Admission

Mayra Rangel

Mayra RangelMy name is Mayra Rangel. I first became interested in law through high school courses and my personal interest in politics. After high school I attended the University of Washington-Seattle and studied Political Science and Latin American Studies. Before coming to law school, I worked at a domestic violence agency and a women's health clinic in Seattle. I intend to explore different areas of law during my time here at Seattle U, but I am very passionate about public interest work.  I feel fortunate for the opportunity to pursue my professional goals here in my home state and Seattle, which I love! In my free time I like to do outdoor activities, follow Seattle sports and enjoy art, especially music.

October

I have fully embraced fall; it definitely makes it easier to do homework! I didn't have any mid-terms this semester, but my writing projects have kept me pretty occupied. I had another oral argument exercise earlier this month, which went better than I expected. Also, I was able to make a local legal clinic half way through the month, which is always a rewarding experience. A couple weeks ago, I also got to hear legal advocates that serve domestic violence clients. I found it really interesting how one of the panelists explained that his passion for doing this public interest work came from growing up in a home where he witnessed domestic violence.

School and other commitments have kept me fixed in the city so I am looking forward to doing a little traveling this upcoming month. There is a youth conference happening in my hometown very soon. I am looking forward to attending and working with other folks helping youth access higher education.

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!

 

September

I've gotten into a groove with my law school courses this semester. I like all of my classes. Although I was a little lost with Constitutional Law in the beginning, but I am feeling more confident with the material at this point. I am going to get some more exposure to trial and oral arguments in my Immigration Law class, with the class project I chose. Also I have to I am a lot more comfortable with legal writing in my second year. We completed our first practice oral arguments and it was not as daunting as I had heard mention. The professor is doing a great job of easing us into oral presentations; at the first practice there were just three of us in the courtroom. Also, I think coming back to a class room setting I appreciate that we as students get to discuss our strategies while we are doing our independent research and writing. Aside from classes, I have been helping to plan a couple events to help raise awareness for Domestic Violence in October. The Women's Law Caucus is planning a collection drive, so hopefully my fellow students can find some time and funds to help the women and children at New Beginnings by donating some school supplies or toiletries. 

August

This summer I took a complete break from school and devoted myself to my internship with Columbia Legal Services 100%. CLS provides legal aid to low-income communities in Washington State, as well farm workers. My position at CLS was also part of the Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project so I got to experience a good mix of legal and outreach work this summer. I started my first day by hopping in a car with my supervisor and heading out of town to a court hearing. My supervisor and two other attorneys were working on a case, where workers had moved to form a union to demand better working conditions for the back-breaking work they do. The legal team won some major victories for the union to make union members eligible for rehire and housing. I interacted with several of the clients and saw some of them testify in front of their employer. I can say these workers were very courageous to come forward when their livelihoods were at risk. I also visited farm worker housing in Washington State. Seeing the poor state of housing provided for agricultural workers was a reminder of the great privilege many of us have to live and work where we do. The thing I found most powerful from my experience was to see how involved children were in the farm worker organizing and court hearings. Exposing the youth to organizing and the legal system at such an early age will hopefully help them become more inspired to pursue a higher education and to give back to their communities. After wrapping up my internship I had a week of vacation in which I did very little, and it was excellent!

Law school is in full swing again and it certainly feels better coming back as a 2L. It has been so nice to see my law school friends and catch up; I love hearing about all the interesting work other folks did this summer. This year the learning curve isn't as intense, and I am more comfortable preparing and participating in class discussions. And I get to choose my courses! I am taking Immigration law, and I am looking forward to some of the more hands-on exercises to come. I am also working for an on-campus journal, which I hope to make the most out of. The WLC also has several events planned this semester which I am looking forward to supporting, like the mentorship program.

I hope all my fellow law students are off to a great start this school year!

 

April

Hi Everyone! It’s been another productive month at good old law school. My legal writing course wrapped up the homeless student funding project we had been working hard on this semester. We presented our findings to the client, and they were pretty happy about the results.  It feels pretty good to be done with Legal Writing for the year and to now turn my attention to my other courses and finals.

