My name is Javier Ortiz, or Javi if you prefer. I'm originally from Southern California, where I got my permanent tan, as well as my B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside. After graduating in 2012, I explored the West Coast and fell in love with Seattle and its rain. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I first heard of the Supreme Court when I was about 11. My dreams were further cemented when I joined Amnesty International during my undergraduate years. Being a human rights activist opened my eyes to the world of social justice and the need to help undocumented labor workers and seek immigration reform. That is what led me to Seattle University as the place where I wanted to study law and further my career. I am very excited to start as a 1L here with a community that is so welcoming and helpful in every way. Outside of law school, you can find me around Seattle finding places to work on my fiction short stories, camping, or getting some good use out of my PS3.
It’s March and finally, Spring break is rapidly approaching! I have to say that I have looked forward to this week to relax.
Spring break was fun, I got to catch up with people back home and even those people here that I have neglected because of the increase in my memo work and just workload overall. Got to end the week with an awesome BBQ and I had no shame pigging out (gotta start building that warm coat for the upcoming winter).
The coolest thing about this month is that I’m finally working on my project with the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. I’m working as a legal research assistant and it’s amazing to be able to work on a project that can have a major impact on people’s lives. Of course, this adds to my workload, but I have to say, I have the best friends who are so supportive and understanding (especially when I snap at the tiniest thing that they did).
Final days of the month were epic, I entered into the 1L Dispute Resolution Competition and my partner and I won! We had a client counseling portion and then went against another team for negotiations. As someone who wants to be a litigator, it was great to be able to have exposure to ADR skills and settings. Maybe I might want to change my track path after this.
Also, as if law school weren’t like high school enough, we had Barrister’s Ball, a.k.a. Law Prom. It was fun to get dressed up and just dance the night away. A perfect end to a stressful month. I’m excited that April is coming up and soon summer will be upon us. This year is really winding down quickly and I can’t believe how much I have done. Until next time, I guess.
It’s February and I’m starting to slowly adjust to the funky weather. Most days it’s cloudy and rainy, but every so often we get a tease of sun. I miss the sun. I guess I underestimated people telling me that I was going to miss the sunny weather of California. But, besides the weather, school is finally setting in.
I thought juggling five classes was going to be a nightmare, but after a few weeks it’s a lot more manageable than I thought. Property, the one class that I was dreading the most just because of the subject matter, seems to be the most enjoyable. Professor Bender is an interesting character and his passion for Property makes the class not only bearable, but enjoyable. Getting to work in “law firms” to answer questions and tackling cases makes for an interesting combination.
February also seems to be the month of interviews. I think this is one thing I’m glad that I’ve prepared for. Having my resume and cover letters done before the start of Spring Semester was a smart decision. However, you can feel it in the air. There’s a sort of tension and excitement about finding a job/internship/externship for the summer. Pro-tip, CPD holds mock interviews. Take advantage of it.
It hasn’t been a bad month, especially since my friends and I seem to find any which way to hang out and be goofballs (see fun isn’t forbidden in law school!). Some of my friends started a Golf club on campus and I have to say from what’s been going on, it looks super promising and I can’t wait to take some time off from studying and go play!
So, hopefully March ends up being a better month…after all….PROM!!! (Should make for an interesting tale)
New Year! New Semester!
After a much needed break, I’m back to kick some law school butt. The semester is starting out well. It is a change though. Since I did the summer start option, I now have five classes, instead of the four that I was privileged with the previous semester. It’s not as hard a transition as I thought it was going to be, however, I do find myself having to change my time schedule to fit in some of the work I have to do.
New semester means new classes and fun projects!
I do miss Civ Pro, but now we’re getting into Property. It’s an interesting course so far and the participant method—professor treating us like law firms—is making for an interesting mix of conversation. Legal Writing has finally gotten interesting. Although the memos we did last semester touched on legal concepts that I thought could be pursued, this semester, we’ve been introduced to our Client Project. An actual client that needs our help makes it feel like my legal education is getting put to good use. Sure the concept and legal issue we have is daunting, but getting to do interviews and intensive legislative research screams like a good time. Plus, we might get to draft some legislation!
Beside actual school stuff, the rest of life is doing great! I’m making new friends now that some of the other sections are opening up to more and more inter-section activity. Seattle is less rainy, still cloud and gloomy, but finally at the end of the month, we’re getting some sun (oh, I may have seen Sun in CA, but sun here as you walk down to Pike Place can’t be beat).
So, I survived my first semester, and honestly, I am pumped to see what the next few months brings!
The last month of fall semester. Wow, time seriously flew by. Both in a good way and bad way. The good: hey, law school didn’t feel like it took forever to get through. The bad: Hey there finals, nice to meet you. My name’s Javi, how are you?
