Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Law School Myths

There are two law school myths that almost stopped me from attending law school. 

First, the overly dreaded world of cold calling. Law school runs on a Socratic method. This means that professors will ask students questions about the cases assigned from the day before or other general questions about concepts that we are studying. I am very introverted and the idea of speaking in front of my section of over 80 people sounded like an absolute nightmare! But I quickly learned that cold calling is not at all scary. So long as you are prepared with the reading from the night before, your professor will guide you through every single question they have for you. For example, I was one on call in Torts for over 40 minutes just a few weeks ago. My professor praised me for the questions I got right and for those I did not have an answer too, he kindly guided me through them. This is how almost every law professor handles cold calls. I have friends across every Loyola 1L section and have yet to hear a story about a negative experience in a cold call. Your professor understands that you won’t have the answer to every question. No one is perfect and your peers are on the same boat as you! Just prepare the best you can, and I promise that you will be completely fine! 

Second, I was told that law students were so competitive that the law school environment would be “every man for themselves.” This is not the case. I made friends the fastest in law school than I ever have any other time in my life. As I said earlier, your classmates are on the same boat as you. You will help each other out and will quickly fall into the groove of working and studying with one another. No one hides information or acts in a way that harms other students. Be open and get to know your classmates!


Monday, December 20, 2021

Fall Semester Update

Time really does fly! It’s hard to believe it’s been about three months since my first semester of law school started. As I’m writing this post, I’m finishing up my second graded memorandum for my legal writing class, and finals are beginning in a few weeks. 

Being a first-generation law student, and not knowing a lot of people who went to law school, I wasn't sure what to expect. During orientation, I heard from other first-years that they were worried about “outlining” and “cold calling.” I was so confused, because it was the first time, I had heard of these terms in reference to law school and had no idea what they meant. So far, both of those things haven’t been so bad as they were initially made out to be. Outlining was tough at first but helps me synthesize and study the plethora of information I learn during class. Even if someone doesn’t know the answer when they get “cold-called” on, the professor will generally help the student figure it out. “Cold calling” seemed intimidating at first, but it motivates me to stay prepared for class so I can participate when it is my turn. 

The most challenging thing for me so far is reading. Reading for law school is much more different from any other reading I’ve done for other classes in college. Like for many of us, it was my first-time reading court opinions and learning about these new legal concepts. I find myself rereading often and I also like to highlight when I read. I find it funny sometimes when I go back and review a case, to see that I had ended up highlighting almost all the page. 

Even though law school has been challenging, it’s also been a fun and enriching experience. I’ve joined a few clubs, and I’m a 1L Representative for APALSA (Asian Pacific American Law Students Association) and IPCLS (Intellectual Property & Cybersecurity Law Society). I’ve been able to make new friends, meet so many people who share the same interests, and receive advice on classes and extracurricular activities. The events organized by the clubs are also very insightful and it’s inspiring to hear from alumni panelists. An event I attended recently was a panel about cybersecurity with alumni from Loyola. I was able to learn about the importance of cybersecurity but also the possibilities of different career paths post law school. 

I’m excited to be finishing up my first semester of law school. The next thing I’ll be doing is looking into internships for my 1L summer. Hope everyone does well on their exams and to have a great holiday season coming up! 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Debunking the Myths

Today marks three months of law school [Yee Yee!] But I am three weeks away from finals (no no…)

Now, here you’re thinking, what’s the catch? 

You’ve probably heard horror stories about law school, either via the Internet or through friends. Stories that sound like they came off of r/lawschooladmissions. You know: 

Law school was the worst mistake I ever made!!!

Don’t go if you don’t like heavy reading, cold calling, competition, and learning Latin. 

Unless you’re top of your school, don’t even bother. Not worth the Debt.

Goodbye to your social life, friends, fun, and passion…

Basically, stories that make law school sound like one dystopian season of Black Mirror. 

So …

Are the stories and rumors true? (Not really.) 

{myth 1} Is law school gonna be extremely difficult, soul-sucking, and near-impossible? (No.) 

{myth 2} Are you even gonna have a social life? (Yes, of course.) 

Are you making a bad decision?? (Absolutely Not.) 

Here’s the thing…

Law school is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be extremely difficult. 

Yes, there is a good amount reading; there is some stress and frustration here and there; and there may be some weekends dedicated to finishing/catching up on work. 

But law school is not this life-draining, miserable, Herculean task. You can do this.

The fact that you’re reading this post means you care. You’re passionate about the law, or at the very least, have an interest in it. That (surprisingly) is a lot more than what some people going into this career can say. 

With that said, 70% of what makes law school difficult (I think) is pressure from peers and the profession. 

The “curved” grading system, which is based not on doing well, but more so on doing better than your peers. 

This idea that you must be top of everything to be successful.

And possibly, the constant looking around at others to make sure that you’re doing the right things. 

Truth is, if you go in and be yourself, figure out what you love about the law, and do your best. You’ll be fine.

Even so, law school is really about time management. Treating law school like a 9-5 job helps. So, in other words, when you have 5 hours of class for one day, you read/outline for 3 hours that day. 4 hours of class equals 4 hours of reading, and so on.

I really can’t give anything further about the legal field; I’m in the same boat as you. 

But the most important piece of advice I have: stay true to yourself.

The people who end up doing okay are the genuine individuals. The ones who are unapologetically themselves all the way through.

Become you with a law degree, but don’t let the law degree become you. 

Case in point, I’m still cosplaying and collecting figurines. All while in law school.



Thursday, December 16, 2021

Friends or Foe? The Competitive Nature of Law School

Before I started law school, I spent an embarrassing amount of time on law school reddit. As a first-generation student, I didn’t have any friends or family to go to for advice about law school, so I went to the one place I knew would have basically any information I wanted at the tip of my fingers: the internet. It was on these reddit pages that I read that law school was so cut-throat and competitive that people wouldn’t speak to each other, share outlines or notes, or help others understand difficult concepts learned in class. This terrified me. I didn’t want to spend three years in a place full of people who would not help their fellow classmates when they needed it. I’m from Texas, after all, and southern hospitality has ingrained in me the importance of taking care of your neighbor. You may have read these pages too and let them scare you, but let me debunk this myth right now because it is absolutely not true. 

I cannot speak for every law school or every class at Loyola, but my section is more than willing to help one another when we need it. We have a group chat on Discord where we go to when we have questions, share resources, and even joke around with one another. If I missed class one day, I know without a doubt that someone in my class would email me notes or share any important information the professor went over during my absence. If we need clarification on the issue or rule in a case, someone will jump in the group chat asking what we think and we can discuss what we got out of a case we were assigned. We also have a channel where we share jokes and memes and one where we invite each other to events on or off campus. Law school is hard, there’s no sugar coating it, so it’s great to have people in your corner who are going through the same thing.

Of course, law school is inherently competitive. The curve makes it so your performance is based on that of your classmates, and that can make it tense at times. However, we still make it a point to not let that take over our lives. After all, we’re in this together for the next three or so years, and I can only imagine how exhausting it would be if we were forced to hate each other the entire time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Room Where It Happens: Fall Semester Update

 


Hello again, Jury of Peers! Fall semester is wrapping up and let me tell you, campus is buzzing. Finals are looming, caffeine consumption is increasing, winter break is coming, and the energy is palpable. Even seasoned 3Ls feel a twinge of anxiety as December 1st creeps towards us and finals begin. 

But before we rush to the end of the semester, let me give you a recap of the semester thus far. This year, I am really pushing myself to make the most of my final year. My first year, I was very shy and found making friends difficult because of it. Then, I lost a year and a half to the pandemic. So, needless to say, I’m making this year count. 

This semester I took the most courses I ever have in one semester. Not the heaviest course load in terms of units but the physical number of classes I took. I started my semester with Trial Advocacy on Monday and will be ending that class with two full mock-trials. Tuesdays are Torts II and Motion Picture Contract Drafting. These two classes could not be more different. Torts II is a traditional bar class where you read a bunch of cases and learn rules. Contract Drafting consists of literally reading and writing contracts every week. This class has given me the most headaches but it’s truthfully been one of the most valuable practical classes I’ve taken. 

