Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cold Calling Is Super Scary

Hi all! I hope law school is treating you well; but most importantly… that you are! I am writing from my experience; therefore, this is my truth and other people are entitled to have different opinions. By now, you are probably familiar with “cold calling,” but in case you are not, I’ll try my best to give you an accurate description (I said try, okay?). Professors assign readings (duh). However, you are expected to read everything BEFORE class and of course they want to know if you did it; so, this is when cold calling comes into play, the professor will randomly pick you and ask you something pursuant to a case or a simple question to test your knowledge. It is not as terrifying as it sounds, most of the time it is something that you’ll know. Nevertheless, we are all human and OBVIOUSLY that means we are not expected to answer right 100% of the time. The most important thing is to know when to let things go. No one will think of you differently because you answered incorrectly a question about the “Erie Doctrine.” My point is cold calling is bad if you want it to be. When you learn that a wrong answer does not define you, you will see cold calling as a breeze in the park and I promise it is not “Fake News.”

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Piece of Advice for Entering Law Students

My first year of law school was a bit of a blur. I remember thinking about what the first day would be like. Would I get cold called like Elle Woods on her first day of Harvard Law? Would everyone be super competitive? Would I still know how to study after two years of being in the working world? While I did end up being the first person to get cold called in my Property class that semester, I quickly realized that I had just begun the biggest challenge of my educational career.

Looking back, 1L year was probably the most significant year of law school. Not only are you transitioning into a new chapter of your life, but you are also developing skills that will be the foundation of your legal career. At times it was overwhelming, and I wondered how I would ever be able to absorb all the information that was being thrown my way. However, over the next two semesters I realized that I had underestimated myself.

Law school has a weird way of making you step up to the plate. Ready or not, it’s happening. As such, I quickly realized I had to come up with a game plan. By the time first semester midterms rolled around, I found myself spending countless hours in the library reading, outlining, and preparing for exams. By the end of the week, I was tired and burnt out. You can imagine my surprise then when I got my first midterm back and didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I had studied more than ever and still did not get the results I wanted.

I must have been doing something wrong. When I told my 3L friend about my midterm, she asked me how I was studying. When I told her about my study habits, she quickly informed me that I was approaching it the wrong way. She told me to “study smart.” At first, I was confused: of course, I was studying—a lot.

How does one “study smart,” you may ask? For me, studying smart meant organizing my time better and learning how to prioritize. I would no longer get hung up on every minute detail of every topic when reviewing material or waste time creating flashcards that I would never look at again. Instead I found that big picture mind maps made the most sense to me and started scheduling my day out to make sure I got my school work done while also having time to myself.

Three years later, here is my advice to 1Ls: study smart. While I can’t give you an exact road map of what this means, I can tell you that my 1L year was much more enjoyable after I made these changes. And as always, realize that you have made it this far for a reason and soon enough you’ll
be a 3L ready to graduate from one of the best law schools in the country.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Piece of Advice for Entering Law Students

If I somehow had the knowledge about law school in my 1E year that I have now, I’m sure I would do so many things differently. The biggest thing I would do differently, however, is to not stress so much about things that don’t really matter. I think back on my 1E year and remember so many times where I was worried about things that just aren’t important. I let so many other people’s opinions about what to do and what not to do in law school get in my way of learning and also enjoying the experience. Once I got into my second year, I quickly realized that all of the anxiety, pressure, and stress I had placed on myself was for nothing. In fact, I was worse off for it.

Whenever I meet people who are considering law school or have just started law school, this is the very thing that I tell them. Along with it, I also try to emphasize that there’s no need to be overly competitive. This is a huge law school myth that I’ve tried to steer away from since I entered. You don’t need to push others aside in order to succeed. You can succeed alongside everyone else and, if anything, it’s a much healthier way to approach your education. Refusing to adhere to the stereotype of law school being a cut-throat environment is a great way to reduce your stress in your first year. This includes competing with yourself – which was where I think I created most of my stress.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Debunk a Law School Myth

Hello again, Jury of Peers! This week, let’s open Pandora’s Box and talk about…Law School Myths.