So my classmates and I spend a lot of time learning the substantive law, but earlier this month we got a chance to practice drafting documents in our Property law course. My group practiced drafting a land agreement. I look forward to more practical exercises like this next year. Another thing I am starting to plan for is my 2L courses. I am hoping to have a good balance between legal skills and areas that I am personally interested in.

Also, I decided to increase my involvement in the Women’s Law Caucus (WLC), where I will help organize community service events. Serving others is something I am passionate about so I am excited for this, and hope to focus on mentorship and supporting local direct service organizations.

Besides that I am starting to get prepped for finals, typing until my little fingers can’t type anymore. I feel a lot more at ease this time around, having gone through the process once before and am looking forward to summer break. I just found out I will receive some funding for this summer which is also great news.

Finally, I am taking in any and all sunshine Seattle decides to grant this pale Latina, cheering on my Seattle sport teams, and enjoying the company of my lovely friends and family.

March

March passed me by so fast! I have been feeling a lot more comfortable with law school as a whole and finding my own path. I am particularly more confident with creating arguments for class discussions.  The class that has me the most excited right now is Legal Writing. I can see for myself just how much my legal research and writing skills have improved over the course of the school year. Legal Writing has also been a good space to practice working in groups and learning more about the legislative process.

Outside of class, I attended some pretty cool and useful events. I attended a fun speed networking event with lawyers that practice Intellectual Property (IP). This helped give some ideas of different workplaces where lawyers can practice IP law including corporate, and small and large law firms. I also wanted to give a shout out to the Access to Justice Center for connecting me and other law students with lawyers that practice public interest law at the Access to Justice Forum event. I would recommend both of these events next year to fellow students.

Okay, in non-law school news, I was thrilled to hear that law students have a spring break; I missed that from college. I had the choice to spend my break being studious or not, and I chose to go to California. The warm weather and sunshine were just what I needed.

February

Hey there, everyone. Classes are moving along. I have been spending a good amount of time working on the client project for Legal Writing.  Also, I am very happy to share that I will be working on farm worker rights and legal issues for part of the summer! I am really looking forward to getting out more in the community and helping with more real client cases.

I attended the monthly legal clinic hosted at El Centro, which is always a great experience. I got to hear about a tenant landlord issue, also an area I am interested in learning more about and is coming up in my Property class in the next couple weeks. 

Another nice event I attended was the Access to Justice Forum. The Forum recognized organizations logging numerous cases and hours towards serving low-income clients. The event was attended by WA State Supreme Court Justices. I got to meet a couple of them, which was awesome.

 I am also glad that the weather is getting warmer again. I love running outside and I have been missing that lately. I am also looking forward to attending my first music festival at the end of the school year.

January

The semester is going great so far.  I am excited for the new courses and Legal Writing. I also began my summer internship search, fun stuff :).  My Property class is going nicely and same with my elective, Intellectual Property.  Some topics that have caught my attention so far have been the rights of migrant workers and the treatment of Native Americans in mainstream media.

My primary focus this last week has really been about legal writing though and researching the challenges faced by homeless students. Access to a stable education was one of the best indicators for these students’ future success. I feel really passionate about this issue and it will be interesting to see what the final project will look like.

Outside the classroom, I am looking forward to attending some public interest trainings in the next couple weeks so I can volunteer with one of the programs connected to the law school. I am also looking forward to some upcoming events with the Women’s Law Caucus, like the Women of the Year luncheon.

Aside from that I got together with some fellow law students and helped with a food drive for a local food bank. People in the community were so generous!   I am also celebrating some special birthdays this weekend, yay!  Lastly, as a Seahawks fan I have to say I am really looking forward to the upcoming Super Bowl!!                

December

I have never been happier to be done with finals before! I was trying to pace myself but I was definitely starting to feel the pressure after my first of three finals. I have to say though, it was motivation enough knowing I had a nice long break to look forward to. It has been so nice not having to worry about deadlines and cases, haha.  I just fully realized also that it has been years since I have had so much time off. Some serious self-care and spending quality time with friends and family have been at the top of my list. I am having a staycation in WA, because I am still on a student budget after all. I am really looking forward to the holidays. I enjoyed shopping for children’s gifts for my nephews but not all the stressed out shoppers.