Wednesdays start with Negotiations and end with Marital Property. Negotiations is a good foundational class if you’re interested in transactional law. Marital Property is a bar course that reinforces some Trusts & Wills topics and goes further in depth about how property changes with marriage and how it gets divided upon divorce. 

In addition to classes, I got to put on my first in-person panel for the Day Student Bar Association which focused on helping 1L’s get tips for exams, and I got to give three campus tours! I really enjoy taking part in community building activities to being on student gov’t and being a student ambassador is a real rush for me. 

Overall, in-person law school is just so much more joyous and so much more tortuous than online. The highs are higher and the lows are lower, but you can’t appreciate the good without the bad (I’m looking at you, traffic). Though law school is strenuous, and hectic, and overwhelming, it is also fascinating, and enriching, and enjoyable. 

So even though I didn’t write about law school myths this week, the myth I want to bust is that law school isn’t pleasant. You get out what you put in, and I have filled my cup this semester. Hopefully I can do the same next semester. 

Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you in the next post,

Kelsey

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Fall Semester Update

Law school is both exactly what you expect it to be and nothing like it at all.

Attorneys, movies, and books will tell you law school is all consuming, stuffy, full of people who live and breathe the law at all times.  

And yes, law school is your life. It has become a huge part of my identity. When I cancel plans, it’s almost always because of my law school reading, review, and work. I work hard, read thick textbooks and caselaw for hours a day. 

But law school is not stuffy in the slightest. 

My professors come from different sides of the law and are so passionate about the subjects they teach that they sometimes call judicial opinions “beautiful.” My classmates are diverse in backgrounds, experiences, opinions. We have in depth discussions about the ethics and morals of what we study, and why the system works the way it does. We also talk about tv shows we watch when we take study breaks and books we want to read (not just our textbooks). We go out to eat together, we go hiking together, we laugh and have fun. 

For Halloween, my criminal law professor had us all dress up as our “favorite defendants” and my writing professor just let us dress in costume as whatever we want! We had a costume parade and contest. 


Most surprisingly, to me, is how – for the first few months – no one has any idea what is going on. 

In movies, law students know the answer all the time. If you don’t know the answer, if you hesitate for one moment, you are ostracized, and the rest of the movie, you’re fighting to be seen as worthy. 

In reality, my first year of law school has been full of questions that I don’t know the answer to. That’s why we come to law school in the first place – to learn the answers! (Okay, maybe not all the answers, but still!) 

When I’m called on in class and do not have any clue what the answer is, my friends and classmates are all too happy to help me out. And at the end of class, no one even remembers that I stumbled. 

I won’t lie and say it’s not intimidating because it is. It’s ~law school~. But we’re all learning. It’s why we go to class. It’s why we’re in school. And we’re all growing. Three months in, I still don’t always know what’s going on. And that’s the fun part.  

 

Monday, December 13, 2021

How I Spent My Summer

Long story short: I paid my seat deposit for law school, scrambled to prepare for the semester, and now I am here having 1L of a time. You may be wondering how I prepared for law school. Well, I didn’t take a prep course, nor did I study any 0L preparation materials. I decided I would prepare by taking 5 days of vacation and visit a different place every day. Granted, I quit my job in July and couldn’t travel anywhere, but it was still the best week of summer 2021.

On day 1, my family and I went to the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, CA. We were so stunned by its beauty and the bonus was that it is free to get in. The ambiance was so light and joyful, and the blissfulness of being in the presence of beauty with my loved ones was invaluable. On day 2, we visited San Diego, CA. Most would dread driving for 3 hours to get there, but the scenery is totally worth it. We started our day by taking a walk in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Then, we had lunch at La Puerta Negra and ended with having ice cream at a local beach. On day 3, we went to Morongo Casino and lost a whole lot of money… On day 4, our plans didn’t work out, so we decided to make the best of the situation and have dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. On the last day, we went to Solvang, CA. I didn’t want to leave. In fact, I wish we would’ve arrived earlier to spend more time in this beautiful Danish town (sigh).

In short, I spent my summer enjoying life, love, and happiness and would not change it for the world.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Summer 2021

I spent most of my summer prepping to leave for LA. And what I mean by that is searching for housing. And getting my travel documents prepared. The latter went pretty easily, but finding housing in a different continent was kind of tricky. Being in The Netherlands, I was unable to view any of the rooms in person; luckily most housing agencies/landlords were willing to do a video tour of the house.

Even so, it was still a stressful experience mainly because – not being a US citizen – I lacked some of the documents that the bigger rental properties required (such as a SSN or a credit report). Most agencies were alright with me offering alternative documentation, but it was slightly more time consuming than it might have been otherwise. Regardless, after two mini cry sessions and some venting to friends, I was able to find a place. (Honestly though, I probably shouldn’t have psyched myself out so much because, since coming here, I have met people who literally drove around LA looking for vacancy/for rent signs, called the number, booked a tour, and were able to sign the lease that same day.)

With my housing “problem” sorted, I spent the rest of summer hanging out with my family and friends. I didn’t (and still don’t) plan on going home for winter break, so I knew that I wouldn’t be seeing anyone back home for at least a year (although I am strongly encouraging some of my friends to come visit me here by sending them pictures of both the food here and the tan I have since acquired).

The highlight of my summer, though, was definitely arriving in the US. I had only a week before the semester was due to begin, and so I spent most of it exploring the area, building Ikea furniture (and getting lost of blisters in the process), and bitterly complaining about how hot it was (although now that it’s finally cooling down I kind of miss the heat).

Thursday, December 9, 2021

How I Spent My Summer

There is this invisible line that cuts the world in two and falls at 0o latitude. The Geographers named it the Equator. This is where the world is at its widest and only thirteen countries in the world can boast of possessing this amazing rare feature. This means that these thirteen countries do not get to experience the four seasons like the rest of the world. We only have the rainy season and the dry season. I have never experienced spring, summer, autumn and winter. Yes, yes I know that look on your face. It is the same exact look I get when I tell someone that I have never celebrated Halloween or Thanksgiving before. I had actually never heard of Daylight savings until Professor Selan explained it to me during one of my spring semester classes. A brief background: I come from a small village in Kenya that is suspended on the equator. I have never had the luxury of experiencing the stretching of darkness for more than twelve hours in a day. I started my LL.M online in spring 2021 due to Covid restrictions and consequent travel ban. I spent what would be considered my summer dusting my tweed jackets and polishing my boots in readiness for fall. A month ago, you should have seen me arrive at LAX with two suitcases full of jackets and other winter paraphernalia only to be welcomed by a heat wave and the bluest skies I have ever seen. I was deeply misguided. I was told to prepare for listless dark nights and rainfall all through September to February 2022. But L.A has been nothing short of sweet and shiny and shimmery! Should I hold my horses? Spoke too soon? Yo! Give this girl some Fall tips

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

How I Spent My Summer

Like many first-year law students, Spring semester brought a lot of stress as to what the future held in terms of a summer job. Not only are we focused on looking for a placement, whether it be a judicial externship, clerkship, or a research assistantship, but also, we are looking for the right fit. This summer, I had the pleasure of being a Law Clerk for the non-profit, LevittQuinn Family Law Center.

As a law clerk, I was able to gain valuable experience doing practical work under attorney supervision. As a rising second-year, this was my first exposure to legal work so I was determined to make the most of the experience. My supervising attorney assisted me with client consults, document preparation, and even with my preliminary drafts of a trial brief for a client. At LevittQuinn, I was able to apply the research and writing skills that I learned at Loyola and I felt prepared for the task.

The most rewarding thing I did was participate in their quarterly clinic. It was really rewarding being able to advise clients on custody matters using the knowledge I had built all summer, especially since the majority of family law litigants are self-represented. In addition, I loved working with families on their adoption matters.

