially as a 1L. You take the basics: Criminal Law, Torts Law, Property Law, Contract Law, and more. You get a little taste of almost every basic area of the law, and that allows you to get an idea of what really interests you going forward. For me, Criminal Law and Torts Law really stood out. Property and Contracts, not so much. So, I knew the two areas I wanted to explore further.

It is the same way for networking around campus: there is a club representing almost every area of law. They bring practicing attorneys onto campus and have them give lectures, so you start to get an even better idea of what people in that field do. You also get the chance to meet and network with those people, which is even more invaluable. So many people I know have gotten interviews or even mentors in this way or just because of a lecture they attended on campus.

Friday, May 3, 2019

My First Year Elective Course

At the end of first semester, I decided to take innovation law as my elective. I have always been interested in the right of publicity and how athletes, celebrities and people in general, protect not only their creations, but also their own image. While the right of publicity is an upper level course at Loyola, I figured innovation law would be an excellent chance for me to get an introduction into the field.

So far we have covered trade secrets, copyright laws and infringement. We are now exploring the field of patent law, patent software, and antitrust. Frankly, it is pretty complex material. I never understood why it was necessary for patent attorneys to have a hard science background until now. After reading unedited cases that go into great detail about the invention and the stipulations behind it, I often find myself utterly confused. My professors have reassured us that patent descriptions are indeed difficult to understand. They then proceed to translate the patent language into everyday lawyer language for us….a true blessing.

So far, learning about the interrelationship between trade secrets, copyright and patents has been my favorite part. Inventors, companies, and other individuals all face a taxing decision when contemplating what type of intellectual property they want to pursue for their invention, creation, work, etc. While it can sometimes be obvious what type of intellectual property protection an inventor should be pursuing, in other instances it can be less cut and dry. That is when it gets messy, complex, and a little more fun for us!

While intellectual property continues to be of great interest to me, I am very excited to dive into our artificial intelligence unit. Before hearing the course description for innovation law, I had never considered artificial intelligence to be of relevance in the legal world. I am very intrigued by what these new technological advances may mean for future lawyers.

As law school goes on, I hope to take the basics I will have learned in innovation law and use them as a back drop for higher level IP classes. While my heart is still set on working in sports and implementing initiatives for the mental health of athletes, I am pleasantly surprised by how much interest I have found in this subject!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Going International!

All 1Ls at Loyola have to take a set curriculum over the course of the year. In addition to legal research and writing, the core classes include criminal law, contracts, torts, property, and civil procedure (commonly called, “civ pro”). Our first semester schedule is therefore extremely predictable because everyone must take four of the five core classes. Second semester, though, is a bit different – it is our first opportunity to explore a chosen area of law via our first elective course.

Elective courses are available to anyone whose GPA after the first semester is above a certain threshold. Student below the threshold must take Privacy Torts, an immensely helpful class that emphasizes test-taking and study strategies. Students above the threshold are allowed to choose from a selection of classes that can vary from year to year. This year’s choices included Income Taxation, Jail to Bail, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Immigration, Innovation Law (a very popular course this year), and International Law. In mid-October, there was a 1L event in which the professors gave a short pitch for their courses and answered student questions. I chose to take on International Law.

As an undergrad, my concentration was international relations so International Law seems fairly obvious. However, there were in fact many factors that went into my decision to take the course. Initially, I thought I might want to take Tax or Innovation – Loyola has one of the best tax law programs in the country and Innovation, which focuses on emerging technologies, quite simply sounded fascinating. In addition, most of my friends wanted to take Innovation, so I was certainly tempted to join them just so we could all study together. Ultimately, what convinced me take International were the professor’s pitch in October and my desire to learn about international business. On a more intuitive level though, the Law of Nations just sounds like such an epic area of study!

So far, the class is great! It’s unlike any other law class I’ve had at Loyola. We have discussed the roots of international law in customs and international conventions going all the way back to the Treaty of Westphalia. Most recently, we finished an intro to maritime law and now we are moving on to State jurisdictions and succession. The most interesting aspect of the class, though, is how the professor, Prof. Glazier, weaves in discussions of topical issues like Brexit, island building in the South China Sea, Russian annexation of Crimea, and military interventions in the Middle East. If you enjoy digging into global events or just like talking about pirates then this is the class for you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

My Clinical Experience at Loyola

Hello again!

I have to say that I am starting to freak out because graduation is coming! The time is flying and I can’t believe I am about to graduate. But we will talk about that soon.

Today I want to talk about the experience that I am having here at Loyola Law School. We have so many options, such as externships, on-campus jobs, clinics, etc. It’s important to find out where and which area fits the best so you can enjoy your time with these opportunities!

Last semester, I started to work on campus as a Research Assistant at The Coelho Center. We focus on disability law and I am learning so much, especially because that is an area of law that I have never experienced before.

Also, I am a volunteer at the Project for the Innocent, and I have to say: I love that place and I think that the work that the Project does is so important for society today! The Project does pro bono work for inmates that were wrongfully convicted, so basically they are in prison but they are innocent. Since the Project started, they won some cases and that means that some people are free today because of the work of the Project! So, as you may notice from my enthusiasm of talking about that, I am enjoying the experience so much – especially because that is the area of law that I want to work with.

As you can see, Loyola Law School is so much more than only classes (by the way, they are amazing!), but you will have so many opportunities here and learn more than you can imagine!