Selecting Elective Courses

Hopes to make a difference in her community and be an advocate for those in need

When I came to law school, I honestly did not know what type of law I wanted to practice. I came to law school to make a difference in the world and be an advocate for those who needed it, so I knew I would end up somewhere in the public interest law field. I thought about doing impact litigation for a while, practicing immigration law, and so much more, but I could not narrow down one field I wanted to work in. This caused me so much stress when it came to planning out my second and third years of law school, because I knew choosing electives that would give me a good foundation of the field of law I would practice in the future is so important. In the end, as I believe everyone does, I found the field of law where I knew belonged about halfway through the Spring semester.

Once I fell in love with public defense, I was able to pick the electives that would give me both knowledge and experience in the field. This year, my main elective is working with the Juvenile Justice Clinic. This takes up a lot of credits per semester, so my class schedule mainly revolves around this. In this clinic, I work as a certified law student representing juveniles in the delinquency system in Los Angeles County. The experience I have gotten in this clinic is more than I could have ever imagined, and I knew quickly that making this my main priority outside of the required courses was the right decision. Last semester, I was also able to take Criminal Procedure as an elective. This was not only great for my clinic and will be great for the bar, I learned the basics of the constitutional rights that defendants are entitled to, and I know that knowledge will set me up for success in my career.

Overall, I don’t think there is a specific formula or strategy for picking second and third year electives. Everyone is different. While I want to focus my elective classes on the topic of criminal defense, others may want to take classes of many different subjects. If there is one thing I know about Loyola, it’s that the professors are great and are always willing to help students succeed, so no matter what electives a student takes, they’ll be set up for success in the future.