Overall, your first summer of law school is a unique experience where you can sharpen your skills and get an idea of what kind of law you would like to practice in the future. My time at LevittQuinn solidified my desire to pursue family law. Regardless of your summer plans, it is always important to make the most of the opportunities available to you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

How I Spent My Summer

I spent this past summer on my self-proclaimed “victory lap,” basking in the glory of vanquishing the LSAT and my subsequent law school acceptance. Although law school loomed large in the fall, I was able to relish in my achievements and dream of wild successes as an attorney. As Covid restrictions began to wane, my community was able to celebrate the achievements of our members and enjoy each other’s company again. Whether it be delayed 2020 college graduation parties or excitedly discussing new careers and moves to new cities with old friends, the summer of 2021 was one filled with optimism, ambition, and excitement. As I reconnected with my friends and family, I was constantly told how much I have achieved, and all the great things I will do in my career after law school. I was being lauded based on my projected success. It was admittedly a great feeling, but I knew the road ahead would be long and difficult and that I was just barely getting started. Thus, another major component of my summer was ensuring that I would be prepared to actualize my lofty ambitions.

While I had a relaxing and pleasure-filled summer, I was conscious not to become complacent in what I had achieved to that point. I crafted a routine to ensure I would enter law school mentally sharp and prepared for the daily workload. Between spending time at the lake and playing pickup basketball, I carved out ample time to read, work out, meal prep, and browse 1L preparation materials. Ultimately, I established a great balance between my responsibilities and leisure time; something that proved invaluable as I managed readings and spending time with my new friends once school began this past August. My carefree summers where my self-betterment plays only a meager role in my life are certainly over. However, by carefully following my routine to be productive, inquisitive, and efficient in pursuit of my career goals, I am certain that I will find the time to make more memories with the people I care about, just as I did this past summer.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Summer 2021

The treacherous LSAT, the hours of writing personal statements, and the sadly anticipated rejections had all led to the days filled with independence, the summer before law school. For the first time in over a year, I began to spend less time worrying about my next steps and more time on getting to know myself. The road to law school is difficult, time consuming, and all-encompassing so, when I submitted my final tuition deposit, I knew it was time to finally focus on the person who seemed to go missing through the whole process, me. My days leading up to law school were spent enjoying the Los Angeles sun with my dog in Malibu, meditating, and catching up on one of my favorite shows Big Brother. More importantly, I set goals and reminded myself of my purpose in taking this time to relax prior to the new chapter ahead of me. The appearance of personal time this summer allowed me to regroup in order to put my best foot forward and take a leap into who I am today as a 1L at LMU Loyola Law School.

Friday, December 3, 2021

How I Spent My Summer

When this past summer started, I was so excited for it. Compared to last summer, California was finally reopening, and I was able to meet with family and friends who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. Life for all of us was returning to as normal as it could be once again.

I had a couple firsts for me this past summer. Being a tech and video game enthusiast, I built my first PC. I had spent months doing research, scouring the internet for the best information and parts I could get. After spending a whole day assembling all the pieces, I felt so rewarded seeing the computer’s vibrant lights turn on. To anyone who is looking into building their own PC, I highly recommend it! It may seem scary and a lot of work at first but having the freedom to customize your computer specifically to your needs and wants is totally worth it. 

I also went to my first baseball game! I didn’t watch a lot of baseball growing up, but being from L.A., I always felt compelled to stay caught up with the Dodgers. I never had an opportunity to attend a game, but my girlfriend surprised me with tickets. We went to a Dodgers vs. Angels game, famously known as “The Freeway Series.” It was such a fun and sensational experience being in a stadium full of fans cheering alongside one another. 

The pandemic is still not over, but it’s nice to be able to look forward to doing things that we couldn’t do for the past year. I’ve been looking forward to starting law school and I am so happy that it can be in person.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

How was your summer, man?

Yeah, my summer before 1L went by faster than I thought. Before I knew it, I was sitting in my 8:00AM Civil Procedure class learning about “Due Process” and notice. Ugh.

But in the three months leading up to law school, I can say with confidence that I did absolutely nothing over the summer.



That’s a slight exaggeration… I did a few things.

I worked part-time as an auditor and made some dough. I attended my graduation ceremony literally several months ago (Claremont McKenna College, Class of 2021). I also reunited with my longtime best buddy after 11 years. Who, by the way, now has a beautiful wife and baby boy!

And maybe—just maybe—I had one-too-many martinis to drink while riding a flamingo floatie in the lazy river of a San Diego resort.

So, yeah, I did some things. But none of those things were dedicated towards preparing for law school.

I didn’t learn how to case brief.

I didn’t read books on mastering exams and midterms.

And I didn’t listen to podcasts or watch any videos that would prepare me for seemingly the next three years of my life…

But the truth is, you don’t have to do those things. In fact, you can—and should—enjoy your summer in any way you see fit. It doesn’t have to be a vacation in Cancun, or a spontaneous backpacking trip through Europe. Enjoying summer can also be watching Anime with your cat; hitting the gym; or even playing Call of Duty: Cold War with the bros.

^^^ That was 95% of my summer, by the way.

Point is, law school will come eventually. And you’ll be more prepared than you think when the time comes. But if I could offer any advice on what you should do before law school arrives, do the 1st week of readings the week before class begins. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

But aside from that. Enjoy your summer. Do what you love, and love what you do. Because that will be worth it in the long run.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Distance

1,568 miles. This is what stands between me and everyone I’ve ever known. Over the summer, this distance weighed on me, and I started thinking of everything I would miss when I moved to L.A. I knew that moments together would be few and far between when I started law school so far away, so I decided I was going to make that last summer count.

With my friends, we made what we have called the Summer Bestie Bucket List. We stayed the night at a cabin in the woods, swam by a waterfall, explored a castle, and so much more. With my family, I couldn’t write down everything I wanted to do before I left. With them, I just wanted to savor the little things and enjoy every moment together. Anytime my family got together, we laughed a little harder, teased each other a little more, and said “I love you” often.

Last summer, most of my time was spent relishing in every moment of my last few months living near the ones I love. Maybe I’ll come to regret not spending more time preparing for 1L. The jury is still out on that one. What I do know is whenever I’m overwhelmed, I remember my cousin falling asleep in my lap as I read him a book. I remember making TikToks in a cabin in the woods with my friends, making smores by the fire, and all the late nights spent at iHOP. I remember that no matter how far away I am, they’re back home rooting for me. In times when I feel like quitting, remembering them brings a smile to my face, and I know I wouldn’t trade that last summer for the world.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Hello again Jury of Peers! As a returning blogger I get to tell you what I did over summer as a law student. While everyone’s summer looks a little different, today I want to tell you about something you may not hear very much about: summer classes.

I took Fundamentals of Bar Writing over summer and I can’t recommend this enough as a summer course. I am a somewhat nervous test taker and this 7-week Pass/Fail course relieved a lot of my anxieties about taking the mammoth test that is the Bar Exam.

What I found most valuable about this class was the fact that we got to do a practice essay almost every week of the class. We also peer reviewed each other’s essays which helped each of us see our weak spots and out strengths. And this is all stuff that does NOT happen in a typical bar review course. So not only did I get many extra practice essays in, I got actual feedback from other students – pretty sweet deal.

I also really enjoyed having different parts of the Bar broken down. My professor separated the multiple choice, the essays, and the performance test, and discussed strategies for all three types of skills. She explained that the Bar is not only a knowledge test but also a skills test: how can you find a rule amongst a fact pattern if none come to mind; how to approach multiple choice questions; what order you should read the performance test sections; etc.

But Fundamentals of Bar Writing is not the only course available over summer. There are lots of other bar courses and electives offered. And you might be thinking – aren’t I supposed to have a job over summer? What do you mean, school?

Some student’s work and take one or two nighttime classes over summer break. It’s definitely possible with time management. Some students take a full semester over summer so they can work during the fall semester for units. Some students take summer classes because they just have such a passion for learning they can’t do it all during the semester.

Just like summer jobs, summer classes are different experiences for everyone. So, however you choose to spend your summer, there are learning opportunities around every corner. But, that being said, use summer to also do things you like: travel, creative projects, seeing friends, etc. Summer break is a perfect time to take some self-care opportunities you don’t have during the school year. I got to focus a lot on making music and YouTube cover videos which is something I really enjoy doing in my free time. I also got to see some friends that were back in town post-lockdown. My best advice is to relish the last summer breaks you are going to have as much as possible.

