Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Building Relationships with Professors

Hello again, Jury of Peers! Today we are talking about professors and let me say, the people at Loyola are my favorite part of law school, professors included. 

Law professors are an integral part of the law school experience, not only because they teach you how the law works but also because they provide you with a valuable resource: connection. And like most things in law school this is a three-prong analysis. 

The first type of connection professors provide is to the law itself. Loyola professors are at the top of their fields which means they’re not only leading scholars in their field but they’ve also experienced the way their area of law works in numerous real-life situations. Students at Loyola are so curious-minded and our professors encourage us to come to them and parse out our questions, no matter how detailed. Professors want to share their experience with you and often times have great stories to help put abstract legal concepts in a context that is more manageable. 

The second type of connection that professors provide is to the students themselves. Law school isn’t like undergrad where the professors teach many different classes and see hundreds of different faces every semester. Law school (and the legal profession) is much more insulated, so the professors really make an effort to learn things about their students and forge meaningful connections with them. Most every professor I’ve had since 1L has remembered my name when I’ve seen them on campus after the class was over which is a really great feeling. 

The third type of connection that professors provide is, well, connections. Because many of our professors have been teaching for multiple years and had amazing careers before becoming professors, they know a lot of people in the legal community and can actually help students get jobs, internships, and informational interviews. Most professors are also very willing to write letters of recommendation and reach out to their colleagues to help students make connections to other people in the legal field. Professors will also put you in contact with alumni that are practicing in an area that you’re interested in so you can get the perspective of a current working attorney. 

Overall, the professors at Loyola really mean it when they say they want to help you succeed. Many will even give you their personal phone numbers so you can text them with questions. I’m very grateful that the faculty at LLS really cares about their students because it makes the experience of law school feel less like an information tornado and more like a transformational enlightenment. I can feel how their influence has changed the way I look at and think about the world in almost everything I do. If you ever get a chance to meet a Loyola professor, absolutely take the opportunity to talk to them about their experiences and ask them questions!