Pre-Law Intern Jayme Daniel
In my first post I mentioned that I chose to participate in this program to gain the information I needed to decide whether law was the profession I wanted to pursue. I have been asked the question what do you want to do when you grow up since I was able to comprehend the question. I find it interesting that this question is solely directed to what profession you want to practice when you grow up. I have finally figured out my answer to this question. I strongly believe that my participation in this program made a considerable impact on my decision. Through my participation in the IE program, I gained a backstage pass to the inner workings of a prestigious law school, acquired hands on experience in a growing law firm, and attended a pre-law conference. When I grow I want to do an array of things. I want to travel. I want to make a positive impact. Most importantly, I want to challenge myself every day. The profession of law is composed of challenging yourself to constantly support you arguments, critically think, and allows continuous interaction with others. The part of the law profession I find the most intriguing is the constant search for a resolution that positively helps and impacts those that you represent. I knew the overview of these aspects of being a lawyer but I was able to see how you lawyer prepares themselves through law school and how a lawyer applies this knowledge through my law internship. Overall, I found this program to be very rewarding. The following is a overview of the classes, internship, and conferences that comprised my semester as an IE participant.
My mentor was Jessica Kemp a second year law student at the University of Texas Law. She genuinely cared that I gather the information I needed to make my decision about the law profession. She was genuine, and very helpful. Despite her busy schedule with interviews for clerkships for this upcoming summer, she sat down with me numerous times to give me insight on the life of a law student. She detailed the application process, how your 1L, 2L, and 3L years in law school are organized at UT, and how to network and build the necessary relationships to successfully navigate through law school. In addition to our weekly meetings, I participated in two of her classes throughout the semester. For half of the semester I sat in on her Ethics class once a week and the other half of the semester I sat in on her Access to Higher Education class once a week. The first about Ethics was eye opening. This class gave me insight into the numerous laws that lawyers must abide to from paying law clerks to the proper way to bill clients. In addition, I was able to witness the Socratic Method which is a big part of how law students are taught how to articulate themselves and think quickly on their feet. The class that I found the most intriguing and soon became my favorite class of the semester delved in to the questions of access to elite higher education for minorities. The class discussions were riveting and I enjoyed the conversation. I learned so much about how the law affects issues such as education. Through these classes I gained a new perspective of what actually takes place during law school and took note of the things I could work on now to be more successful once I am a law student.
In conjunction with the classes I participated in, I interned at the Martinez- Jones Law firm. My internship allowed me to receive hands on experience dealing with CPS cases, personal injury, and debt collection. I was mentored by the firm's attorney Aurora Jones. She offered me tons of information about the application process, clerkships, and how to eventually narrow down the right area of practice for myself. In addition, I learned some of the business aspects of running a firm and how to establish a business network. She had no problem taking time aside from her busy schedule to explain to me how my work affected the case on a larger scale. This made me feel like I was actually making a difference in the cases. With guidance, I wrote original petitions to file law suits with the court system the case applied to, and outlined discovery materials for cases. I was also allowed to write final notices for debt collections before some claims were taken to trial. Through these duties, I was able to see the tedious and meticulous nature of law. I found some parts of the internship challenging and overall very informative.
In addition to the classes and my law internship, I attended the National Black Pre-Law Conference in Houston, Texas. I doubt I would have attended this conference if I had not been a participant in the IE program. I found that this conference offered so much information on how to prepare and apply to law school. I realized the just how competitive and tedious the application process will be in the future. With the information I acquired from this conference I am more mentally prepared for the application process and know the areas I need to improve in to assure my acceptance to the law school of my choice.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the program. It has helped me to realize that law is the career that I want to pursue. It gave me an endless amount of insight on how to prepare myself for law school and what being a lawyer entail. Without, a program such as this one, students like me would probably make a rash decision about a career choice without a thorough understanding of what that career path consists of. I look forward to pursuing this career path and have loved the connection I have made with my mentor and my supervisor at my internship at the Martinez- Jones Law Firm. I hope this program continues for many years to come so that students like me can hopefully have such a rewarding experience. Once again, thank you for this opportunity.