Why law school and why UCI?
I began considering a legal career while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador. Daily, I witnessed families overcome with financial and social instability. Their only answer was to send one or more of their children to the United States to look for a job. I watched as my own Salvadoran friends left their country to find opportunity and instead were met with more economic strife, discrimination, and clandestine living conditions. I began wondering what I could do for immigrants and how I could affect immigration reform.
Shortly after returning to the United States, I began exploring law school options. UCI School of Law instantly stood out to me. Over and over, I heard from faculty and professors, “I chose this school for its values and community.” When I visited the school, I understood what they meant. Public interest and community service are pillars of the school. These values resonated in me and I felt as though I would really be able to pursue my goals in immigration reform at a school that constantly stressed ethics and values as part of their daily curriculum.
Now that I am at UCI Law, I understand this school will be invaluable to my future employment aspirations. The first-rate faculty is willing to assist in any endeavor and is a constant source of encouragement. While the school is new, I am convinced that it will become a model for other schools, in part, for its academics and additionally for its commitment to serving the public in an ethical manner. I have no doubt that UCI Law will guide me as an advocate of comprehensive immigration reform. Additionally, I am certain that my classmates will embark on equally rewarding ventures thanks to the progressive thinking that makes UCI Law unparalleled.
In my opinion, UCI School of Law’s greatest strength is its emphasis on cultivating a community. After attending the Admitted Students Day in April, I was surprised at how much everyone genuinely cared about the success of the school and its students. The enthusiasm was simply contagious. It was apparent from listening to the professors explain their educational philosophies that they really love to teach law. The deans, faculty, and staff all shared the same vision of creating an ideal law school that fully prepares students for their legal careers while encouraging the pursuit of public interest endeavors. UCI Law has a very dynamic approach toward legal education, with its combination of traditional classroom education and hands-on legal experience. One of my favorite moments so far has been sitting in the courtyard with fellow classmates to unwind after class and realizing how quickly the circle of friends expands. The 2Ls also take time to help us navigate this new adventure by providing guidance and assurance along each step. Everyday, the sense of community is strengthened, as we all want to see each other succeed. Ultimately, I wish to use what I learn from my UCI Law community to serve the needs of the broader community. I have only been a UCI Law student for a few weeks, but I could not be happier with my law school experience
I want to use the law as a tool to advance civil rights in the United States. That is why I am in law school, and it is why I am at UCI. When I visited, I saw students who were committed to their own ideals at a school that—more than anything else—wanted to empower them to stay true to those ideals. It is fun to start things; it is righteous to upset the status quo, even if only a little bit at a time; it is exciting to be surrounded by motivated students who want to be pioneers in a brand new program; and it is inspiring to work with faculty and administration committed to creating a new kind of law school.