I re-read my last two posts about law school. Neither of them are particularly happy. In fact, it makes it seem like I’m in a huge depression spiral of law. That might be true sometimes, but law school has its ups and downs. To balance out my last post (which I really did intend to be a happy post), I am going to write about some law school moments that I would never take back. They’re moments that remind me why I am going to law school.
Three big moments mainly come to mind. This was the biggest. This past spring I had the opportunity to meet the Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She came to University of Illinois and the only thing I can say is #blessed. The first night, she held a “conversation” with the whole campus. People from around the university asked her questions and got a chance to hear her speak. She talked about her personal experiences and how it felt to be nominated. It was also a conversation full of Yale Law graduates, so a bunch of Yale jokes were being tossed around. I’m not a Yale grad, but they were still funny to me.
The next day she was at the College of Law and participated in “Meet the Judges” where you heard her talk even more about her experiences and being on the Supreme Court. Afterwards was a meet and greet for all the student organization executive boards. Funnily enough, I am on the executive board for the Latino Law Student Association. We were the first to meet her and we got to chat with her for a bit. Everyone else on the board was super calm and smooth. In classic fashion, I brought the end of the line and I had rehearsed what to say… but then she intercepted me. She said “I’ve seen you around, you’ve been to the events.” Of course I went to the events. “That’s the thing about curly hair, you’re very noticeable.” We are, aren’t we? Then she waited for me to explain who the hell I was–I choked. I apparently didn’t know my own name. Eventually the ball got rolling though and we had a little chat about mi patria. She’s been to the DR, no big.
There is photographic proof of this. One of the benefits of being in LLSA was that we got a picture with the Justice. One of the conditions is that it never makes its way onto the internet, so no one else will see it. Then we got to see her judge the moot court and Justice Sotomayor is one tough lady.
That day still makes me smile. I missed a whole day of work and had to skip a class–I also had to buy a suit–but it was amazing. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she’s an amazing person. She’s my woman crush and so inspirational. She’s the bomb, she’s SCOTUS bae. I’m totally fan-girling.
Beyond Justice Sotomayor, I was admitted into the Domestic Violence Clinic for this fall, which will allow me to work with real clients (under supervision) and provides amazing practical experience. It’s apparently quite selective since only 8 people made it in. It’s going to be extremely demanding, but I am very excited. It’s going to be a taste of what being a real life lawyer will be like, especially with how it is organized. It takes learning outside the stuffy classrooms and give you a real client with real issues where you need to advocate for them.
Additionally, the externship office knows their game and got my pathetic butt into an externship with the Immigration Project (more on how I failed a finding a job like a responsible person later). I will be working under these amazing lawyers who are devoting their time to providing low-cost legal advice to immigrants from a wide variety of backgrounds. They are the only ones that provide low lost immigration aid outside of the Chicagoland area. And it’s right in Champaign. I start Monday and I’m pumped. It’s exactly what I want to do when I grow up. I am endlessly grateful for that opportunity as well.
Good things can come from law school. Don’t let my bouts of depression convince you otherwise. Grades are just one thing, but the experience is another.