Sometimes it feels easier to never open the box because it’s easier to not know than it is to know. But hopefully all you prospective lawyers out there aren’t afraid to put in some elbow grease with me as we dissect a couple common myths!

#1: Law School transforms even the most social of butterflies into the most hermit of crabs.

This is actually a Yes-and-No myth. Yes, law school takes a HUGE amount of your time and you do, to some extent, have to plan your life around putting in those solo study hours. But to say you never get to go out with your friends isn’t really true. To avoid feeling stressed about homework while also avoiding burnout, I usually try to limit myself to one social thing a week either on Friday or Saturday night. The best way to ensure you get that social time is to plan ahead and front load your work or, only make plans after your normal study hours.

#2: Law school professors don’t care about you.

Maybe at other schools this is true, but at Loyola I feel so grateful to have professors who genuinely want to not only get to know us as students but get to know us as people. They want you to succeed and become wonderful lawyers. They definitely don’t coddle you in any way, but they sincerely do want to help you do well.

Hopefully this helped allay some of your fears. I truly think you’ll find that the more you investigate these myths, the more you’ll realize that they are just that: myths. Don’t be afraid of opening the box for fear of what you might find. Plus, you can say you’re a Law-School-Myth-Buster!

See you in the next one,


Kelsey’s Club: Myths About Loyola That Are Fully True (In My Opinion)
  • Sonia’s CafĂ© is a gift from above
  • PILF Auction Night is super fun
  • Everyone here is really friendly and inclusive

Monday, November 18, 2019

Law School is a Full-Time Job

Before I started law school and all throughout my 1L, I was constantly told that law school is like a full-time job. After almost three years in law school, I would like to confirm that this in fact is true! When we say that law school is like a full-time job, we mean that it is a lot of hard work, takes a lot of your time, and requires focus, discipline, and your best efforts at all times. While you might think that this is a bad thing, it’s actually not. Law school, like any other job, teaches you a lot about the profession, others, and yourself. With regards to the latter, you learn a lot about your skills and capabilities, your strengths and weaknesses, and your ability to resolve issues and ultimately thrive in whatever you aspire to do.

If I were to talk to my 1L self now, I would tell her that law school isn’t all that bad and that she should treat law school as a job. I would advise her to treat it as a 9-5 meaning go to school in the mornings and get all the readings for the next day done right away instead of taking breaks and putting it off until the last minute. I think one thing I’ve definitely learned while in law school is that time is money. It’s extremely valuable and that if I have a couple free minutes or hours now to get work done, then I will have a couple free minutes or hours later on for myself to do something fun, relax, or sleep.

Finally, I would tell her that it’s okay if things get hard or feel difficult because just like any other job, there’s room for improvement and growth and eventually things get better and easier as you go. It’s possible to thrive and achieve your goals, it just takes time, hard work, and trust in yourself that you can do it.

Until next time friends!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Summer in the City

For those of you who followed my blog post last year, I left you on a bit of cliffhanger as far as my job hunt. I was actually able to land a great position as a law clerk at Goodkin Law in Century City. Goodkin is a boutique firm that specializes in real estate litigation – exactly what I hope to practice after law school. I found out about the position through Loyola’s spring job fair. I met the firm’s founder, Daniel Goodkin, and senior associate, Michael Shakouri, and even though they were actually looking for 2L applicants, they encouraged me to apply after we chatted for a few minutes. I applied and was thrilled when I found out that I got the job. What’s more, I found out that I’d be working alongside my classmate and fellow Wine & Spirits officer Rebekah Hoelscher!

Over the summer I got to work on everything from discovery and pleadings, to temporary restraining orders (TROs) and motions for summary judgment (MSJs). The wins are satisfying but one of the most important things I learned is the reality that, as great as you think your arguments are, you’re just not going to win every time. All you can do is make the best case for your client and when things don’t go your way, you’ve got to learn to roll with the punches, react with purpose, and move on to the next battle.