See you in the next post,

Kelsey

Monday, November 29, 2021

My Summer Before Law School

I spent my summer gearing up for law school. I had heard from friends who are attorneys that 1L fall is the hardest of all the law school semester. Even though I didn’t want that to be true, I still wanted to be as prepared as possible. But I didn’t sit in my room reading law school prep books and worrying about the school year. Okay, fine, I worried a little. But I didn’t let that stop me!

Instead of holing up in my bedroom in panic mode, I did things that bring me joy. 

This summer, I read a book a week from June through the first week of August. I read fiction and poetry and non-fiction. I immersed myself into words and worlds I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time for once the school year started. I went hiking – usually with my yellow lab who is the best hiking partner a girl could ask for. I saw moose and elk and deer (oh my!) on my hikes, and enjoyed the lush green summer in Park City, UT. I spent time with friends – over zoom and in backyards and on quick weekend trips (all covid safe) – that I wouldn’t be able to see once school started, either because of the distance between us or our mutual busy schedules. I spent time with my family – quiet mornings having coffee and discussing headlines in the news.

I didn’t want to waste away my summer – my “last summer of freedom,” my family so lovingly started saying. And I didn’t.

Now that school has started, I feel happy. Ready. Raring to go. I checked off things from my summer to-do list, did things I love with people I love, and I don’t regret a moment of it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

LLS: Environment fit for Learning

In the past years I have experienced so much life has to offer and I am grateful to God for bringing me this far. While my past experiences have opened many facets of life, for some reason, I still feel there is a world of incredible I have yet to see. I knew talking to people and teaching was a gift; to stand before students and instruct them has been my dream but what has not been clear is the kind of teacher I would like to be, until I made up my mind to join LMU Loyola Law School.

From the beginning of the application to the admission process, I was greeted with patience and humility from people with impeccable pedigree that I never could have imagined. At first, it was difficult to believe that people with this level of academic and social standing could be as nice as they were/are. But after resuming studies and attending classes for the past few weeks, I truly recognize that I have received this incredible world of academics that I have longed for many years. It has been amazing to meet with professors who are eager to see their students excel, not just in the classroom, but also in their careers! While I have had a few teachers in the past who have encouraged me, I have never experienced attending a school that has an institutional attitude of teachers wanting the best for their students. Indeed, it is incredible!

The attitude of the staff is as beautiful as the environment, making everything in Loyola fit together. From the academic staff to the administrative staff, the structural architecture and the landscape are all designed to fit in a beautiful way to provide an environment fit for learning.

If I had to choose again, I would choose LMU Loyola Law School.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Introduction

Hello all! I am super excited to be writing for the Jury of Peers again this year, and best of all, I am doing it from Los Angeles this time! It’s been a while since my last introduction (a year, to be exact), so I thought I would reintroduce myself:

My name is Xuejun, and I am an international LLM student in the process of completing the International Business Law specialisation. I spent last academic year doing the course online from over 5,000 miles away, and the nine-hour time difference meant that all my classes took place late in the evening. In fact, I had a class in my Spring semester that finished at 2 am, which, as you may imagine, did absolute wonders for my sleep schedule. However, 2 am lectures are a thing of the past for me, for I am currently typing up this post from California!

The biggest difference in attending law school this year has, obviously, been the fact that I am attending lectures in-person. Stepping on campus for the first time after spending a year learning through Zoom was great. I have never appreciated being able to make actual eye contact with my professors or sitting in the library surrounded by other students more than I do now. (I’m not going to lie though, some days I do miss not having to commute. I don’t drive, so taking the metro + bus to the university takes one-hour each way, and while I don’t mind and sometimes even enjoy taking public transportation, the ability to roll out of bed five minutes before class is due to begin will never not be amazing.)

Anyway, to wrap this all up, I am looking forward to blogging and sharing my law school experience with you all this year!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Introducing Ms. Evah

Hi folks,

I am so excited to be a Jury of Peers blogger this year! It would be very uncharacteristic of me not to be here because all I do is write. My favorite hobby is breathing life into the twenty six alphabets to tell all these tales stuck up my sleeves.

I warmly welcome you into this space. I am ecstatic to make your acquaintance.

My name is Evah. I am a thoroughbred Kenyan girl. I graduated in 2016 from Moi University, Kenya with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B). In 2017, I enrolled for the post-graduate diploma at the Kenya School of Law. I sat for my Bar exams and I was subsequently admitted into the Kenyan Bar in 2018. I am a licensed Kenyan lawyer. For the last three years, I have been engaged in vigorous Civil and Criminal litigation.

In 2020 I decided to take a detour and enroll for an LL.M. and the pretty damn coolest thing happened when I got admitted to Loyola! I am part the chosen few who will get to undertake the Flex LL.M. This means I will complete my LL.M in three semesters instead of two. I already completed my first semester (Spring 2021) online from Kenya! Thanks to the great wicked pandemic that numbed our minds. On the bright side, it is simply amazing to experience both online and in-person! I am smack in the middle of my second semester. I am inching so close to completion.

Outside of school, I’ve got a couple of other things nosing over my hobby list. I love DIY projects, hiking, writing mundane things on my infamous blog and for the first time, I am attempting to be a long-form author. I have a 350 pages novel coming soon.

That’s it for now. I’ll tell you in advance that you and I shall have some fun on this blog.

Stay awesome. Much love!

Evah.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Introduction

Like all LMU Loyola Law School students, I had a rich and diverse experience as an undergraduate. Before law school, I was involved in many student clubs and organizations. I was heavily involved in student government, and my focus was the promotion of diversity and student equality on campus. I have brought my love for diversity and retention work with me to Loyola as the Community Service Chair of La Raza de Loyola, and as an Admissions Student Ambassador. As a first-generation student, I wanted to get some experience in the legal field before I started law school. I spent my gap year as a legal assistant in a plaintiff’s-side employment firm. I enjoyed the hands-on experience I was able to have because it was a smaller firm.

In my spare time, I continue to expand my love for sociology and the human experience. I like to watch documentaries, movies, and browse online articles about different cultures and theories. I really feel that it has expanded my horizons and really served to help me understand others and will help me in my legal career and beyond. Since I am interested in family law and children’s rights, I feel it is important to explore the human experience so I can make future clients from all walks of life comfortable. I also enjoy collecting candles, thrifting, and spending time with my family.

As for my bucket list, I would love to take the opportunity to travel! I would love to visit my mother’s home country in Central America and explore the Caribbean. I would also love to get to see the Lakers courtside!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Introduction

Hello all! My name is Anuraag Sanga, and I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I moved to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Law School in July and have absolutely loved my time here so far. I applied to law schools across the country, but I was particularly drawn to Loyola Law School because of its excellent criminal law program and the opportunities it provides to make an impact in a city as diverse and influential as LA. I have planned on attending law school since high school due to my passions for public policy and politics and I plan for my career as an attorney to be heavily involved those fields. 

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Washington in 2020 and was fortunate to have amazing internship opportunities along the way that exposed me to fascinating legal questions and refined my career goals. I spent two summers interning for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal where I learned a lot about promoting social justice movements, campaign finance rules, and how a political campaign is run behind the scenes. I also interned at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where I undertook a policy research role focused on advocating for innovative crime strategies. My main project was to provide relevant data and information to help further the office’s goal of establishing diversion programs in place of prosecution for certain types of criminal offenders such as drug users and gang members. Finally, in my gap year between undergrad and law school, I worked as a paralegal for a Public Defender’s Office where I learned a lot about the day-to-day role of a defense attorney and was able to work with and provide support for many vulnerable individuals who enter our criminal justice system.

At this point in my education, I hope to get involved with policy work to solve the inefficiencies and injustices I have seen in our criminal justice system. However, I am keeping an open mind for my career post-graduation and am excited to see what new passions I develop as I progress further at Loyola Law School.

In my downtime, I am a die-hard Seattle sports fan. In fact, one of my favorite holidays each year is the inevitable day the Mariners are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. I am also an Eagle Scout and love hiking, biking, and the outdoors in general. More recently, I have been working diligently to learn new recipes and improve my cooking skills, because as my mom so kindly pointed out, they are currently “not very good.”

Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my background and interests! I am very much looking forward to my further posts for this blog throughout the year, till next time!

Anuraag Sanga

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Introducing Me

Hello Loyola! My name is Keran and I am a 1L in the JD program. I am so excited to be writing my first post for Jury of Peers and introducing myself to the wonderful LLS community. I hope that this post and all my future posts will help you get to know Loyola and the life of a law student in their first year. Prior to attending Loyola, I worked in various sectors of the field of education, including the intersection of law and education. I got my master’s in higher education from Columbia University and my bachelor’s in sociology and music industry from UCLA. I chose to attend law school to learn the ways in which the legal world fits into education policy and higher learning. Now that I am halfway through my first semester, I can actually see myself working in so many different areas of law, a reality I never saw as a possibility prior to attending law school. With that being said, don’t worry if you don’t have it figured out! Law school is the perfect place to find out who you are and where you want to go.

Other than my professional endeavors, I have been a musician my whole life. I graduated from a music school in 2015 and have played violin for 15 years. I also taught myself how to play the guitar. I love to sing and write music, as well. Music is a part of who I am regardless of the career I choose. It is my one true passion that has never wavered. I view music as my safe haven away from all of the day-to-day stressors of life.

Thank you for visiting my new blog! I am so excited to share my first-year experiences with all of you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Introduction

What’s up everyone!

My name is John and here’s a little bit about me.

Before law school, I attended UCLA for undergrad, and graduated in March 2020 with a degree in Spanish. Whenever I tell someone that my major was Spanish, I get a lot of surprised looks because it’s the last thing they would expect me to say. Choosing that major has been such a fulfilling experience and inspired me to pursue law. Studying Spanish has helped me master another language and connect with another community in Los Angeles.

After finishing undergrad, I dipped my toes into the legal world by working as a law clerk for a law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. I worked there for a little over a year until I started law school. I was able to learn a lot about the legal process and the importance of client interaction and communication.

I’m not entirely sure on what field of law I would want to pursue for my law career. I hope to discover my passion at law school and explore the way in which law intersects with my interests which are sports, technology, video games, media entertainment, and cooking. In my free time I love watching sports and following the LA teams like the Lakers, Dodgers, and Rams. In high school, I played volleyball for a couple years on the junior varsity team. Sometimes on Fridays, I'll be playing basketball with other 1L’s on the school basketball court.

A few items on my bucket list are skydiving, learning how to play golf, learning to ride a motorcycle, and learning how to snowboard. Hopefully this winter I’ll be able to cross snowboarding off the list.

Thank you for tuning into my blog! I’m looking forward to writing about my life as a 1L at LMU Loyola Law School.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Who’s Jae?

Congrats, bros, you found my bio!

My name is Jaelin. Or Jae, Jae Kinney, JK. Or even J. Money (if you want to call me that, sure).


Obviously, I go by a lot of nicknames, but you can just call me Jae!

I am one of the bloggers here for the LLS Jury of Peers. And that also means I am a 1L student here at Loyola.

Buuuut, just before that, about six months ago, I was a college student at Claremont McKenna College (CMC), having just found out that I got accepted into Loyola Law School. So, yeah, I took the whole straight-through, no-brakes route to get here.

I knew very early in college (Freshman year) that I wanted to go to Loyola to, simply put, defend the defenseless and speak for the voiceless. And while I nearly lost my way several times throughout college, by listening to others instead of following my own heart, I still made it to where I needed to be. And hopefully, by reading my posts, you realize that you can too…

Only downside here? I still have no clue what area of law I want to practice. And right now, it’s between international law, public interest/non-profit legal work, and criminal defense/prosecution.

With that said, I want you to know two things about my posts. One, my posts are a journey for both you and me. I am just as anxious, just as clueless, and just as curious as you are. Sure, I may be in the driver’s seat, but I have no idea where the road is going to take me. And as I find things out about my own passions and interests, so too will you learn about them.

Two. I’m a huge NERD… Like, no, for real, a major NERD.

Words can’t describe how much of an absolute goon I am when it comes to my love for all things Marvel/DC, anime, video games, lifting weights (snuck that one in there), and Fallout: New Vegas. But Basically:

1) My wardrobe is 10% jeans, 10% hoodies, 20% pajamas/sweats, 5% formal wear (suits, ties, shirts), and 55% anime shirts. Here’s just three of my shirts for reference!


2) I just recently began a figurine collection. So far, so good…


3) I have logged in almost 2,500 hours into New Vegas, per my Steam account

4) My room walls are absolutely splattered with anime posters such as Naruto, One Punch Man, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and most recently Demon Slayer.

Like I said, I am a NERD. So, expect some anime references and superhero jokes.

But most importantly, it also means that every post I write will always have a little bit of me in it. And in reading my posts, you’ll find that I always stay true to myself. And sometimes, just sometimes, that may be more valuable than being a good law student…

See ya soon.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Introduction

First, thank you for visiting my Jury of Peers blog. I remember what it was like researching law schools to decide on where to apply and where to enroll, so I know how overwhelming that is, especially when doing so in the middle of a pandemic. I hope my blog, as well as my colleagues will help you with your decision. Before I tell you about the ins and outs of law school, I’d like to introduce myself a little bit first.

My name is Ashli, and I am a 1L in the Day Division. I grew up in a small town in central Texas. The kind of town where seeing people ride horses on the sidewalk by the highway isn’t really that surprising. After high school, I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to attend the University of North Texas (go mean green!), where I graduated from in May 2021 as a first-generation college student.


I came to law school sure that I would pursue international human rights law as a career, but now that I’m here, I’m interested in so many areas of law that I hate the thought of choosing. These include public interest, criminal, immigration, and international law.

When I am not in law school, I love spending time at the beach and reading romance novels. I know it can be hard to imagine that I would willingly read more than what I am assigned for class, but I believe it is important to hold on to the activities that used to make you happy before law school. Reading has been my go-to happiness inducing activity since I was in middle school, and I’m simply not willing to give that up just yet.

Now, I know this is supposed to be about me, but I think it is important to show who makes me who I am. My family, specifically my mom, brother, and cousins, are my biggest supporters. They encourage me when I’m feeling sad or overwhelmed, listen to me ramble on about interesting things I learn in class, and, probably the most important, tease me put me in my place when I am getting just a little too full of myself.


Outside of practicing law after I finish law school, I plan to spend any and all free time crossing items off my bucket list with my best friends. We have a running list of things we want to do together including spending a month in Greece, visiting the American Girl Doll store in Chicago, seeing a real castle, and so much more.


For now, I am so excited to continue my 1L year and have the opportunity to write to you about my experiences. I hope you’ll continue reading, learn more about LLS, and fall in love with the Loyola community like I have.











Thursday, November 11, 2021

Introduction



Hello Jury of Peers!

My name is Kelsey and yes, I am in my official Loyola Law School Tour Guide polo shirt.

I am your resident 3L blogger and I am super excited to share my law school experience with you! I’ve been blogging since my 1L year, so this little corner of the internet holds a special place in my heart.

I’m originally from Las Vegas, NV and lived there until college when I moved to Irvine to get my bachelor’s from UC Irvine. (zot! zot! zot!) I graduated in 2018 with a degree in Business Administration and Drama. After I graduated, I moved back home and worked remotely as a social media manager for a small acting studio in Santa Ana.


*Professional photo credits at the bottom

Outside of school, I’m a very creative person. I play guitar, ukulele, and some piano. I’ve also been singing since before I could talk – literally. In college, I found a love for improv comedy (think “Who’s Line Is It Anyway”) and ended up being the captain of my team my junior and senior year. I also love food – although I doubt I rise to the requisite level to be called a “foodie.” I love to try new sweets places (smoothies, boba, milkshakes, donut shops, etc.) and I’m constantly craving a spicy yellowtail cut roll.


