When I started at Oxy, I had thought of going to law school, but it was not a priority. Since then, Oxy has given me numerous opportunities to learn more about law as a potential career. I joined the Occidental Law Association (OLA) my sophomore year, and it has been a great space for students who are interested in applying to law school. Joining the club allowed me to talk with upperclassmen about what classes to take (Formal Logic in the Philosophy department will help with the LSAT!) and which professors to talk to. I was the co-president of the club this past year, with my friend Amanda.
I started an internship in the fall of my junior year with Bet Tzedek Legal Services offered through Oxy’s Career Development Center (CDC). I worked in the call center helping with intake, which entailed screening clients to see if they were eligible for services. I was actually talking to clients and doing substantive work. The call center supervisor, Tiffany, also made working there a great experience; she was always there if I had any questions, and talked about her own experiences as a lawyer.
The CDC also partnered with Southwestern Law School, which meant that they organized visits for me and other Oxy interns at Southwestern where we could sit in on classes, talk to students, and get more information about the law school experience. We also had bi-weekly meetings with Professor Gonzalez of the Politics department (who is also my advisor and a great professor!), where we got to reflect on our experiences at Bet Tzedek and Southwestern.
Because I enjoyed my internship at Bet Tzedek so much, I took the 8-unit course, Rebellious Lawyering, with Professor Gonzalez this past spring semester, where fifteen other students and I interned at different public interest law organizations in Los Angeles. I interned at the Children’s Law Center, where I assisted one of the attorneys. In addition to the internship, we had class time to reflect on our experiences, and had a speaker series with LA activists and lawyers.
This summer, I’m interning at the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose (I included a picture of my desk!), and I can definitely thank the law resources at Oxy for preparing me and showing me more about careers in the legal world. To any potential Oxy students who are curious about going to law school, I recommend meeting with Valerie Savior, the pre-law advisor at the CDC, and attending the CDC "Law Week" offered every year. For even the slightest interest in law school, attending one of the CDC’s events or attending an OLA meeting will go a long way.
Claudia is a rising senior and first time blogger from the Bay Area. She is a Politics major and Sociology minor, but has a particular interest in law.