Thursday, March 31, 2022

I Love Loyola

Hope everyone enjoyed my little acrostic poem. The last time I created one was probably in elementary school. I remember having to create an acrostic poem using the letters of your name. Whew, good thing I have a short name.  

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up and this blog’s theme is LOVE, I thought it would be a fun brainteaser to create an acrostic poem using the L-O-V-E to describe Loyola Law School in 4 words.

L: Location 

I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people at LLS and make new friends. I know that a lot of us are Southern California natives, but there’s also many other students that are from different parts of the U.S. and even the world! When I ask people why they chose to come to LLS, location is something that is almost always mentioned. Most people want to move to LA, start their career here, and/or are interested in entertainment law, since LA/Hollywood is also known as “The Entertainment Capital of the World.” 

For me, LLS is not too far away from my home either. I was born in Southern California and lived in LA county my whole life, went to UCLA for undergrad, and I wished to stay in the LA area post-grad as well. When I first applied to LLS, I didn’t know that LLS was separate from LMU’s campus. It’s actually pretty nice because I feel like it creates a tight knit community on campus that makes me focused on studying law.

Here’s a tip I learned from taking a campus tour last year: If you want a nice view of LA and a scenic photo, go to the top floor of the parking lot. The view is awesome up there. Here’s a photo I took:

O: Openness 

LLS may seem like a small campus physically, but I feel very “welcomed here with open arms.” Everyone who I’ve met so far: classmates, peers, 2L’s and 3L’s are all very friendly.  The 2L’s and 3L’s that I’ve met are really open to answering my questions and giving advice about classes and summer opportunities.  My professors and counselors are all very kind and open to meeting with students to answer any questions that we may have. Everyone on campus creates a very inviting environment that makes me feel at ease and comfortable.

V: Variety 

LLS is very diverse. I’ve been able to meet people from all different walks of life and from different backgrounds. LLS also has a variety of clubs for us to choose from. I remember when it was club day on campus last fall, I had the opportunity to walk around and see all the different clubs on campus.  It was pretty nice to see that there were so many clubs that represented many different fields of law, and I was able to hear from 2L and 3L’s about their club experiences. I’ve joined a few clubs on campus, and I’m most active in the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) and Intellectual Property & Cybersecurity Law Society (IPCLS) since I’m a 1L rep for those clubs. 

LLS and the clubs on campus also provide a variety of events and opportunities. I’ve attended a few events hosted by different clubs in person and over zoom to learn more about the programs offered by LLS and hear from guest speakers about their law careers.

E: Educational 

So far, I’ve had a very enriching educational experience at LLS. We’ve all heard those myths or seen from Legally Blonde that law professors are scary, intimidating, and breathe down your neck. I haven’t really experienced that and hopefully I won’t, but I don’t think I will. I’ve had passionate professors in all my classes who are really focused on making sure we learn and understand the concepts. I really like how my professors will crack some jokes while we are learning about different cases.

My law school education at LLS has really opened a lot of doors of opportunities for me. Learning about the different areas of law has been really fun and led me to explore my interests into potential law practice areas.
Those 4 words are some of the main things that I love about LLS. I hope to maintain a strong connection to the law school even after I graduate. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

I Love Loyola

Before I came here, I was just kind of coasting through life, seeing where the wind took me. I had no real sense of direction.

And when I got accepted here, I wasn’t sure if this was the direction I wanted to go. I had a strong sense of justice, a good work ethic, and passion for the law. But I also knew that law school wasn’t for everyone. And I figured maybe it wasn’t for me, either. 

That was, until recently. I can’t quite explain it, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m on the right track. 

I  came here to help others. And there’s so many opportunities here to do just that. The practicums, the justice clinics, the professors, the externships…

If you really want to help people and make the world a better place, Loyola is the law school for you. 

I’m not just saying that, either. As someone who always felt like an “outcast” wherever I went, this place made me feel welcomed. I genuinely appreciate that most people here are down to earth. They’re not attorneys first, and people second. They’re people before anything else. Relatable, kind, and supportive. From the professors and staff, to the students. It does feel like a close-knit community where you’ll find your calling.

