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Beginning the last semester of law school….. – Thoughts from 3L Amira Khan

January 11th, 2013 No comments

As classes start again, I asked our work study, Amira Khan, to share her thoughts about her final semester at Widener Law.  Here’s a glimpse in the life of a 3L!

 

It seems like I have been waiting for three years to finally get to this point… I am FINALLY in my LAST semester of law school! As I finished off all my prerequisite courses last semester, I am left with a pretty light schedule, only taking 10 credits and switching from regular to extended division.

The drive to school Wednesday morning felt surreal. I couldn’t believe this was my final first day of school. The past two and half years seemed like a blur. I vividly remember my first day of law school back in 2010. I was a scared, nervous 1L and did not have any idea what to expect. Looking back, it is amazing how quickly I acclimated to law school. I became accustom to the routine of going to class, doing the assigned reading, and praying that I was not going to be called on that day in class. One thing that I never got used to, however, was the Socratic method. I spent most semesters living in fear each day, keeping my head down and avoiding eye contact with the professor in hopes that I could dodge the bullet. I found that when I got called on early in the semester, I got it over with and it was not actually as bad as I had made it seem in my head. I often felt relieved to get it over with.  But in those classes where I had not yet been called on yet, it was painful waiting each class, anticipating that today could in fact be “my day”. However, by my third year of law school, I had surprisingly gotten used to the Socratic method. It did ensure that I was prepared for class each day, and after being in classes with the same students for three years I no longer feared getting inevitability of getting called on.

People often ask me if I knew back then what I know now, would I do it all over again? My answer is always yes. My experience here at Widener has been great. The staff and faculty are eager to help and the professors always respond to my frequent emails during the reading period before finals. The people are friendly and there are so many networking events and student organizations to get involved with. While law school in itself is tough, Widener Law is a wonderful place to attend, as there are small classes and several job opportunities in the legal community in Wilmington as well as Philadelphia. Widener Law also offers a bar preparation and strategies course that I am currently taking to prepare for the Bar exam. Overall, Widener Law is a great place to attend law school as the faculty and administration are helpful and friendly and the school does its very best to prepare students to take the Bar exam and to become skilled attorneys.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Amira!  Happy last semester to you.  Do you have questions for Amira?  Email asdelpuerto@widener.edu, call 302-477-2703 or post a comment below!  She’ll respond to you directly.

 

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Work, Life and Law School: How Do You Balance It All?

July 11th, 2012 No comments

Troy Riddle, Multicultural Affairs Officer

Working full-time and attending law school can be a scary notion.  However,  Troy Riddle, Widener Law’s Multicultural Affairs Officer, is living proof that it can be done.  Mr. Riddle is an alum of Widener Law’s Extended  (part-time)  Division, his entry below describes his experience and tips that helped him through.

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Law school is challenging for a student of any age or academic pedigree, but I believe it is exponentially more challenging for students trying to balance a full-time job and/or family. The sense of accomplishment one feels, however, when the four year’s are over is euphoric.

As an Extended Division student, I was employed full-time as a middle manager in the healthcare industry, managing a staff of more than forty. The nice thing about my work situation, however, was that my boss and the staff knew I was in law school, and provided a lot of support and encouragement to me. This support system proved invaluable to me. Especially on those days where I hadn’t completed all of my assigned readings and needed to steal a few extra minutes at lunch time to try and cover the material before making the drive from Philadelphia to Delaware.

Four years later, it was all over, and to be quite honest, I was a little sad. I actually enjoyed law school. The rigors of legal education challenged me in ways that I didn’t know I could be. I learned a lot…not just about the law and how to craft ingenious arguments, but about life and how the world really works and how the law influences it. Because law touches virtually every aspect of human existence, it’s almost impossible to leave law school without having at least one “light bulb” moment regarding something you previously thought mundane or ordinary.
There are many ways to approach law school if trying to balance it with work and/or family.

Here are a few tips/advice I’d like to share with you:
• Don’t make any life-changing moves or decisions.
• Know that at times you’ll have more reading than humanly possible to complete.
• Know that the people you always see in the library aren’t necessarily getting the top grades.
• Understand that your family and friends won’t understand the demands being place upon you.
• Talk to your professors when you don’t understand a concept/case covered in class.
• Take as many practice exams as you can and get feedback.
• Take time for you (both mentally and physically); exercise, spend time with the family.
• Take at least one day during the week for a reprieve. (I made Friday my “me day.”)
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. (It doesn’t make you a poor law student.)

Much success to you as you embark upon what I think is the most transformative education one can obtain!

Thank you, Mr. Riddle, for sharing your experience!  If you have further questions about the part-time program please feel free to email the Admissions office at lawadmissions@widener.edu.

Meet Jason Ploppert – Rising 3L

April 27th, 2012 No comments

Jason Ploppert, Widener Law Student

My name is Jason Ploppert, and I am going into my third year of law school at Widener.  I am Penn State alumnus, where I majored in Crime, Law, and Justice.  Since coming to Widener I have become an active member of the Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honors Society and the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.

