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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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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.

Damiano del Pino – Student Bar Association President

June 24th, 2010 5 comments

For the next few weeks, I plan to showcase some of our students, administrators and professors so you can see what Widener Law offers.  Although this post is focused on the Delaware campus, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on the Harrisburg campus.

Damiano (Dom) del Pino, president of the Student Bar Association (SBA), is in his fourth year as an Extended Division (part-time) student.  He has been highly active in the Widener Law community and gladly shares his experiences in different programs, classes and organizations.  During a break in his busy schedule, he offered a few comments about Widener Law.

The SBA

Dom has a challenging yet rewarding job leading the Student Bar Association.  Widener Law’s chapter is extremely active with over 30 organizations and a strong commitment to community service.  Students are encouraged to assist the local population and give back to Widener Law.  Social networking is also a key component for the SBA, alumni are invited to every event and regularly attend as guests and speakers.  They actively promote Widener and seek opportunities to interact with current students.  Not only are students encouraged to network with alumni, they are also reminded that fellow students are future colleagues who can offer valuable professional partnerships in the future.

Campus Renovations

As a fourth year student, Dom has witnessed many changes on campus.  The dorm room renovations impressed him.  For example, each floor offers a kitchen unit with two stoves and secure cabinets for each dorm room; this is well maintained by campus services.  Also, each dorm room has a micro-fridge unit for easy storage.  Furthermore, both Shipley and Concord dorm buildings will replace their windows for improved insulation.  In Shipley Hall, there is a gym open until 10 pm for students, faculty and staff.  Furthermore, students are given membership to the Jewish Community Center (JCC), located about a mile from Widener Law, offering state of the art equipment and an Olympic style pool.  One night per week, the JCC gym is reserved for Widener Law intramural sports teams.

In terms of safety, new cameras were installed by the townhouses and entrance to the dorms requires an activated campus ID.  Call boxes will also be installed soon, providing immediate response if needed.

Library

As a law student, you will likely spend a good deal of time in the library.  Dom is impressed by Widener Law’s resources.  As a public library, federal and congressional materials are available for students and the community.  Although thousands of publications comprise three levels, our highly trained staff can locate any printed journal not housed in our center.  Many library staff members also hold a J.D., not only can they assist students with research, but also with legal related questions.

Technology

Dom has also seen additions to technology.  Most recently, Widener Law implemented a closed circuit tv network which allows anyone on campus to view events in our main venue – the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom.  The Main Law Building offers outlets by each seat for laptops in every room and the entire campus has wireless internet. Every classroom also has tv and dvd access.

Grading Curve

Some incoming students worry about Widener Law’s grading curve.  Dom understands these concerns but believes the faculty do an excellent job in clearly describing our system.  The grading system is transparent and detailed through two pages in the student handbook.  Dom finds this to be unique at Widener since he heard that other programs allow faculty to develop different curves for each class.  Widener Law has a standard curve for all students.  He finds that the curve becomes less stringent for upperclassmen and is slightly easier now for first year students.  Attorneys in the area know about Widener Law’s curve, especially when interviewing with Widener Law alumni.  It is also well known that Widener Law’s program is very challenging; therefore J.D. graduates are considered extremely well-prepared for practice.

Career Development

Dom mentioned a new Career Development initiative where a counselor provides personal counseling one night per week in the Main Law Building.  Evening students seem to be particularly appreciative of these after hour sessions.  Also, alumni are successfully employed, particularly in clerkships.  He encourages new students to focus on their writing skills when applying for jobs.  Employers care more about writing samples than GPA or class rank.  Fortunately, Widener Law has a strong writing focus with three methods classes and one required seminar with a final paper.

Final Words

New and prospective students should be excited with Widener Law’s growing reputation.  Dean Ammons hired three new faculty with the same vigor and passion as new students and continues to renovate campus facilities.  Dom is excited to see new developments during his final year.

To learn more about Dom, please visit his profile!