I still have some lingering worries and fears. That’s normal for anyone pursuing their dreams. 

But if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not ambitious enough. And I’m terrified by the fact that my dreams will become reality soon. 

This post is more for me than it is for you, I guess. It’s a checkpoint of my life before I head into, what I feel, is the next stage of life. The stage where I begin my legal career doing what I love most: helping others. This is the most ambitious, driven, and motivated I’ve ever been in a while. And it’s because I see my future within arm’s reach, probably now more than ever. And I know Loyola is the school that’ll help me get there.

To answer the question, I love Loyola because it allows me to be my unapologetic self. To pursue my ambitions. And nurtures a community of like-minded people who—like me—are determined to help others and change the legal system. 

[Read the bold text for answers.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Building Relationships with Faculty

When making my final law school choice, I made sure to speak to current students at the schools to ask about their experiences. The students at Loyola could not say enough good things about their professors. I mean…gushing would be the right word probably. Of course, some had gripes about this professor, and another loved that one… But all in all, every student had the same thing to say: the professors at Loyola want all of their students to succeed and become amazing attorneys. 

Now that I’m a full semester (plus some) into my time at Loyola, I can say that those students are 100% right! My professors this year truly want to make my colleagues and me great lawyers. They put in so much of their own time to make sure we understand the complex, and yes-at some points dry, material. The professors all have regular office hours but, and perhaps this is a positive thing to come out of covid, they are all extremely happy to meet one-on-one over zoom if need be to help us understand. 

My professors never make any of us feel like our questions are stupid or a waste of class time. Last semester, I spent about 10 minutes of class time debating the way tort law looks at mental health with my professor. At the time, I felt embarrassed by how much time I had spent arguing with the man who actually wrote our textbook, but after class, my professor thanked me for my questions. 

And trust me, if you have a question, someone else (or multiple people) have the same exact question you do. Don’t be afraid to ask it! 

I think that one of the best things about Loyola is that the school really strives to foster these good relationships among professors and students. The professors are all incredible – several of mine literally wrote the book on the law they teach – and they have life experiences that contribute to just how well they know the law. 

I feel really lucky to have these professors teach me the law, and I hope that – humbly – by attending office hours and asking questions, they feel lucky to have me as a student. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Building Relationships with Faculty

Beginning law school, I received a lot of advice on how to prepare, what to do when struggling, and how to manage time. One of the main themes across all the suggestions I received was creating relationships with professors and other faculty. During my first semester, I was really intimidated and nervous about everything, so I shied away from my professors. However, I told myself that I had to at least try to create a relationship with one professor at some point. I started working towards this by attending office hours for LRW and legal research. I slowly became more comfortable with communicating with professors, and office hours were truly helpful. This semester, I feel more comfortable and empowered in claiming my space on campus. I reached out to several of my professors to discuss my exams, because I knew it was non-negotiable if I want to improve. After having those meetings, I am wholeheartedly proud of myself but I also feel immensely supported by everyone. I finally understand why so many people advised me to create relationships with my professors and to reach out when I need support. I do think our campus is blessed with the presence of professors and faculty that care about our well-being and academic success. If I didn’t take the step of reaching out and attending office hours, I would have deprived myself of an amazing resource. I am amazed at how accessible faculty is and how accommodating they are when setting up meetings and opening a line of communication. In reality, professors and faculty offer much more than lectures, cold-calls, and reading assignments. They also offer guidance, mentorship, and loads of encouragement. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Building Relationships with Faculty

 Building relationships with faculty can certainly be intimidating at first. Our faculty is comprised of highly accomplished legal professionals, and I initially felt anxious about asking them dumb questions or appearing unprepared. It took while to shake off, but the important thing is just going for it and engaging with faculty members. Once you do so, much of the intimidation will go away and you will realize that your professors are there because they are passionate about teaching you, and in my experience, they will not make you feel bad about asking questions, no matter how simple. I have yet to engage one on one with any of my professors, but all my professors have been more than available via office hours or email and truly wish to be the best resource they can be to help you succeed in law school. The faculty is extremely accessible and will always give you detailed and realistic feedback for any questions you may have about your coursework or career. I appreciate most the enthusiasm that emanates from our faculty members. All my professors and advisors are lively, engaged and bring so much passion for the law to campus every day, and it clearly rubs off on the student body. Professor Levenson in particular who was always dancing on top of a desk or hyping us up like a football coach at 8 am sharp is a great example of how much our faculty cares. I am thankful for the relationships I have built so far and look forward to more personal connections with faculty members moving forward.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Faculty Relationships

