All posts tagged: Featured

Teaching, Engaging, Achieving, and Motivating

“Lift as you climb.” As I embark on various endeavors and gain knowledge, skills, and experiences, I feel morally obligated to use the resources I have acquired to help others progress and succeed. Throughout my undergraduate education and law school, I have become keenly aware of the lack of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.  Specifically, there is a shortage of African-American attorneys and few African Americans and minorities in leadership roles within firms, companies, and organizations nationwide.  One way to address this issue is through opportunity and exposure. Since 2015, I have created five educational programs for minority students. The majority of my programs were created and implemented for students in the Greater Philadelphia area.  My latest initiative is the Teaching; Engaging; Achieving; Motivating program (T.E.A.M.), which I facilitated in Willingboro, New Jersey. T.E.A.M. was launched in January 2019 for 50 middle schoolers in Willingboro, NJ. The 14-week program consisted of 60-minute sessions held on Friday mornings at Memorial Middle School.  Students learned basic criminal law and criminal procedure including Miranda rights, police …

The Lessons We Future Lawyers Should Learn From the Life of Nipsey Hussle

During his 33 years of life, Ermias Joseph Asghedom (pronounced “Air-me-yaahs” and “Ahs-ged-om”), also known as “Nipsey Hussle,” was an ambitious and virtuous man who inspired millions to never give up, achieve their dreams and give back to their community. For those of you who have never heard of Asghedom, or only learned about him in the last week since his untimely death, please allow me to introduce him to you before I highlight some lessons we future lawyers should learn from Asghedom’s life. Asghedom was born in Los Angeles in 1985 to an Eritrean father (Dawit Asghedom) and an African-American mother (Angelique Smith) and raised in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Los Angeles. As a youth growing up in the rough world of South LA, Asghedom joined the “Rollin 60’s” Neighborhood Crips gang. Despite his affiliation with the Rollin 60’s in his early years, Asghedom knew early on that he wanted to transition out of the gangster life and into one where he could become a musical artist and entrepreneur. Fortunately, Asghedom was able …

Learning to Ask

I don’t even know what I don’t know. This was my mantra my entire 1LE year… and maybe even for a few of my 2LE classes. Law school is essentially a process to break down and rebuild the way you think and analyze information. As a 1LE, one of the first things you do is to spend hours pouring over the Bluebook, the citation reference guide for legal writing, trying to figure out how to cite cases that you hope are applicable to the paper you are writing. You also spend hours reading lengthy, wordy, Scalia dissents that have no bearing on the major takeaways from the case you’re reading, but that will be helpful to know down the line. More than likely, you are also in the throes of trying to figure out the different elements of ‘negligence’ and why a word that once seemed so simple, suddenly seems so complex. There’s also the added pressure to know those elements before Monday, because you’re on call and will need to answer questions in front …

My Philly Neighborhood: Commuting from the Suburbs

I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, but was always drawn to the city itself. When I enrolled in Temple Law, I was excited to throw myself entirely into city life. I thought that during my time at Temple Law, it was essential for me to live in the geographic boundaries of Philadelphia. However, I quickly realized that this was not the case. Living in the suburbs as a Temple Law student is actually a very real possibility. We all know that law school can be expensive, and for me, living in the suburbs was a way to offset some of that expense. Luckily for me, my parents still live in the same suburb where I grew up and were willing to have me move back home after years of living on my own. As a current third-year law student, I commute to Temple Law every day using Septa’s Regional Rail System. The Regional Rail has trains that run from Philadelphia to the western suburbs, northern suburbs, and even New Jersey. I take the Paoli-Thorndale …

Coming Full Circle Through Guided Research

During an undergraduate course on race in the United States, I was tasked with interviewing someone who identified as a “hyphenated American” to discuss this person’s experiences as nonwhite in America. I decided to interview my grandfather, a Mexican-American man who grew up in the American Southwest. While I was aware that all of my grandparents had faced some form of discrimination in their lives because of their Mexican ancestry, this exercise gave me a chance to learn more details about my grandfather’s experiences and contextualize those experiences with historical perspective. As that class ended, I knew that I wanted to continue to dive deeper into the history of Mexican-American people and other Latinx folks, and decided that I should double major in Chicano/Latino Studies. That decision completely changed the trajectory of my education. From that point forward, I viewed my political science studies through a new lens, analyzing the intersection of political systems and low-income minority populations. For most of my life I thought that the hardships my grandparents faced were those of a …

Integrated Transactional Program: A Student’s Perspective

During my second year at Temple Law, I was interested in developing practical legal skills that I could use at my summer associate job. I studied abroad in Rome and worked as a research assistant throughout my first summer of law school, so I didn’t have real world experience in the legal field just yet. The Integrated Transactional Program (commonly known as ITP) was the perfect opportunity to focus on my professional and legal skills in a classroom setting. The 2-semester, 10-credit sequence, led by Professor Robert Bartow, combines Trusts and Estates, Professional Responsibility, and an experiential component. Trusts and Estates is taught in the fall semester, while Professional Responsibility is held in the spring. One evening per week in both semesters, students are separated into smaller groups to practice lawyering skills with an experienced lawyer or judge as an adjunct professor. Students gain experience interviewing clients, drafting estate planning documents, negotiating contracts, and much more. Some exercises confront ethical questions in which students are required to put the Rules of Professional Conduct to use. …

Admissions Office Tips: Application Components

To kick off the start of application review season, our Assistant Director of Admissions breaks down the various application components to help potential law students apply as strategically as possible. Numerical Indicators One of the most common things on an applicant’s mind are the numerical indicators – the LSAT score and the UGPA. They can be intimidating factors for some applicants, or something to brag about for others. What’s important to remember is that the application process is about highlighting your strengths and putting your weaknesses into context. A strong application will do both. Taking the LSAT more than once isn’t bad – either is taking it only once. It all depends on the individual’s application, and no two applications look the same. Think about your LSAT score or scores – what story do they tell? If you’ve taken it only once, was that your ideal score? If you’ve taken it more than once, does it show a persistent effort to improve? Whatever your LSAT story is, make sure to frame it in a way …

Learning to Dream Bigger

When I made the difficult decision to leave a career as a middle school teacher to go to law school, I did it to chase what I thought of as big dreams. I had become increasingly frustrated by the limited reach that I had in my classroom, feeling powerless to address the many barriers my students faced outside the classroom. I was tired of teachers and students being treated like political footballs and as manifestations of different ideas rather than as individuals with different experiences and needs. I felt that to have a larger impact, to stop feeling powerless, I would need to work in some combination of law, politics, and policy. As I decided to submit an application to Temple, guided in large part by my interest in the Law and Public Policy Program, I remember thinking that “maybe someday, maybe somehow I’ll work in legislation in City Hall. Maybe someday—maybe years from now—I can make it that far.” I was able to check that off my list while still a student in my …