Dreamers Cannot Be Tamed
December 16, 2016 | By Vanessa Lopez

I knew since I was very young that I wanted to become an attorney. I always idolized the candid, zealous lawyers who are portrayed on TV and imagined myself arguing in a courtroom. Now that I am one semester away from graduating law school, I know that this was the path I was destined for.


I originally applied to undergrad as a political science and pre-law major. I knew I wanted to work in the legal field; however I was not exactly sure if becoming an attorney was obtainable. I am the first in my family to graduate from high school and attend a university. Although I always excelled in my classes, I did not have any family members who I could look to as a mentor to guide me through the college process. I primarily relied on my high school teachers and later relied on my college professors for career advice and insight. I was fortunate enough to obtain my degree in political science and truly develop my passion for law in the process. However, once I moved back to San Diego from Los Angeles, I again did not know the next steps to take to attend law school.


I started working full time as an office assistant as soon as I got back to San Diego and let my dream of attending law school fade. I figured getting my BA was enough of an accomplishment and I wanted to get out into the real world and make money (also, I had student loans to repay). About three years later, I was still with the same company, doing the same job in a monotonous routine.  I missed being mentally stimulated and longed for scholarly reading and writing. I knew I was not reaching my full potential working at this job so I decided to attend USD for my paralegal credentials. I was ready for the next step towards a career in the legal field. After an eleven month night program, I obtained my paralegal credentials with Honors. I was now ready to take the leap of faith into a new career.


I reached out to my various paralegal professors, who were all practicing attorneys, for letters of recommendation to add to my portfolio. I wanted to ensure that I set myself up for success in finding a new career. I expressed my interest in law school but assured them I was avid about becoming a paralegal. It was the ample amount of positive feedback and encouragement that I received that ultimately pushed me to apply to law school. Each of my recommending professors wholeheartedly believed in my learning abilities and work product. They assured me I have what it takes to succeed in law school and become a practicing attorney.


Two months after receiving my paralegal credentials, I applied to law school and took the LSAT. I chose to attend Thomas Jefferson School of Law because of the diverse student body and numerous success testimonials I heard at the open house. I felt at home when I toured the TJSL facility and could envision myself spending the next three years of my academic career here. Now that I am almost done with law school, I know that I made the perfect choice by attending law school at TJSL. I always knew that becoming an attorney was my dream but I never knew how to make it happen. I consistently thought about settling for less and being complacent, but I followed my heart through to where I am now. Soon my dreams will become a reality and everything I thought was impossible will be possible. I only hope that I can share my experiences and empower incoming law students the way my mentors have done for me.

Where I Was Meant To Be
December 5, 2016 | By Summer Young

I packed up my car in Lake Tahoe and started my solo journey down to Southern California, a nice 7.5 hour drive down Interstate 5, with the scenic views of the central valley. ;) Anybody who has done that drive knows that there is not much to look at besides farmland. However, surprisingly, taking that drive was almost therapeutic.


It was the summer before my senior year of college. I had four Law Schools on my list to tour: two in Los Angeles and two in San Diego. Knowing that I was only one more year away from starting my law school journey was so exciting! I enjoyed the freedom of rolling down all my windows and turning my sound system almost to max while singing along with Fleetwood Mac.


The story is pretty interesting as to what happened next.


One of my best friends from high school had a roommate in college in Minnesota. I knew that her roommate was interested in going to law school. While I was on my ride down to LA, my friend from high school called me and told me that her friend was just about to start her Week One Orientation at TJSL, and that they had just moved down to San Diego a few days prior. Talk about the best timing! She told me to cancel my hotel in San Diego and to stay with them where they lived downtown for that night, in a building called Entrada.


I then stayed with them at Entrada for two nights instead of staying in LA. I took a day drive up there and toured the schools, but I knew that I wanted to go to TJSL. The building is amazing, the school is located in the heart of the city, and the admissions staff was so friendly right when I walked in and asked for a tour.


Now, coincidentally enough, three years later, I have lived in Entrada for over a year and despite me being accepted to the other schools that I toured, I knew that, because the pieces laid out so nicely for me, TJSL was where I was meant to go.

Thomas Jefferson: My Home, My Community
November 28, 2016 | By Diana Laranang

I have touched both coasts of the United States but have never really traveled anywhere in between. Being born in New York but living most of my life in California I definitely consider myself to be a Cali girl. I love the beach, nature hikes, the outdoor malls, but ultimately I am a foodie queen. San Diego offers such a variety of food and you can’t beat the breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, snacks, and boba – plus, I know all the best places to go.


With my love of San Diego, I already knew I would be applying to only San Diego law schools. Applying to law school is such a daunting task because in the back of your mind you are always questioning if you made the right decision. Should you have waited, should you have studied harder? Being an over thinker myself these questions plagued me well into my orientation week at Thomas Jefferson.


What really assuaged my fears was that the professors and staff really cared about us succeeding. And something that will always stick with me is when they told me to look to my left and my right because these are the lawyers I will be working with in the future. Thomas Jefferson is all about its community and helping everyone succeed.