I’m really passionate about bringing theatre soft skills into the practice of law since we do so much public speaking. I was able to bring that idea to life as part of my position on the Day Student Bar Association last year. DSBA is the law school’s student government and I have loved being a part of it 2L and again this year.

Besides DSBA, I’m a member of the Women’s Law Association and got to be a 1L mentor last year. I am also a student ambassador (hence the sweet tour guide polo). And last year, I was a staffer on the International and Comparative Law Review, as well as a high school mentor through LLS’s Young Lawyer’s Program.

Since I’ve talked so much about music and theater, it’s probably not a huge surprise that I’m interested in going into entertainment law. But thanks to some really great professors, my interest has been piqued in other areas of law too.

Even though I’m about as far away from law school applications as a law student can get, I’m excited to provide you (hopefully) some solace as you begin your law school journey and share some of the tips I’ve picked up throughout my time at Loyola!

See you in the next post,

Kelsey



*photo 2 taken by Pio Valenzuela (www.revelca.com)

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Introduction

Hello Jury of Peers! I am so excited to share my first year of law school with you! Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

My name is Emily Bernstein and I’m from Park City, UT. I graduated from Chapman University in 2018 with a BFA in Creative Writing and a Minor in Political Science. So, if you ever want to nerd out about all kinds of books, poetry, or writing in general, you know where to find me!

After graduating, I moved to Israel for a year on a fellowship program where I worked for a non-governmental organization. I also attended lectures by former Israeli parliament members, leaders in human rights and LGBTQ+ movements, and so much more. It was an incredible year.

For the past two years, I worked as a Prosecutor Assistant with the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office. Before Covid, I also was a club volleyball coach, putting my 8 years of competitive playing to good use! All of this was while I was applying to law school, spending time with my family and our dog, Doug (countless photos available upon request), and weathering Covid.



Even though I am doing a lot of work for school, I still find a bit of time to write some poetry, read good books, and get outside to hike or run. I love those moments of me time – they help my mind clear a bit and give me some space to breathe. Taking care of your mental health is so critical!

As nerdy as it sounds, I am really enjoying my time in law school so far. It is a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but it is necessary for the work I hope to do in the future, and I know it will be worth it. I hope to work in International Human Rights Law in the future – and even during my time at Loyola Law School. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year, and the following years after, bring me!

Until next time!

Emily

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Introduction

Prior to coming to LMU Loyola Law School, I practiced law in Nigeria with a specific interest in human rights and criminal law for almost six years. In those years of practice, I represented victims of human rights violations and defendants in criminal trials. In addition to law practice, I was a research assistant at the University of Ibadan Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, coupling academics with practice. This combination gave me the insight that is required for law practice, which I have chosen- the pursuit of equity and justice. A desire which began many years ago!

When I was a little boy growing up in my hometown of Egbeda in Rivers State of Nigeria, I always wanted to study law, but could never answer the question of why. Of course, I was not expected to explain why at this tender age, living in a little village, it was beyond the “standard” for a boy of my age to think of studying law; let alone understand the reason behind such a serious decision. Surprisingly, my desire never wavered, instead, it only became more real. My vision of what I wanted to achieve with the law became clearer and clearer as the years would later reveal.

It was later in 2008 after completing my secondary education and eventually enrolling in a diploma program with a concentration in law that I realized, I needed to study law to advance social justice. This program introduced me to basic law and legal theories, but also sparked my interest in constitutional law, which completely caught my attention. As I studied constitutional law and reviewed the human rights issues embedded in this area of law, I knew that studying law for the pursuit of equity and justice was for me, especially after having observed human rights abuses within my environment.

At the completion of my diploma in 2010, I proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for a law degree. This degree paved the way for my admission into the Nigerian Law School, a mandatory practical training program for admission to the Nigerian Bar Association. After my admission to the Nigerian Bar, I again went for a postgraduate degree program at the University of Ibadan, to obtain a master’s degree with a specialization in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. My goal is to be more equipped for the evolving concept of human rights globally. After discovering the weaknesses in the Nigerian criminal justice system, specifically around cybersecurity and data privacy, I decided to pursue a specialized degree in this field. Since LMU Loyola Law School has a strong cybersecurity and data privacy concentration, I decided to enroll at the law school and specialize in this.

After I complete this program, I intend to pursue a further degree in cybersecurity and data privacy to harness all the needed knowledge and expertise required to pursue a career in this field. My goal is to collaborate with government, agencies, institutions, and corporations in the hopes of achieving a safe cyberspace, both for the industry and its consumers.

Friday, July 9, 2021

My Summer Plans

It hasn’t been easy making long-term plans this past year.

Initially, this semester should have been my last. My 2019 self planned on studying in LA for a year (where I would work on that sweet, sweet tan that is so hard to come by in the Netherlands), before graduating and entering the next phase of my life. However, since I chose the Flex LLM (an option due to COVID19), I will finish the LLM in two years rather than one. Therefore, graduation—along with a lot of my plans, the most pressing of which was to finally get a cat and a driver’s license—has been pushed to a later date.

This, in turns, means that I will have a summer vacation before the start of the new academic year. I am committed to spending at least two weeks screen-free to give my eyes a break from all the hours spent staring at a computer screen (I’ve probably had more headaches this year than I have in my entire life. I’m exaggerating, but only slightly (although I do tend to procrastinate whenever I have access to the Internet, so some of it is on me)).

I’ll be spending the break in the Netherlands, but I’m not too sure what I’ll be doing yet. I will most likely try to find a summer internship or a part-time job since there’s (according to my calculations) 3+ months to fill before classes begin again. But in all honesty, right now I’m more focused on final exams and trying to keep the stress eating under control than I am on any future plans.

I might moan a bit (or a lot) about being stressed right now, but I’ve had a great year at Loyola. It’s been so fun getting to know my fellow LLMs, many of whom are already lawyers in their home countries, and having basically the same conversation every time consisting of how we can’t wait to go to LA and meet each other in person. I’ve loved the in-class discussions and learning just how engaging and helpful Loyola’s professors are. Needless to say, I look forward to returning in Fall 2021!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Bar Exam

I am finished with my last law school classes and finished with last papers. The only requirement left before graduation is to complete two final exams – Criminal Procedure and Law of Sales. I don’t really get excited or emotional for things like graduations but I will admit, attending my very last law school class was a bit surreal. Everyone always says that the three years of law school fly by in a flash. It’s absolutely true and in some ways, I feel like I just started. It is also strange because I’m hardly done with my classwork. After finals, I transition immediately into bar prep – learning new areas of law and relearning things I’ve forgotten.

I had already started bar prep back in December. I am reading through a few books and sample problems on marital property, going back over old contract and property outlines, and doing some multiple-choice questions. I have already purchased my bar prep course. I decided to go with Kaplan over Themis and Barbri because I felt Kaplan offered the most comprehensive package for developing my essay-writing skills. The plan is to work on bar prep as though it is my 9-6 job. I have already carved out some time to attend a wedding in May but I have made a point not to fill my schedule with new plans.

I’m still rather focused on my finals so I can’t say I’ve given a lot of thought to my specific study schedule. I know that I need to learn at least the basics of marital property and wills and trusts in the next three months before the July Bar Exam. Those two subjects are not tested on the Multistate Bar Exam (aka the MBE, which is the multiple-choice section of the exam) but they could be tested in the essay section. I also need to extensively review criminal law and basic property law which I have not studied since the fall semester of my 1L year. I am more confident about contracts because the Law of Sales class, which I’m taking this semester, is grounded largely in concepts covered in 1L contracts classes. I’m also more confident about civil procedure because I’ve gotten a lot of experience over the last three years working with statutory deadlines, pleading requirements and motions. I am also very confident in my knowledge of business associations because of my experiences in the corporate concentration. Nevertheless, I am treating bar prep as an opportunity to start my law school education from scratch. I’m sure there are things in every subject that I have forgotten. I cannot afford to skip reviewing any part of any subject.

