Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
- The University of Michigan, 2017 | Public Policy
Job: Associate, Blank Rome LLP in NYC
Program: Full-Time Day
Life Before Law School
Before law school, I worked in a field totally unrelated to the legal profession. I worked as a project manager at a healthcare advertising agency in NYC. I share this to point out that you don’t have to be someone who has “always wanted to be a lawyer,” and it’s okay to change your mind! I took a different path early on in my career, and I decided to reroute to study for the LSAT (even after long days of working), apply to schools, and enroll in Temple. It is possible! So reflect on what you want to get out of your career, and follow that intuition. It’s never too late to pivot.
When I was selecting a law school, I had been told to consider where I wanted to work upon graduation. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay in the Philadelphia area, or move back to NYC, where I had spent two years following undergrad. This uncertainty was stressful, but I decided to attend Temple Law and try to land a job in NYC. And despite taking the road of a bit more resistance, I was successful in getting a post-graduation job at a law firm in NYC. Temple’s career services team provided me with resources and names of alumni who had gone on to work in NYC, and those people answered my questions pertaining to the NY bar exam, NY legal culture, and any other questions. Although I agree it’s important to think about where you want to end up, there are always opportunities to work in cities outside of Philadelphia if you prioritize networking and work with Temple’s administration and career services team.
My 2L year, I participated in Temple’s Community Lawyering clinic. This was my first stab at working with real people, having my own clients, and serving their interests. It was also my first opportunity to leave the law school classroom setting and do the kind of work that drew me to law school in the first place: working with and helping other people. Towards the end of the clinic, one of my clients said something to my classmate and I that I will never forget. She said: “I appreciate you guys so much, you don’t even understand. I feel secure and confident in your ability to take on the task.” This small bit of recognition and appreciation brought my back to why I want to be a lawyer. I highly recommend participating in a clinic, even just to remind yourself that though you may feel bogged down with law school classes and textbook reading, at the end of the day, your career as a lawyer will serve real people, and that is something to feel proud of and optimistic about.
Advice from a Temple Law Grad
Before starting law school, I was potently aware of its general reputation for being extremely challenging, competitive, and cut-throat. I was intimidated by this, but a few weeks in, I learned that this wasn’t really the case at Temple. Every student has the same goal: to succeed in school and receive a J.D. People want to help, to pay it forward, to give back. So stay in your own lane, don’t compare your study habits, sleep routine, or social life to your peers, be focused but create space and time to do the things you enjoy, whatever they may be. The negative rep of law school is misplaced, as long as you are open-minded, independent, collaborative, and solution-oriented.