Journalism (Law Pre-Grad Intern) Senior Etherial Edetan

This semester I was privileged to participate in the IE Pre-Graduate Program. In all three years here at the University of Texas at Austin, there is no other experience that can compare to what I've learned from this program. As a small child I dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Somewhere along the way that dream was lost in the wind and it wasn't until last year that I realized that my destiny lay in law. My participation in the program has given me much insight into the steps I need to take to get in and be prepared for law school, find the right law school and stay on track once I get there.>

The best part of my experience was my mentor, Catherine Moran. In these last months she has become more than just my mentor, she has become a friend. From my initial meeting I was amazed by her maturity and accomplishments. To be in her position and just a little less than two years older than me, I must admit I had to re-evaluate myself. She is amazing. For years I have envisioned law students who had no life past class and the library. Personally I have always been involved in extracurricular activities since the age of 6 and I find it difficult to have to give that up. She has successful balanced school written for the Law Review, been apart of Assault and Flattery and now hold the position of Vice President in Thurgood Law Society. And somehow she is still sane I might add.

The meetings and phone conversations with my mentor have been extremely beneficial. When I first met Catherine I told her up front that I didn't want to attend law school here at UT. My reasons: I don't like Austin and I need a change of scenery. At the time they seemed like legitimate reasons on why I shouldn't attend the law school, but she soon schooled me with several reasons why UT is a wonderful choice for law school. Along with its prestigious ranking of number 18 on the list of top schools in the nation it is also a school that produces results. They have a high percentage of students passing the bar exam on the first try and many of them go on making a $100,000 right out of law school. Then she said something that is crucial to my law school decision: scholarships. The UT law school has done an excellent job in providing students, especially minority students with scholarships. Since then I have realized that I have no choice, but to consider UT. This conversation also sparked me to do more research on other law schools to see which one best fits me and currently I have narrowed the list down to 12 schools.

The one thing that has been engrained in my mind about going to law school is that you have to be a great writer. This is something my mentor has stressed everyday to me. In fact, it has been stressed so much that along with my degree in Public Relations I am also going to pursue my degree in Journalism. At first I wasn't really feeling this idea because it would put me a semester back for graduation, but now I realize that it is just more time for me to mature and develop my writing skills

As a part of my experience I attended Catherine's property class each week with Professor Lynn Baker. The first day Catherine introduced me to many of her classmates and each time I met someone I received the same response, "Why did you choose to come to a property class." Of course not knowing much about the details of Property law I had no idea what their statements meant. That first day I found out. The case for discussion was on a fight over whales. Apparently property law is one of the less appealing parts of law school, but as the semester progressed the cases became more interesting and was actual a part of this century. Plus, Professor Baker found many ways to make the information comical. At the end of the day lesson one for me was that I don't want to do property law.

Another highlight of my experience was a look into organizations in the Law School. One organization that is quite interesting is Assault and Flattery in which my mentor is a part of. "A&F satirizes the law school through a student-written, student-directed musical comedy revue, generally based on popular films and Broadway musicals." Another organization that hits home for me is the Thurgood Marshall Law Society. Currently, I am a member of Student Leaders Pursing Law, which we like to think of as the little brother/sister organization to TMLS. Being able to see so many law students that look like me and have similar backgrounds is inspirational. Also watching the way in which they run their organization is helpful in helping us run and build our organization which is just in its second year.

After participating in the internship program I am filled with both excitement and fear. I look forward to law school being a great experience, but there is so much I must do before I get there. I realize that law is still the career I want to pursue, but I am far from ready for what lays ahead. The great part about fear is that it motivates me to more. I am now taking things more seriously and acknowledging the fact that law school is right around the corner. For anyone who is looking to see if law school is the right path for them I strongly recommend participation in the intellectual property internship.