In addition to my work at Goodkin, I started Bootcamp with Loyola’s Byrne Trial Advocacy Team. Bootcamp started in mid-July and right out of the gate, the workload was surprisingly tough. Last minute reading or writing assignments were commonplace. The Bootcamp is only about a month long but they pack a huge amount of information in including evidence primers, trial basics like moving exhibits into evidence, how to talk to juries and TONS of reading and writing. The whole thing culminates with Bootcamp trials at the end of the summer. I and my Byrne teammate, Rima Sahakyan, prepared for and actually competed in two trials in a week. It was an intense and rewarding experience.

Now Rima and I are both headed to Texas for the Lone Star Classic trial ad competition and I couldn’t be happier! My teammates, Rima, Anders Iversen, and Ilia Borisov are all incredibly talented advocates and we have amazing coaches in John Henry and Melissa Lyons (pictured below with me after a 4-hour Monday night practice). We’re all eager to go represent Loyola and show off everything that we’ve learned and practiced this summer!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Volunteering: A Fun Summer Alternative

As a law student, it is very common to spend the summer either taking classes to ease your fall semester’s course load or externing to satisfy your experiential requirements. However, I decided that this summer I would do neither, instead I wanted to relax (Yes, you read well, I said relax). Sometimes relaxing is essential to recover from finals and law school life in general. Most importantly, taking care of your mental health is crucial to succeed in law school (friendly reminder that Loyola offers support resources).

After enjoying my vacations without any remorse, I decided that I wanted to volunteer near my community. I thought finding a place to volunteer would be challenging and it was so far from the truth. All it took was a five-minute internet search to stumble upon an organization that needed volunteers for their monthly immigration fair. I was surprised with all the exposure I had, with the supervision of a certified attorney I filed paperwork for citizenship, conducted interviews, renewed green cards and DACA applications, and translated. I am not going to lie, I was kind of hesitant because this was my first time dealing with immigration law; however, Loyola has given me the tools to adapt in any particular environment. I never thought that I would spend my summer relaxing while performing legal related duties. Therefore, if you do not want to compromise your whole summer, volunteering is always a great option!

Monday, November 11, 2019

My 2019 Summer

This summer I worked at a mid-sized law firm doing employment defense work. After working in house at Forever 21 during my 1L summer, I was able to narrow down the practice areas that I wanted to explore. Employment was one such practice area that I developed interest in during my time at Forever 21. I appreciated the human-interest aspect of employment law and the uniqueness of each case. In particular I enjoyed working on behalf of the employer as I got to see what goes on behind the scenes after an employee files his/her complaint.

At work this summer I was able to get hands on experience into the world of litigation. From propounding discovery to writing motions and reports, I was entrusted with preparing documents that were crucial to the litigation process. While drafting such documents isn’t necessarily covered in law school, I quickly realized that the knowledge I amassed at Loyola was crucial in helping me succeed at these practical tasks.

Although I worked full time over the summer, I was fortunate enough to also be able to travel and take some time to relax before school started. In July I went to Mexico for a family wedding and later to Chicago with friends. However, vacation could only last so long and school began shortly after I returned. As I returned to school well-rested and relaxed, I reflected back on my summer and could not help but realize how much I learned. I am currently working as a law clerk at the same law firm I was at this summer and plan on continuing for the rest of the year and beyond.

Friday, November 8, 2019

My 2019 Summer

This summer was a total whirlwind for me! A few days after I finished up my finals, I got married and went on a trip through a few cities in the pacific northwest. I decided to participate in the write-on competition for law review in the few days I had when I returned and then a couple of days after that, I started a new job! It sounds like a lot of stress in a short period of time, but honestly the whole thing was pretty fun.

