Law School Motivation
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA from Miami, FL
- Florida State University, 2018 | Criminology and Sociology
Job: Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia DA’s Office
Program: Full-Time Day
As cliché as it might sound, growing up watching reruns of Law and Order with my mom inspired me to go to law school. I was always drawn to how the attorneys could command a room with assurance and knew I wanted to embody the same character. Unbeknownst to me, Law and Order does not resemble actual practice… in the slightest way. An absolute bummer, but the inaccuracies between legal fiction shows and real practice did not deter my enthusiasm to pursue a legal career. My ability to empathize with people of different backgrounds, relentless persistence, and what my family lovingly puts, my love of argument, led me to pursue a career as a trial attorney. I knew that the only way I’d be able to put in the hard work was if I was fighting for something or someone. I was ultimately motivated to become a prosecutor after my experience as a DV advocate and assisting trauma victims. Advocacy work provided the opportunities for me to do that, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
Advice from an Out-of-State Student
Let’s face it; networking events are intimidating. You may be trying to cling to the only person you’ve said more than five words to or standing in a corner waiting for somebody to strike up a conversation with you. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Sign up for those networking events and go to those club meetings. Even if you only get one business card at the event, it is all about connections. Plus, as someone new to the area, you bring life experiences, knowledge, and exciting perspective to others.
As an out-of-state student, I had only visited Philly about two times before I decided to move here permanently. Coming to a new city can be a tense and unnerving experience. Feelings of uncomfortability are expected and bound to happen. The upside is you get to mold yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be! Moving to a new city builds character, confidence, and convictions- all great qualities to have as an attorney.
If I could, my whole law school career would have been solely composed of clinicals, practicums, or other experiential learning experiences. As soon as I could, I looked into different ways to gain hands-on experience in the fields I was interested in. I participated in the Delaware County DA’s office practicum, Temple Legal Aid Family Law clinic, and Montgomery County DA’s office clinical during law school. Although I learned concepts in classroom lectures, it was during these experiences that I found my desire to be in the courtroom. I also learned how to work within an office setting, prep witnesses, assist victims, communicate with law enforcement, and most importantly, conduct myself in a courtroom setting. Receiving feedback from practicing attorneys is also a valuable benefit of experiential learning experiences.
Advice from a Graduate
- Do not take yourself so seriously. It is okay to skip a night of outlining to go have drink with friends or go on a hike with your doggo.
- Find what works best for you and your learning style. Just because another student learns best by highlighting every line in their textbook does not mean that style suits you. Your learning style might be sitting back and engaging in lectures through discussion.
- It’s okay if you don’t “get” law school. I didn’t “get” law school till the second semester of my 2L. Just because your GPA is not the 3.6 you maintained in undergrad does not mean you aren’t good enough to be where you’re at.
- Reach out if you need help. Reaching out for help when you need it is challenging. Everyone is having a difficult time- but no one wants to talk about it. The Temple law community is there to help. My law school career started to fall into place as soon as I reached out and got the help I needed.
- Get a hobby. During the pandemic, I was losing my mind inside my house, waiting for my partner to come home at 6 PM so I could bombard him with the hundreds of home renovation ideas I had. I decided that I needed to put the countless hours I spent watching DIY videos to work. Doing activities outside of law school and work provided me with the relief I needed to continue.
- Check in with yourself. Your mental health matters more than you would think. It can affect your studies, demeanor, relationships, and overall health. Get the help you deserve.
- Lastly, self-care is the best care. If your idea of self-care is a bubble bath, a glass of cabernet, and a Law-and-Order binge, then do it. There should be no shame in your game. Caring for yourself and putting yourself first will allow you to be present in the moments you feel like drifting away and confident when you’re feeling insecure.