Studying for finals has begun to turn into a workout, but surprisingly, I kind of like it. I am so glad that our professors have prepared us for their exams by giving us tips and in-class help. It really makes prepping for these finals a heck of a lot easier. Also, the help that ARC (Academic Resource Center) has provided doesn’t make the upcoming task so daunting.
The last few weeks are kind of a bummer, sure we have finals, but as the semester comes to a close, I’m really going to miss all the new friends I’ve made here. Sure, we have phones and computers , but it’s not the same as seeing each other day in and day out. Granted, some time apart will probably do us well, you know, before we get sick of each other.
I have to say, so far, my first semester as a law student wasn’t too bad. Sure, there were those tough days where I asked myself why I even bothered going to law school, but I’m glad I’ve stuck it out. It’s really something I’ve wanted to do and I’m glad I have a full community behind me to support me. Now, as I get ready to do my last final exam the thing that keeps me going is that I get to return to warm and sunny California. Seriously, love you Seattle, but I’m starting to lose my permanent tan. Can’t wait to see what second semester brings.
Brr, it's cold in here and it ain't no clovers. Winter (well, technically it's still fall, but my Cali butt knows no difference) is settling in. Classes are finally starting to wind down and people are beginning to find their little nooks to begin preparing for...wait for it...finals! Yeah, they're right around the corner now and things are getting serious.
Most of my professors are preparing us well. In class hypos and practice mid-terms are helping to ease the studying for the exams and are reinforcing (or at least affirming that I learned it at some point) the concepts that we've covered these past 14 weeks. My favorite class is still Civ Pro because it just seems to click and it helps that Prof. Coleman is the nicest and most helpful professor I've ever met.
SBA and the Admission office work are a nice and much needed distraction from school (yes, it totally makes sense that I forget about law school while providing applicants with information about law school). The people that I've met and the connections that I am starting to build are really exciting. I have met some people that have done the 1L summer program with the Prosecuting office I want to work with and have been giving me some pointers on the application process and really what the job is like. SU is really showing itself to be the best choice that I could make.
So, as December begins to creep up and finals approach, I'm glad that I have made the most amazing friends (we call ourselves the couch crew) that make this whole law school experience worth it. So, that's it for now, can't wait to fill you guys in after finals!
Seattle is cold! Well, the weather is anyway. Everyone in my section is warming up and the professors seem to be getting into their groove with the material they're teaching. I have to say, so far, they're not as scary as law school movies make professors out to be. I feel weird when I say it, but I kind of like law school, despite the fact that all my days seem to be blending into each other (seriously, it always feels like Monday).The readings are interesting. Personal jurisdiction in Civil Procedure was a beast. I'm glad we moved on from that and are now digging our way through the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; I like rules. I have to say, briefing and reading cases is getting a little harder, but it's still manageable. I spend most of my nights cuddling my Contracts book, but that's normal, right?
The social and community flow at SU is going swell. I won the Section Rep election and it's great working with SBA. I've met a ton of upperclassmen and it's great having people to talk to who have come out of the 1L year and stayed sane. I've even made a ton of friends in my section and some from the others as well, as October begins to wind down though, the preparation for finals grows ever so near.
September is finally coming to an end and so is my first month of fall semester. It was nice having a break after the summer Criminal law class. Coming back to familiar faces, rejuvenated and pumped to start our 1L classes was a great feeling. I have to say, it's been an interesting experience so far. My professors are amazing. I lucked out on that. Professor Coleman for Civil Procedure has to be my favorite professor. She makes the topic so clear and manageable that class time seems to work as a de-stresser. My other classes are starting to make sense as well, except maybe Contracts (but hey, I'm interested in Criminal Law, it's cool). It seems like only yesterday I was enjoying the hot and sunny weather of California. I miss it, but I have to say, Seattle has won my heart. Even the cold temperature that's starting to creep in feels like a warm embrace.
Now that the semester is actually picking up speed, the events and organizations are starting to look amazing. The Student Bar Association (SBA) Section Representative elections are at the end of the month, and I'm pretty stoked to be a part of it. Deciding to run has helped me interact and befriend almost everyone in my section. I have to say, compared to the other sections, mine's the best! We even had our first pub crawl experience and it was so liberating to have a night where we stopped being law students and we were just a group of people hanging out and enjoying our lives.
This reminds me, I need to start remembering to balance my social-life/hobbies and law school. I haven't had time to sit down and write stories, which sucks. I've found some great little hidden gems around the city to sit and write and I haven't gotten to enjoy them. Definitely going to have to carve time in October to flesh something out.
Overall, this first month has been great. With all the volunteer experiences coming up from the Access to Justice Institute and organization events, I can't wait to really immerse myself into the SU community. Life's manageable, there are some tough days, but I have to say, with October just around the corner, I'm ready to continue my 1L life.