I was lucky enough to work full time this summer and did not need to take any classes. Evening students sometimes have to take classes in the summer to make up for shortcomings in their schedules during the year, but that was not the case for me this time around. Instead, I was blessed with the opportunity to work in a personal injury firm alongside truly amazing attorneys. I decided to stay at this firm in the fall because I’ve just been learning so much. I get to draft correspondence and pleadings, communicate directly with clients, and so much more. I think so much of the law school experience is actually going out and learning in the real world, so I’m really grateful for this opportunity.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

My 2019 Summer

This summer I had the opportunity to extern in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Downtown Los Angeles. As a judicial extern, I watched proceedings and performed legal research and writing. I also had the opportunity to talk to many judges about their experiences as attorneys. My favorite part of working in chambers was the chance to put into practice some of the theories I had learned during my first year. For instance, during our first year we learned about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and during the summer I had the opportunity to see how these rules were integrated into complaints. Furthermore, working in bankruptcy was a great opportunity to learn an area of the law that I had previously not been exposed to. I learned a lot from looking at issues that I was not familiar with and researching primary and secondary sources for new concepts and precedent. Furthermore, having a supportive judge and amazing clerks definitely made the process more enjoyable.

In addition to all the interesting work in court, this summer I tried out a lot of new food places in Downtown Los Angeles. The Federal building was very close to the Arts District, and Chinatown so there were plenty of options for delicious food daily. In addition to the restaurants in the area, Downtown has farmers markets that offer fresh produce during the day. I enjoyed walking to the farmers market to buy delicious strawberries from the farmers market during my lunch break. Oh, also the view from chambers was pretty sweet!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Summer Days, Driftin' Away

Summer blockbusters always trail characters who go on an adventure and come back with a renewed sense of self or a new feeling of belonging. My summer followed a similar path, except my summer lasted a full year because I took a gap-year after graduation.

During my senior year, I had planned to go right from undergrad to law school but decided I needed time off to replenish things in my life that had gotten low. The first portion of my summer break was focused on relaxation. I took time to travel, pick my artistic passions back up, and reconnect with my high school friends who were also back home after undergrad.

The next portion contained a lot of stress. To be honest, I had a crisis. I seriously pondered what was right for my future and really had to look at what was important to me. I wondered if law school was right for me (which I learned was common). But I decided that law school was where I should go and did what everyone probably still has nightmares about: took the LSAT and applied to schools.

I then interned as a social media and marketing intern for an acting studio in Santa Ana where I worked remotely (and in pj’s!) from home in Las Vegas.

In my last weeks of summer, I took on the “glamorous” task of packing to move. It was scary to move again to a new city and take on the daunting task of law school. But what I didn’t have the first time around when I went to undergrad was a stronger sense of purpose and a renewed sense of self.

Friday, November 1, 2019

2L Summer

I spent this past 2L summer decompressing from the busyness of 2L, relaxing, and gaining more experiences to diversify my skillset and make me a more well-rounded person. Over the summer, I worked as a student administrative assistant at the Career Development Office and a law clerk for a local law office.

As a student administrative assistant for the Career Development Office, my duties consisted of communicating with students and other callers, inputting and publishing opportunities on the school’s online job posting website, and assisting the staff with events and other projects. While indirectly law related, this opportunity allowed me to become aware of all the opportunities that are available in the legal profession and understand the importance of being creative when trying to figure out the next big step in one’s life.

As a law clerk for a local law office that specialized in immigration, international business, and corporate law, my duties included conducting research and writing corresponding memos. I also had the opportunity to draft employment contracts, an independent consulting agreement, and visa support letters. This job experience allowed me to learn about multiple areas of the law and work on my legal research skills. I also learned the importance of being flexible, adjusting work styles to fit the expectations and structure of different attorneys, and accepting constructive criticism.

Prior to starting work for the summer, I took about three weeks off to relax, spend time with loved ones, and catch up on sleep. I’m happy I made this decision to take some time off because I was able to start work with a clearer and more relaxed mind. Some fun things I did over the summer include fangirling during the opening weekend of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, cheering on my sister at her college graduation, spending time with my dog, going to Dodgers games, trying new food, attending concerts and sporting events, and making Disneyland trips with various visiting family members and friends.

This summer allowed me to focus on myself by relaxing, getting refocused on my goals, and developing my personal and professional interests. Now that school’s back, I’m ready to take on everything this last year at Loyola has to offer!

Until next time friends!