Hometown: Merced, California
As cliché as it may sound, from the first time I toured the law school it felt like home. Moving away from my family, with the intention of staying wherever I went to law school, made my search for the perfect law school even tougher, that is, until I visited U of I. Even before visiting the school I knew just being in the area this is somewhere I could see myself living long term. No matter where we went, the community was inviting and generous. When I toured the school, I knew it was the perfect fit. One of the things heavily stressed to me during my tour was the family environment that exists at U of I. Not only do your classmates become like family over the course of the first year, the law school makes sure to make your personal family a big part of your law school experience. Prior to moving to Idaho, my partner and I had been in a long-distance relationship for 4 years, so knowing we were moving in together made it important to me that he could be a big part of my law school journey, which I knew would be the case here. Finally, the staff at U of I, is willing to do just about anything to see the students succeed. When a student talks to them, it is clear they truly care.
My words of advice: This experience will be unlike anything you have experienced before, and for many of you it will be the most academically challenging experience you have ever had. So, do your best to not get behind on reading, outlines, or writing papers, attempting to catch up will not be fun.
Try to remember your personal goals, not everyone’s goals will be the same and do your best not to get caught up in the competition aspect of school. Remember why each of you are here, to earn your law degree and pass the bar, not everyone’s path to achieving this common goal will be the same.
Finally, be kind to one another, this is probably the most important piece of advice I was given and can pass on. The next three years will come and go, and it is unlikely that any of your classmates will remember your GPA or rank (which I recommend you don’t share with one another anyways) but every one of your classmates will remember how you treated your peers and the law school staff.