Pre-Law Intern Brandon Guidry
When thinking about the IE Program, words can't even describe how beneficial this experience has been for me. I came into this opportunity with very little knowledge of the field in which I aspired to pursue. Upon the commencement of my freshman year, I decided to change my major to where I could follow the Law career path. Ever since then, with no regrets, I am happy that I did. Now, through the IE Program, I have learned a lot that will help me within the coming months and years. Within this paper, I will reflect on my experience as an intern within the phenomenal program.
At the beginning of this semester, I was granted a mentor, whom of which was a 3L at the University of Texas School of Law. Wintta Woldermarium was truly the definition of a mentor. She shared with me her experience as an African American in law school, and how it was accommodating to that atmosphere. I'm truly grateful for everything she shared with me, and will always remember all the insight I was given when I step foot into the Law School that I decide to go to.
At the beginning of the program, I didn't feel as if she would have time for me, seeing as she was in her last year in Law School. That opinion changed with the swift arrival of invitations from her for various law related events. A little over a week into the internship, she told me about the National Black Pre-Law Conference. This is one of the most prestigious events in regards to networking opportunities for African American undergraduates interested in pursing a degree in the field of Law. This year, the conference took place in Houston, Texas, at The University of Houston-Main Campus. There was so much to do at this conference, and so little time to do it. Amongst the things offered at the conference where mock law classes, question/answer sessions with various deans of admission, and networking socials. While there, I had the opportunity to speak with the dean of admissions from three of the institutions that I am considering as well many other representatives that are notably prestigious. I also was able to network with high-ranking officers.
Also within the semester, I had the opportunity to sit in Dr. Vincent's graduate studies course, "Equity and Opportunity in higher Education". This course was extremely interesting. I learned that "number-crunchers" could determine your highest level of educational achievement simply by your zip code. I found that hard to believe, but once I saw the data, I was astonished by how right it was. I never thought that your level of education would have anything to do with where you stay. We also explored the benefits of both public/private school learning, and how both have flaws, but are beneficial in their own way. With everything in the course, the concept of law and what is right and wrong was always tied into the teachings. I learned about a lot of historic cases like Plessey v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education. With these cases, I am truly grateful for, because they are the reason why I am allowed to attend such an institution as The University of Texas at Austin.
I also interned at a Law Firm under the direction of the IE Program. The Martinez-Jones Law Firm was another beneficial venture. I was able to work under the direction of a recent law school graduate who has been running her own firm for a little over a year. She taught me a lot of things about law school, and what its like to run your own firm versus working at one of the big corporate firms. As an intern, it was my responsibility to do research on particular things pertaining to the case that she was working on at the moment, clerical assistant duties, as well as answering of phones. I also was introduced to the means of producing a legal contract. I was able to see what it was like being an actual lawyer, and what it was like to actually get ready to file suit on someone. I want to learn a lot more, and hope to see them again within the near future.
I truly learned a lot this semester; not only about law, but also about myself. I have grown to be more cautious of my academic standing, and how to balance it and my personal life. I've watched first hand how it is to be a student taking courses at the graduate level. After seeing this, it only makes me want to go to law school even more. In a sense, I can't wait!! I'm ready to complete my undergraduate experience and go on to Law School. Just witnessing the networking opportunities as well as the helpful and friendly people is enough to outweigh the amount of work it would take me to succeed. Without struggle, there is no progress. Without progress, how can you say you have struggled? I know that I must use these two quotes, ones of which I learned for my mentor and apply them to not only my goals of becoming an attorney, but my everyday life.