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,


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


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.