 I walked into law school thinking that law school professors were going to be the toughest, least understanding educators I would ever have. I quickly learned that they were actually the opposite. Loyola Law School is the fourth academic institution I have attended, and I have never had more caring educators. Law school professors work to get the best out of you. They will call on you and they will push you. This can be daunting and can be a setback in trying to build relationships. Despite all of this, all of my professors have been extremely caring. My Contracts professor responded to an email I sent him about not feeling well enough to attend class in under 5 minutes. I was shocked to say the least. As I write this post, I am reflecting on all of my experiences will faculty. Each and every professor has been nothing but kind, encouraging, and helpful. After final grades were inputted, all of my professors made time to meet with students to ensure that we all have the necessary resources to improve. My Civil Procedure professor is still making time to meet with students on a weekly basis even though we are about to be in the fifth week of the semester. All of this to say, do not be afraid of law school professors! They are extremely caring and want you to succeed. They were law students, too. If anyone knows how you feel, it is your professor. I can honestly say Loyola Law School’s greatest strength is the incredible professors that we have.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Building Relationships with Faculty

 I try my best to participate in class and attend office hours if I have any questions, so that my professors can get to know me. I had Professor Brain as my Torts professor during the fall 2021 semester. A lot of you probably have seen online or heard that Professor Brain is involved with video game law and has written a casebook about it. I think with the scope of technological developments and how video games have evolved within the past few years, including the development of new gaming consoles and pc gaming becoming very popular during quarantine, video games have become a central topic in today’s society, the media, and of controversy. I was able to talk to Professor Brain before the semester ended, telling him about my interest in video game law and if I could ask him for advice. He did let me know that it is a competitive field, but he’s always willing to make an appointment to meet with anyone to give advice. I plan on connecting with Professor Brain sometime this semester or in the upcoming future to discover more opportunities regarding video game law and how to further explore my interests in the field.

When applying to our 1L summer positions, I think most people use their first graded memorandum assignment from their writing class as a writing sample. When I was polishing my writing sample to send out judicial externship applications for the summer of 2022, it was very helpful to receive and incorporate feedback from my writing professor (Professor Levin). During class, Professor Levin has been very motivating, and she encourages us to seek help from her if we need help finding a summer position.

Right now, I have been reaching out to my professors to set up office hour appointments, so I can review my midterm and final exams from last semester. I appreciate that the faculty is very kind and are willing to meet with students to help them learn and succeed. I’m thankful that the faculty are a good resource at LLS, and they have inspired me to consider pursuing academia as a future career path.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Building Relationships

As a 1L, you’ll probably have some questions about building relationships with professors, joining clubs, or even making friends…

In other words, you may want to know the following:

How easy is it to talk to professors on campus? Are the clubs on campus all-inclusive? Do professors have office hours? And if so, are they helpful?

The simple answer: building relationships with friends, faculty, and club members is easily one of the best aspects about law school. 

The ease at which I can speak to professors on campus is amazing. From day one, I could tell that the professors genuinely cared about their jobs. Many of my professors are more than willing to meet with students during office hours to explain concepts they don’t understand, review students’ work, or even just chat about their own experiences in the legal field. 

Not going to name the professor here, but one even had a Halloween contest to dress as your favorite defendant! She was an amazing professor who genuinely cared about her students and her subject. And if you have her for one of your classes, consider yourself lucky!

I’ll even go one step further and say that building relationships on campus is essential to thriving in law school. 

All I would suggest is that you don’t rush these relationships.

If you choose to make connections with professors, do so because you’re genuinely interested in them and their careers.