During the break I am also going to spend some time researching and narrowing down the summer programs I want to apply for. It would be excellent to having something secured sooner rather than later.  As of now, my goal is to gain some local experience and keep making some solid legal connections. Next semester I get to take an elective, Intellectual Property, which from the sounds of it should be an interesting class. I am also thrilled that it is not in the morning!

Overall I am going to try to take things up a notch this semester, especially in terms of my legal writing and research, and my involvement in clinics and community organizations.

Happy New Year everyone!

November

The semester is winding down and I am a little eager but also very excited to be one step closer to my law degree.  It is that time of the semester to gear up for final exams.  So in addition to my regular coursework I am spending extra hours reviewing my study materials and doing practice exams. There are some topics I feel more comfortable with than others-but I won't name names :]. My second Memo is also due soon. Legal Writing has been a point of intensive learning and growth for sure.

Aside from class I also made some time to attend a great networking event and meet lawyers from the Loren Miller Bar Association. I am looking forward to connecting with some of these folks after the semester wraps up.

I expect next semester will also rush by so I am starting to brainstorm what I want to do for my summer break. It would be great to secure an internship in Seattle and maybe get another law class done as well.

On a lighter note, next week is Thanksgiving! I am heading home to Tri-cities so it will be a nice relaxing time.  I plan on cooking, spending time with my family, and studying of course.

October

This month has been another quick one. Classes have gotten a bit more intense. I took my first mid-term for Civil Procedure at the end of last month and submitted my first legal memo in Legal Writing. I am getting a better feel for Contracts, which has been a relief.  Finals are on the horizon so I am also making more time to review and practice for exams.  Also, I was paired up with a mentor through the Women's Law Caucus. This was great because she is interested in similar areas of law and extracurricular activities as me. Also, I attended some other on campus events including some interesting panels featuring Seattle University Alumni discussing their experiences in public, private, litigation, and transactional law.

A couple weeks ago I also attended a drop-in clinic and got to see first-hand issues related to the process of pleadings for a civil case. The attorney I was paired with was really nice and interested in my experience thus far in law school. I definitely plan to stay in contact with him in the near future.

Outside of school I have been making time to hang out with my non-law school friends as well. This last weekend I spent Saturday with some of my good friends as part of her bridal party, shopping for her wedding gowns and the bridesmaids' dresses.  And aside from that I have been enjoying the Halloween season. 

September

Time has been flying by since I started law school this summer! I took a week off between working full-time and starting school, mostly because I liked the people I worked with so much. On break, the goal was to relax. I visited my family back in Tri-Cities, WA, caught up with new and old friends here in Seattle, and took my dog, Rosita on mini-hikes. I was especially happy to sneak in a couple camping trips, eat tasty foods, and see my one year old niece, Gabriella this summer.  Now, I am happy to be back in school full-time here at SU. I am five weeks into my 1L year and loving it! I have buckled down with a fairly set schedule that "typically" leaves me time in the evenings for fun and physical activities.

As far as courses, right now I am taking Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, and Legal Writing and I am making by very best efforts to leave law school work at school. All my professors are really engaging and their enthusiasm for the subjects definitely comes across, which makes the topics more entertaining.  My favorite class so far is Civil Procedure because my brain loves organization, and we cover rules that apply to all types of legal issues. Also, midterms started this week for me, and I am feeling prepared.

On another note, it's been great making new friends from summer Criminal Law and in my new courses this semester.  Several of my classmates are from out of town, which has given me a renewed appreciation for Seattle, although I have lived her several years now. You can't go wrong with Seattle's great food, festivals, sporting events and of course my favorite, enjoying the natural beauty of Seattle and the surrounding areas. I have also gotten a taste of the student organizations at the law school. The Women's Law Caucus jumped out at me as a great organization to network and for mentorship and it hasn't disappointed yet. One of my goals for this semester is to participate in a legal clinic to gain some practical legal skills. I am sure I will have more to share on this front and school in general soon. Overall I have met some really great people and am looking forward to making more connections in the local legal community as well.  Lastly, I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather!