Law School Dropout

My heart was pounding erratically, my hands were shaking, and sweat began rolling down my back as I walked down the cold, dark hallways of Barton Hall. I could barely breathe, let alone open my mouth and speak. What had I gotten myself into? As I approached the brightly lit classroom, there were around fifty anxious high-school students awaiting my arrival in their small wooden desks. I can still remember hesitating for a moment as I stood outside of the classroom. It took a few seconds before I could gatherenough courage to walk inside.

To my surprise, the program directors cheerfully motioned for me to come inside and introduce myself. They informed me that I would be teaching a class of about six to ten high school students for the next nine weeks. The Let’s Get Ready program provides low-income high school students with the chance to maximizetheir post-graduation opportunities by preparing them to take the SAT and apply for college. Through weekly SAT preparation classes, workshops, college visits, and college application assistance, Let’s Get Ready essentially keeps the children on-track for graduation and beyond.

Much like these children, I, too, was faced with the responsibility of discovering who I strived to be, upon entering college. It seemed as though I wasn’t good enough for many things. My introversion and extreme shyness prevented me from participating in several activities, although I longed to be seen and make my presence known. My transcripts reflected nearly perfect grades, but verbally, I was unable to make these two worlds coincide. I came to volunteer with the Let’s Get Ready program in hopes of discovering and releasing my inner voice, while also looking to assist others along the way. It was through this experience that I discovered my desire to be heard.

I strive to be a voice for the voiceless. I feel that I have a personal duty to stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves. While I have been fortunate enough to possesslife experiences that have compelled me to overcome my debilitating fear of speaking, I am aware that there are others who have not been as fortunate. I often wonder how many people there are in this world that want to speak up, but are simply unable.

As a young African American woman from Philadelphia, I was fortunate enough to attend private Catholic schools for most of my life. However, my home life and school life were two vastly different environments. My teachers always stressed the importance of speaking properly and utilizing correct grammar. However, my neighborhood friends ridiculed me for using proper English. I was constantly plagued with the questions: “Why do you talk like you’re white? Do you think you’re better than us?” Not only did these words destroy my already lacking confidence, but they also forced me to retreat further into myself. As one of the only African American people in my class, I had trouble finding my niche both in school, and at home. However, it was not until I had my first encounter with a lawyer that I found the confidence to act on my desire to speak up.

As a young adult, I quietly observed my mother come to terms with her paralyzed arm, and I sensedhow adamantly her lawyer fought to bring peace and justice to our home after her botched surgery. It was due to this lawyer’s observant and kind, yet assertive nature that each member of my family was left with a positively deep-rooted appreciation for this profession. Attending law school will allow me to beamongst a group of unique individuals who are dedicated to making their voices heard, and advocating for those who are incapable of advocating for themselves. I plan to use my legal education to broaden my intellectualcapabilities, while also leaving a lasting impact on all of whom I come into contact with. I aspire to serve as a community advocate for all of those who do not have a voice. Those seemingly overlooked and forgotten communities such as the intellectually and physically disabled, impoverished families, immigrants, and displaced people, all of who require a way in which to freely express themselves. If I have the ability to speak up for even just a few of these individuals, my endeavors will be satisfied.

#TBT to the days when I thought I was going to be a lawyer…

Thank god I decided to do all of things that I wanted, instead of what everybody else wanted for me. The one thing that I’ve learned is that in order to truly feel happy and fulfilled, you must follow your own path. I’ve spent so much time trying to please others that I was not even pleased with myself. You will get to that place. Eventually.

Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts

A job interview is the deciding factor in whether or not you land a job. This means that the resume and cover letter were sufficient in proving your written qualifications, however, there is still the challenge of meeting face-to-face. A job interview provides the interviewee with a chance to present his or herself in the best light possible, while also allowing the employer to analyze and assess the individual. The manner in which the interviewee presents his or herself will provide the employer with an adequate evaluation of the individual as a whole. Provided that the interviewee follows these simple interview preparations, they will successfully pass the greatest job search challenge: the job interview.

Before the day of the interview, it is best to take the necessary steps to ensure success. Prior to the day of the interview, plan your outfit accordingly. A modest and conservative ensemble is the safest option. Women should avoid wearing high heels, low-cut blouses, or heavy makeup. In addition, men should groom all facial hair, and refrain from wearing loose fitting clothing. The next step is to determine the exact meeting location of the interview, and the amount of time that it will take to reach your destination. There is nothing worse than getting lost on the day of the interview and arriving at the last minute. Career Services suggest arriving for your interview at a minimum of ten minutes early. This provides you with the opportunity to settle yourself and mentally prepare for the interview.


Untitled 1

It is always wise to anticipate the questions that you will be asked, and have a general idea of your intended answers, beforehand. While you don’t want to memorize all that you are going to say throughout the interview, you should practice talking about yourself ahead of time. Research your prospective employer and find something that is of interest to you. Be prepared to talk about yourself, as well as your prospective employer.

Upon arrival, make sure to greet each and every person that you come in contact with. From the secretary to the actual interviewer, every greeting matters. It is very likely that the various individuals in the office will converse with one another after you leave, and share their thoughts about you. Thus, it is advantageous to maintain good eye contact, utilize a firm handshake, and avoid using slang when interacting with each and every person in the office. Furthermore, be sure to use the proper title, as well as the last name of each person, unless you are told to do otherwise.


Untitled 3

Although most people are aware of the potential interview gaffes, there are a few little known indiscretions that will immediately displease your prospective employer. While confidence is key, it is possible to be overly aggressive. You must find a balance between being extremely confident and being respectful. An integral part in showing respect is waiting until you are offered a chair to take your seat. It is never a good idea to smoke at any time before or during the interview, even if you are offered. The smell of smoke is not appealing when trying to make a good first impression. Although seemingly obvious, chewing gum during an interview is also unfavorable. Due to the sensitive nature of the current social and political climate, telling jokes during an interview is also widely frowned upon. You never know how your jokes will be received, so it is best not to make them at all.

Your job interview will ultimately run smoothly if you engage in or refrain from all of these simple behaviors. While the majority of these tips are considered to be common sense, many of these are often overlooked and undervalued. In mastering all of these methods of job interviewing, it will be nearly impossible not to succeed.


Written By: Janae Grier

Instagram: @JanaeGrier