The great thing about bar prep is that there aren’t really any cases to read. The course books give the relevant rules without “hiding the ball.” Although this means I won’t get the richness of the case history, I can go through the basics of each area of law pretty efficiently. Wish me luck and I will see you on the other side!

Friday, July 2, 2021

My 2L Summer

What Am I Doing 2L Summer?

Well Jury of Peers, we’ve come to our last post for the year. I honestly can’t believe this means I only have one year of law school left. It’s really been crazy, to say the least. I’m so glad I got to share my story with you and hope you’ve gotten something out of it too.

As of writing this post I am still in the process of looking for summer jobs. Though things are looking up for fall, the summer job market is still quite affected by the ripple effect the pandemic started. I wish I had better news, for your and my sake, but that is the reality for us law students, or at least many I’ve talked to.

Luckily, Loyola provided some good opportunities to apply to law firms in the LA area. This year, I participated in Spring OCI (on-campus interviews) and the Law Firm Reception put on by the school. OCI in the spring is mostly comprised of small and medium sized firms whereas Law Firm Reception is mostly small and boutique law firms. Though working in Big Law one day would be exciting, at this point in my legal career, I’m more interested in small to medium firms.

However, despite not getting a job / internship offer (yet, fingers crossed), I am taking some classes over summer so that if I get an offer to be part of a clinic next year, I will have taken some of the pressure off of myself to get some of my last classes done. I really want to make the most of my last year, especially if we are on campus (again, fingers crossed) so that takes some planning ahead on my part.

Overall, I’m excited for summer because no matter what I end up doing, it will be a nice change of pace from the non-stop rigor of classes during the school year. I wish I had more to say, but I’m not great at goodbyes. I wish you the best of luck in your legal career and should we ever cross paths, feel free to say hi!

Goodbye for now,

Kelsey

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Interview Season Is Here - 3 Things You Need to Know

  1. Apply to all the opening positions you are interested in.

    Yes, you read right ALL OF THEM. Even if you think that you do not meet all of the employer’s “requirements.” Even if the position says top 10% (and you are not), apply. Those requirements are not set in stone. More often than not, employers are flexible if they meet a strong candidate that does not necessarily check all of “the boxes.”

  2. Your GPA or rank is not the most important thing when applying.

    Most employers will tell you that experience is more valuable than a high GPA. In the end, it is more valuable for an employer that you know how to do a discovery motion than having a 3.80 or being in the top 10%.

  3. Confidence is Key!

    If you do not believe in yourself, why would a stranger believe in you. Replace words like “I think to I know.” Be confident and portray yourself as the strong candidate you are!

  4. Don’t forget:



Monday, June 28, 2021

Summer Plans

Hello Jury of Peers!

I truly cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. As my 1L year comes to a close, I look forward to the end of finals, a break from school, and the beginning of my summer internship. That’s right—I landed a summer job!

About two weeks ago, I accepted an offer to intern at a boutique law firm and legal start-up in Los Angeles, and I couldn’t be more thrilled (and relieved). The job hunt was extremely tedious and exhausting, and I often felt discouraged every time I saw a rejection letter sitting in my inbox. As a first-generation law student, I didn’t have any lawyers in my family to offer me guidance, or even a summer job. And as much as I love scouring LinkedIn for hours, hitting refresh every 30 minutes for new job postings, I had no luck. I wound up applying for positions posted by Loyola’s Career Services, which is where I finally struck gold.

My position is a part of Loyola Law School’s Technology Internship Program, aka TIP, and I applied directly through Symplicity. Loyola helped me during my quest for a summer job by providing links to job boards, resources for cover letter writing, and tips on interviewing. Further, the Career Services did an excellent job in connecting students with local employers eager to help Loyola students. My employer is actually a Loyola alumni, which is pretty cool.

Although looking for a summer job took time and energy, I am so excited to start practicing law this summer. I also feel very prepared to start working, something I don’t think I could have said at the beginning of this year. It is truly wild to see how much I’ve grown as a law student and person over this past year. Law school will test you in unimaginable ways, but I am forever grateful for this incredible experience.

Thank you so much for following along during my 1L year!

Until next time, Madison

Friday, June 25, 2021

Getting Over the Fear of Speaking in Class

Growing up, I avoided public speaking as much as I could. My class participation marks in high school were always below average, and, once I went to university, the large class size made it very easy to avoid speaking up. This time around, I went into law school promising myself I would overcome my fear.

It might be that the online environment made it easier, as I attend lectures sitting alone in my room and not in a classroom with 70+ people, but I can quite honestly say that I have (at least for the most part) gotten over my former fears.

For me, preparation has been key. During my bachelors, I went into each lecture having skimmed the material, but never felt like I had enough of a grasp of the content to join in on the discussion. Nowadays, I will read through the assigned pages at least twice before each lecture. That way, I go into class well-prepared, and with enough of a handle on the material to feel like I have a contribution.

Another thing that was helpful was attending a course with a small class size. This semester, I am enrolled in a class that is made up of myself and only five others (not counting the professor). At first, I found it quite daunting as the small size meant that the chances of being cold-called were much higher. However, the course has become one that I genuinely look forward to attending each week. A small class makes it easier to hold a discussion, and it also means that the “audience” is smaller, too.

Finally, I’ve discovered that the more I engage/raise my hand, the easier it becomes. I force myself to either ask a question or answer one by the third lesson of a course. Once I’ve gotten that first moment out of the way, it becomes a lot easier to repeat the action.

In all honesty, I’m still not the most frequent participator, but now, when I feel like I have something to add, I no longer find myself breaking out into a cold sweat at the thought of raising my hand. (I’d like to say that that’s an exaggeration, but no, public speaking of any form really did terrify me.)

To those who have always been comfortable with public speaking and participating in class, I’d like to say that I am very envious of you. But to anyone who dislikes (or even fears) public speaking, law school might be the perfect chance to overcome it. And, anyway, odds are that you’ll be cold-called at some point.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Forty Hours

As I mentioned last year, every law student is required to complete forty hours of pro bono work to graduate. In my 1L year, I got an early start working over the winter break for a tenant advocacy firm, the Tenant’s Law Firm. Because I was a 1L, I was limited to claiming a maximum of ten hours, even though I actually worked closer to forty within the two-week break.

Last year, I completed the bulk of my hours, acting as a bailiff in Loyola’s National Civil Trial Competition. I acted as a timer and event coordinator over an entire weekend and was even credited for the time spent at the pro-competition party! The event added another 28 hours to my pro bono total.

This year I finished up my forty hours by working in a landlord/tenant law clinic. Loyola offers a wide variety of clinics from landlord/tenant to criminal justice to international refugee assistance. I am interested in real estate law and had not had much experience in residential real estate or landlord/tenant law since my volunteer work as a 1L. The good news about clinics is that it is a regular class for credit with instruction on the relevant area of law. The first half of the landlord/tenant clinic focused on the basics of landlord/tenant law and on the newly enacted regulations and prohibitions to address the pandemic. The bad news about clinics (for me anyway) is that each clinic requires each student to work 2 to 4 hours per week in addition to regular classes. The time commitment meant that I was not able to rejoin the Byrne Trial Team again this year.

During the pandemic, the city of Los Angeles, the state, the county and the CDC all enacted emergency regulations which prohibited evictions for failure to pay rent, though contrary to popular belief evictions for cause were still allowed. Tenants were, however, still required to pay all rents owed according to a pre-established timeline once the pandemic had ended. I (rather optimistically) guessed that the pandemic would have subsided enough by the fall semester of 2020 that housing would be a hot issue. My belief was that tenants and landlords would be busy negotiating repayment options and that there would be a glut of wrongfully evicted tenants as landlords reacted to eased evictions restrictions. Unfortunately, the pandemic had not subsided by the fall so I mostly spent the time cataloging the new pandemic laws into a new questionnaire for the clinic to use during client intakes. I did get to do one intake myself but it was far from the busy workload that I had expected. Nevertheless, I did learn a lot about landlord/tenant law and was able to complete my pro bono hours.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Pro Bono Work, An Ethical Obligation

Loyola Law School is unique in that it requires students to complete pro bono hours. This is meant as a means by which the law school and its students give back to the community which it serves. Yet, there is a bigger reason. The American Bar Association holds in its Model Rules that lawyers shall aspire to render at least 50 pro bono hours per year in a manner which the lawyer does not expect to receive payment for the services rendered. While California rules do not echo this requirement and pro bono hours are not mandatory, it is generally accepted that lawyers will either provide pro bono hours or provide funding to an organization that represents underprivileged groups.

