From There to Here: Law School Open House

The day of the law school open house was initially a bit nerve wrecking. As my husband dropped me off at the law school, it felt like an awkward first day of school complete with a wave and that split second where you nearly run after the car, arms flailing while screaming “Wait! Don’t leave me!”

The nervousness vanished when I turned around and was greeted warmly by one of the school’s staff. In fact, everyone I met that day from the school was helpful and eager to answer questions.

The day went something like this:

  • introductions by department (admissions, financial aid, career center)
  • brief faculty introductions on clinics, externships, and what to expect your      first year
  • a guided tour by current students
  • lunch in the cafeteria
  • mock class
  • Q & A with current students
  • speech by dean and farewell
  • also: lots of colorful brochures, folders, and other school-themed stuff to       take home

The mock class I participated in was on property law. When I think about becoming a lawyer, I must admit that property law isn’t the first thing I think of. But keeping an open mind that day led to big rewards because the professor leading the class was also an authority on the subject. And a very engaging teacher. He passed out a piece of paper with two scenarios on it, gave us time to partner up and review as well as brainstorm. He proceeded to ask questions about the scenarios outlined in the handout as he had attendees act them out — complete with oversized props (think: huge, silly ring with a colorful plastic “stone”). The result was hysterical. I will never think of property law the same way again.

It wasn’t the brochures or the bragging, the quiet, clean campus, or the newly renovated library that made it feel like the right “fit.” It was three things in particular: the friendliness of the students and staff, the focus on experiential learning, and the dean’s speech.

Come back to see why those things are so important to me!

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From There to Here: Part I

A year and a half ago, I was working in a dead-end job. It was the first full-time, professional, 8am to 5pm, fancy-office-in-a-big-city, working for a world-renown company job I ever had. It wasn’t what I had in mind when I graduated college, but like my mom has always told me, “you’ve got to start somewhere.”

And I did.

I had stars in my eyes when I began, when I was sitting in a video conference with a former world leader, when I escorted best-selling authors through the office, when I met the CEO, and when I worked on projects aimed at changing the world.

Every day I was taking on new responsibilities, creating better ways of doing, and learning as much as I could absorb. But I grew while the position did not.

During my time there, I came to realize that I wanted to be more involved in creating change — helping others — in the world. I didn’t want to assist simply at arm’s length, but I wanted to be all in — hands dirty, up to my neck, and exhausted in the way that good, challenging work can be. I wanted to spend my hours untangling problems in my head, collaborating with a team to find the best solution, and making people’s lives better, if not easier.

As I was attempting to discover the best way to go about all of that (imagine world domination in a Mother Teresa sort of way), the company hired a recent law school graduate who was about my age. We became friends and she talked with me about her time in law school and work experience as a lawyer. My interest was definitely piqued. I had considered law school in the past but never in any sort of real way.I couldn’t imagine myself in the cut-throat, competitive environment that I envisioned law school to be. I couldn’t imagine myself wearing a suit, sporting a bun, and balancing in high heels while holding a briefcase walking toward a courthouse. Nope, not me.

My coworker continued to encourage me.

Do you like research? Check. Reading? Check. Complicated reading? Check. Writing? Check. Lots of writing? Check. The law? Check.

I began researching local law schools and saw that one was holding an open house. I cleared my schedule and went.

Check back to read all about how my first law school open house went! 

[Thank you to PhotoA.nl for making the image available for reuse.]