Not because you want to add another connection to your network web. 

As for clubs… you’ll be fine. There’s a club for everyone here. I was quite surprised at the sheer number of affinity groups on campus. And, yes, all of them are super inclusive of people of all backgrounds, identities, and ethnicities. Some will even partner with each other to host events on campus. Which is cool.

As someone who ‘s part of four different clubs: Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Day Student Bar Association (DSBA), Criminal Law Society (CLS), and the Jury of Peers. Believe me, joining clubs is simple, fun, and so worth it, especially because you get to meet like-minded people outside of your section.

I’ll conclude with this. For the faculty and prospective law students reading this: thank you. If you’re here, it probably means that you care about the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of students on campus.

And while Loyola Law School isn’t 100% perfect (no school really is, after all). The fact that resources like this are available make a huge difference in choosing what school to go to. This blog—and the ability to see the experiences of other students—was a huge factor in my decision to come here.

And so far, I don’t regret it. 

Jae signing off… peace.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Building Relationships with Faculty

 While I, personally love law school movies like Legally Blonde, since starting law school I have learned that their portrayal of professors is not at all accurate. While I am only a 1L and haven’t had a lot of professors yet, my experience at Loyola this far has been that the majority of professors want you to succeed and are very supportive and encouraging.

Every professor I’ve had has had regular office hours where they will answer questions, go over material, or talk about the exam. Before every exam, they also have a review session. Also, my professors have been understanding that we all have things going on in our personal lives, especially because of the pandemic, and will be as accommodating as they can. On the first day of one of my classes, my professor wrote her personal phone number on the board. “Throughout the semester,” she said, “Remember you have at least one person who will be there when you need them, day or night.”

Outside of professors, the faculty at the Career Development Office is helpful and accessible as well. They meet with 1Ls to go over resumes, cover letters, and even hold mock interviews. During my mandatory 1Ls meeting, my advisor gave me so much information about what clubs to join and professors to talk to to learn more about the career fields I am interested in. She also encouraged me to reach out to her should I have any questions or concerns about finding internships while I’m in school.

Overall, the faculty that I have met with have been amazing. They know what we’re going through and the challenges we’re facing, and they want to help in any way they can. This is one of the things I love most about Loyola. Everyone at Loyola wants students to succeed and encourages us to be the best future lawyers and people we can be.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The Importance of Study Groups

 I have a way of meeting people and knowing pretty much immediately if they are my kind of people. I was nervous that, in law school, this practice would not work as well for me because there were so many people, so many equally as passionate people. And, well, I was right in that everyone in my class is passionate about something, which makes me passionate about hearing them talk about it.

Some people come to law school with no intention to make friends because they are there merely to get their law education and get on with their careers. I admire those people because, personally, I thrive when I have people around me that I can go over courses with and laugh with when we’re not studying. Everyone is different, though, and everyone finds their own groove.

Somehow, though, through orientation, and sitting with random groups of people at lunch, I found my people.

Together, our group would spend a portion of our lunch break going over the next day’s work, discussing the cases and readings. After that, we would move on to things about ourselves that had nothing to do with law school. It was a much needed brain break.

I leaned on this group a lot. And they leaned on me. We asked each other questions about the material, went over outlines/notecards/class notes together during exam periods or time when our readings were lighter. We also did mental health checks – taking some of the burdens from each other to help each of us succeed more.

Before each final, even though we were all in separate rooms and stressed in our own way, we would come together, take a collective deep breath, and go forth into the adrenaline-rush that is a law school exam.

One of my favorite things about Loyola is that, even outside of my study/friend group, everyone – and I do mean everyone – is so supportive. My classmates want me to succeed and vice versa. Because Loyola is a smaller campus, everyone’s faces start to look familiar. And in 1L, we are in sections small enough that I know all of my classmates by name and face (or at least…masked face ha).

There is something truly special about being in an environment where, yes, we all want good grades, but I know that if I have a question, I can ask any of my section-mates and get the right answer. No one is trying to sabotage me or telling me the wrong answers. We all want each other – friend groups or no – to succeed. And that’s a pretty awesome thing to say.