Returning to Loyola Law School, I have opted to complete the requirement by volunteering my time in the Young Lawyer Program. This program reaches out to high school students in the surrounding Los Angeles area to immerse them in a mock trial. The students are split into teams and within those teams, high school students are paired with law students that act as mentors to guide them in their legal endeavors. The trial is then run by the high school students, as they present opening and closing statements, as well as conduct direct and cross examinations of the witnesses in the case. The end result is to expose the students to the legal process so they themselves may seek a legal education. That is one way by which I give back to the community.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Pro Bono

Hello again, Jury of Peers! Today we are talking pro bono hours which is kind of perfect since I’m working on my pro bono hours right now!

LLS requires that all students complete 40 hours of pro bono work. Loyola has so many opportunities to complete pro bono hours from clinics to helping trial teams prepare for competition by being a witness. The way I am getting the majority of my hours is through Young Lawyers Program (YLP) which is a student run mock trial. Law students mentor high school students to help foster their interest in law as well as teach some basic legal skills.

My little YLP group is my mentee (who is a freshman in high school!) and a 1L who is starting his hours early. We are working on doing a direct examination of the primary defendant. Since I have the most law school experience as a 2L, most of my job is to explain principles in the simplest way I can. One thing I really feared when I learned we had a pro bono requirement was that I wasn’t going to be knowledgeable or prepared enough to actually do anything productive. But it really amazed me how much I have learned (and retained) in the last 3.5 semesters!

Pro bono hours give you a chance to exercise your knowledge. To make a cheesy analogy: pro bono is like going to the gym for your law brain, and your classes are your personal trainers. You know, the one who makes sure you stay in proper form. It’s actually really fun to get to use my knowledge outside of a class or an exam setting. And yes, I know that sounds nerdy, but if you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re nerdy too.

If I don’t complete all my hours this year, I would love to do clinic work to complete the rest. I am planning on doing a clinic anyway next year to fulfill my experiential learning requirement, but I also am genuinely looking forward to doing more work!

To finish off this post I’ll say this: it’s hard to explain pro bono until you do it. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to foster someone’s interest in law (YLP) or help them with a legal problem (clinic). Those little moments of realization that you do remember what hearsay is AND can recall some of the exceptions. I know I’ve gotten a lot out of it, and I know you will too!

See you in the next one,

Kelsey

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Pro Bono Work?

To be honest, it’s difficult to stay on top of everything and every requirement in law school. There’s a lot that needs to be done in addition to classes, and there are always more opportunities to look into. The pro bono requirement is one of those.

I have always been excited about fulfilling my pro bono requirements. While, as law students, we might all be looking for paid positions or internships, pro bono work is a huge and integral part of the legal profession and it is arguably one of the best ways that our profession helps with justice and equity. Without pro bono work, there are so many people who would be unable to find adequate legal representation, which goes against every ideal that we learn about in law school.

Our pro bono requirement is much more than that; it is an opportunity to learn and grow as a lawyer as well. Before starting law school, it was one of the things I was always looking forward to. As a first year, I have not fulfilled my pro bono requirement yet. However, I do believe that I would like to complete it through a clinical course or practicum. I am also interested in working for the Immigration Center for Women and Children, which is one of the organizations approved by LLS for our pro bono work.

I look forward to updating you all once I complete my requirement. I truly think it will be one of the most exciting aspects of my law school experience and I believe I will be able to learn a lot.

Until Next Time,

Leilee

Monday, June 14, 2021

Pro Bono Requirement

Welcome back Jury of Peers!

This week, I want to go over Loyola’s pro bono requirement for graduation, and my plan to complete it.

As I start to wrap up my first year of law school at Loyola, my thoughts bounce from summer internships to my upcoming finals, to what classes I plan to take in the upcoming fall and how I will fulfill my pro bono requirement. Unlike many law schools, Loyola has a pro bono requirement, which means that students must complete 40 hours of uncompensated, legally related public service work before graduation. As I am considering a future career in public interest, fulfilling this requirement won’t be a problem for me.

This summer, I plan to do an unpaid externship for a non-profit organization here in Los Angeles. Because this work is uncompensated, it will go towards my pro bono requirement. It is not uncommon for your summer job to be unpaid, which makes fulfilling the pro bono requirement rather simple, so don’t stress! I also have friends who plan to volunteer 5-10 hours a week during 2L, to help complete the requirement. However, Loyola does have requirements for what counts as pro bono work, so check with your advisor to make sure your work counts and that you’re on track for graduation.

The pro bono requirement is an excellent way to get work experience in public interest, and truly immerse yourself in your community’s ongoing legal issues. There are so many practice areas and opportunities for public interest work, especially in a bustling city such as Los Angeles. My advice would be to make a plan sooner rather than later. Because before you know it, you’ll be at the end of your 3L year and on your way to graduation.

I hope that was helpful! And as always, thank you for the read.

Until next time,

Madison




Friday, June 11, 2021

Networking and CDO Opportunities

It might seem difficult to network as an LLM student: the program usually lasts a year, and (if you’re like me) you need a while to feel like you’ve grasped the basics and aren’t on the verge of failing everything. Basically, it might seem like there’s not enough time to really network during your time at Loyola. (And that’s not even taking into consideration how scary networking can be!)

Trawling through my inbox now, I can see that I have received emails about networking events and opportunities on a near-weekly basis. Not all are relevant for my situation or in the area of law I am interested in practicing, of course, but I could theoretically attend one event per week just by scouring through my school email. (A cursory scan leads me to a panel on how to find a job in the entertainment industry, one on work/life balance and networking mentorship, and a workshop on how to network in the time of COVID.) Moreover, all the events have been virtual—I don’t know if that’s the case in non-2021 times—but it’s great that you can network from the comfort of your own home!

Despite the plethora of networking opportunities flooding my inbox, I was slightly concerned that these events might be geared more towards domestic students. Luckily, there have been plenty of events aimed at (international) LLM students. In fact, just this week I received an email about a networking opportunity that will not only include speakers who had their initial legal training in different countries, but also a program geared specifically on how to get a job in the US as an international LLM student.

If you are able to get over the fear of networking (and if you have, please let me know how because I genuinely stress myself out so much beforehand), you will likely find that networking at Loyola is easy! However, if you are shy (like me) and find networking daunting (also like me), there are so many opportunities that it would seem wrong not to attend at least a handful.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A Large Network in a Small Field

Throughout law school there will be numerous people telling you that law school is not isolated and a whole system of lawyers and academics exist to form relationships with to build yourself professionally. Certainly, while the most worthwhile relationships will come from your law school classmates, relationships with District Attorneys, politicians, Public Defenders, etc.. become critical in developing yourself professionally in furtherance of your career. Such organizations which allow for networking arise from clubs such as the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association which grants many opportunities for current students to connect with prior students who are pursuing their careers. Doing so allows the law student to understand how it really is to work in the field or office or firm they seek employment in. Similarly, Bar Associations will often hold informal events to have the members comingle and unwind from their busy lives. Often these associations will offer student enrollment. I am a member of the Western San Bernardino County Bar Association. I have attended many events held by the association and have met very influential people within the San Bernardino Court System and within the District Attorney’s Office, such as the actual District Attorney himself, Jason Anderson, and many of his Deputies. They provided me with a wealth of knowledge about working within the District Attorney’s office and the differences which can be found from county to county.

Yet, there are more opportunities available to students in the furtherance of their careers such as the Southern California Public Interest Career Day which allows for many organizations to table and recruit students to work for the summer or any term to help them gain experience. During these events is where I was able to get recruited by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as a law clerk which only served to reaffirm my commitment to the public sector.