Friday, March 12, 2021

Building Relationships With Faculty

Have you ever heard anyone tell you they hated a subject and when you asked them why, they say it was because they did not like the teacher? That was me after a bad middle school math teacher. Being able to teach is a completely different skill set than understanding the subject, in my opinion. And arguably, the stakes for finding a good teacher are never higher in your academic career than in law school.

We’ve all seen the scary law professors who kick students out of class for not reading the pre-assigned material (Legally Blonde), who demand feats of knowledge (Paper Chase), and others that make us question whether law school professors are here to help us or to be so tough on us that nothing in our professional careers seem too bad. Luckily at Loyola, none of those stereotypes are really true. I truly believe that my law school experience has been positively impacted in a major way by the professors. They are pillars of our community and sometimes it feels surreal we’re learning from such impressive people.

Many professors contribute to the “Loyola Community,” which is always referencing the caring, professional, and helpful nature of our campus culture. Don’t start thinking our professors make law school easier than other professors would, because they definitely still challenge you in class and increase your tolerance for reading late into the night, but they do approach their students with the understanding that we’re all trying our best.

My law school professors are much more accessible than my undergraduate professors. They have office hours, will meet with you outside of office hours, give you their phone numbers, and tell you to reach out to them even after the semester is over. They truly want you to have access to their help. They want to be accessible because they understand we are grappling with difficult and sometimes counterintuitive material – they had to grapple with it as students too.

Many people in my 1L section even loved our professors so much, they’ll take an upper division class specifically because of the professor teaching it. I am also 100% guilty of this. Maybe that seems hard to understand now, but once you get to Loyola you will completely understand. This may sound biased, but I’m pretty sure we have some of the best professors out there.

See you in the next one,


Monday, March 8, 2021

The Importance of Study Groups

My first year of law school was thankfully in person as the pandemic was a possibility few of us even considered. Accordingly, being in person the dynamic between students and staff was drastically different than the new normal we know now. Immediately upon stepping through the doors of the law school, I was connected with individuals that I was able to have intellectual debate with. The student body comprised of individuals from all walks of life such that the intellectual diversity was refreshing and an environment which I had little experience in. I quickly formed a group with individuals from my cohort, with this group I was able to talk about both legal issues and personal issues. Quickly, we all became each other’s best friends and supported one another through thick and thin. I formed a study group with two of the people in my group of 5 because they had the exact same classes as myself while the other two had a different torts class.

This study group was integral to my success during my first year as we would push each other to study and clarify points to ensure we had a good grasp of the subject. However, I did not limit myself to that exclusive group. Rather, in my quest to understand the material better, I held study sessions for any person who wanted to attend. The capacity to teach others shows proficiency. Law school and law as a field of study requires collaborative skills, most of the proceedings in the field are team based, whether it be attorney to attorney or attorney to paralegal. While it may not be the best idea to lean on a classmate to get through law school, having a support system both academically and socially will make the experience evermore pleasant.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Building Relationships with Faculty

What I found pleasantly surprising about Loyola was how easy it is to communicate with your professors. My professors have often ended lectures encouraging students to reach out if they have any concerns. In fact, during my first semester at Loyola, the professors regularly stuck around for 15 minutes after class to answer everyone’s questions. Never were we made to feel like our questions were an inconvenience.

Moreover, my professors have all been incredibly quick at responding to emails (and I would imagine communication via email is probably at an all-time high this year). For example, I emailed my Spring 2021 professors two days before the winter break was scheduled to begin to ask for a list of textbooks required for their courses. Admittedly, I left the sending of the email a bit late, and I was worried that I might have to wait until after winter break to receive a reply. It turns out that my worries were unwarranted, as I received a reply from all three professors on the same day I sent my email.

When it comes to non-email communications, my professors have been accommodating as well. As an LLM student attending the program from outside the United States, I am in a time zone nine hours ahead of Los Angeles, and I assumed that I might have to stay up late to schedule a meeting during office hours. Luckily, professors have made it clear that, should their office hours be at an inconvenient time, we need only reach out so that a mutually convenient one can be found.

Not only are Loyola’s professors readily available to answer questions and address concerns, but they actively encourage students to ask these questions and raise their concerns. In this way, Loyola has cultivated an environment where reaching out is easy, and approaching faculty is not at all daunting.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Building Relationships With Faculty

Welcome back Jury of Peers!

This week, I’ll dive into my favorite tips and tricks on getting to know your professors and building relationships with the Loyola faculty.

For starters, it is very important to begin cultivating close relationships with your professors and advisors, as these individuals have an immense amount of experience and wisdom when it comes to the world of law. Not only can they offer you knowledge and expertise about the law school experience or entering the legal field, they also want to see you grow and succeed. In that capacity, they’re truly your biggest supporters and cheerleaders.

When looking to build a relationship with your professor, my advice is to take advantage of office hours and private meetings. Office hours are great for general questions about the material, or simply introducing yourself. In my experience, professors notice when you come to their office hours, something that may benefit you in the long run. However, I tend to get to know faculty better when I’m speaking with them one-on-one. Private meetings are great to get to know the professor on a personal level, and it’s a space where you can talk more about their professional career rather than the class material. I’ve even reached out to a few professors who teach classes in areas of law I’m interested in, but haven’t had the opportunity to take. The more information you can gain about certain areas of law the better.

Apart from professors, seeking out relationships with other Loyola faculty is equally beneficial. Your advisors, for example, want nothing more than to help you succeed. The more your advisors get to know you, the better capable they are at providing you with opportunities that suit your interests and professional goals. Also, it’s almost too easy to build relationships with your advisors, as Loyola has various drop-in hours where you can speak with faculty and get your questions answered quickly. So far, I’ve also found that the faculty at Loyola are not only accessible, but very responsive to your needs/ questions. Law school is already stressful, so it’s nice to not have to worry about communicating with faculty!

That’s all for this week, thank you for the read!

Until next time,