As an incoming 1L my biggest fear was the immense amount of reading, and the inherent competitive nature of law school.  Your first year in law school is unlike any other experience you have had in your life.  The pressure you face your first year is palpable, however, the professors and students at Widener make first year a much less harrowing task.  Professors and other students are more than willing to lend a helping hand, and unlike other schools there is less of the typical “me-first” mentality.  In my first year I had some of the best teachers I have had in my entire life.  My civil procedure professor, Patrick Johnston, was able to take a subject that many consider the hardest in law school and make it much less convoluted, while adding in a great deal of humor.  Another personal favorite of mine, Leslie Johnson, makes students feel so comfortable by being so approachable and teaches in a way that could make the most complex subject seem like third grade math.

At the end of the day law school is what you make out of it, in my two years here I have probably learned more than I did in the other 23 years of my life combined.  If you come here willing to put in the work, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

Thanks for your thoughts Jason!  Learn more about him on our Student Ambassadors Page.

Are you a veteran?

March 29th, 2010 No comments

Widener Law is committed to developing programs and initiatives supporting veterans. Some of these include the Veteran’s Law Clinic,Yellow Ribbon Campaign, GI Bill benefits, speaker series, JAG recruitment and alumni networking.  The Admissions Office appreciates your service and I welcome your questions and concerns.  As our network grows, so do our program offerings.  We can put you in touch with current students, graduates and professors with similar interests.

Please visit the Veteran’s Resources site for more information and details.

Seat Deposit Time!

March 22nd, 2010 2 comments

As decisions roll in, you may find seat deposit deadlines approaching.  How will you decide on a school?

- Visit the law schools on your short list. Sometimes you will just know you’re at the right place during your tour, so make sure to bring your seat deposit with you in case you want to save your seat right away!

- Talk to students.  Visit a class. Meet graduates. These are all ways to gauge the culture and atmosphere of a law school. Do you feel engaged and understood? These are signs that you’re in the right place.  Also, research your interests in relation to the law school’s offerings.  Are graduates employed in your area of interest?  Where do they work?  Where do students intern?  What is the first year curriculum?  What is the law school’s mission statement?

- Walk around the surrounding areas. Our Visitor’s Center offers information about both Harrisburg and Wilmington.  There’s a wealth of opportunity in both cities!  How do you feel in the area?  Can you see yourself practicing nearby?  Although many graduates move far from their alma mater, most stay regionally.

- Keep track of deadlines. Widener Law will release your seat if your deposit isn’t received on time, so stay organized! Make sure to contact the Admissions Office if you encounter any delays or problems.

When in doubt, contact Admissions and we will refer you accordingly.

SBA New Website

February 9th, 2010 No comments

The Student Bar Association on the Delaware campus just launched a new website! Check it out at http://blogs.law.widener.edu/sbadelaware/. You will see that law school is more than just books. The SBA and supporting organizations recently raised $2,072.50 for Haiti relief efforts. This week they are sponsoring “Health Week” where students can enjoy free healthy snacks, massages, and lessons on living consciously.

Widener Law prides itself in community involvement and the SBA is a perfect example of our efforts. Enjoy!

Environmental Law and Policy Certificate

January 14th, 2010 No comments

Widener Law’s Environmental Law initiatives will be broadened through our new certificate in Environmental Law and Policy on the Delaware campus. Recently, Widener developed an Environmental Law Center combining the expertise of faculty and administrators on both campuses. The goals include:

▪ Studying, making proposals for and evaluating the implementation of environmental, energy and climate-change programs in Pennsylvania and Delaware at the state and municipal levels.

▪ Developing, advocating for and evaluating innovative laws and legal proposals relating to the environment, energy and climate change. This will be done by putting on conferences open to the public and through faculty research and writing.

▪ Helping public and private decision makers solve legal problems relating to environment, energy and climate change.

▪ Collaborating with other higher-education institutions on environmental, energy and climate-change matters.

Widener Law continues to develop programs to better our environment and community. We hope you are willing to join us in this endeavor.   If you have questions about our environmental law programs, please contact Professor John Dernbach, jcdernbach@widener.edu, on the Harrisburg campus or Professor Jim May, jrmay@widener.edu, on the Delaware campus.

Other Hurdles to Graduate (3-30-09)

This spring I am in a Seminar class of about 15 people. The focus of the seminar is on International Climate Change Law. So far this class is fun but challenging. We are learning a lot about the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and the possible changes coming up in December in Copenhagen. Although we do not have a final exam, we do have a thesis paper that is due by the end of the semester. Having written a thesis paper for my M.B.A. degree at Alvernia College, I knew it was going to be a challenge. For that paper, my requirements were at least 50 pages in a year. However, for this class, the paper must be at least 20 pages, which must be done in 15 weeks. As an added bonus for taking this class, the thesis can be used to fulfill the upper level writing requirement for graduation. I will let you know more about the class and the paper later this semester.