LAW STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Priya Patel
- March 28, 2021
- Posted by: cleomw8admin
- Category: LAW STUDENT SCHOLAR SPOTLIGHT ,
Q1. What was your course of study at the University of California, Berkley?
B.A. in International Development, Minor: Human Rights; B.A. in Philosophy
Q2. How did you become interested in pursuing law?
Initially, I did Mock Trial and Speech & Debate in high school which left law school on my radar. However, when I worked as a paralegal and was directly exposed to legal work, that’s when I realized I fully wanted to pursue a career in law.
Q3. What steps did you take to prepare for law school?
I was a Philosophy major in college which meant I had to read and write a lot. I also tried to read pre-law preparation books like “1L of a Ride” or “Getting to Maybe” to help me better understand what law school is like since I’m the first in my family to go to law school. What ultimately prepared me the most for law school was CLEO’s Pre-Law Summer Institute since it exposed me to an actual classroom setting and taught me how to digest the information in law school.
Q4. How did you find out about CLEO?
I found out about CLEO through a number of pre-law programs I was a part of beforehand: the UCLA Law Fellows, For People of Color, Inc., and the California Community Colleges’ Pathway to Law. They would publicize the information about the Pre-Law Summer Institute in their newsletters and networks.
Q5. What benefits did you receive by participating in the CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute or 1L-Prep Attitude is Essential?
I was taught the fundamental skills needed to succeed in law school like constructing an effective case brief or writing a strong analysis using IRAC on a law school exam. Getting proper exposure and feedback from actual law school professors helped fill the gap between me and my classmates who already had these skills from other sources.
Q6. What helped you cope with the stress of law school?
I focused on making time for the things that made me happy, like exercising, watching my shows, and spending time with friends. In order to make time for the things that I enjoy, I had to be sure I made a schedule that I stuck to. Time management is essential in law school not just to succeed, but to take care of yourself. It is definitely possible to succeed in law school and still get enough sleep at night if you manage your time effectively and stick to an effective schedule that works best for you.
Q7. After law school, what are your legal career plans?
If all goes well, I plan to work at a firm after law school that has a practice in project development and finance with an emphasis in the energy industry. The energy industry is going through a very interesting and innovative transition for a number of reasons and I would like to be at the forefront of this shift by engaging with the new energy projects, some of which will involve clean energy and clean technology.
Q8. Do you volunteer or intern with any legal organizations?
I interned with the Department of Energy for credit last semester and I’m currently a paid intern for the American Clean Power Association. Otherwise, I have not yet volunteered in the traditional sense, but would like to do so my 3L year.
Q9. Do you have any advice for future lawyers?
Law school is only 3 years of your entire career – although it can be intimidating and stressful, it is important to use this time to grow and explore subject areas of your interest. Establish your goals, but don’t forget to focus on the present moment because your time is valuable.
Q10. What motivates you to be part of the legal profession?
There are a number of things that motivate me. The first is to make my family proud and be in a position to support them once I have a stable career. The second motivation I have is my personal need to contribute to society in a way that I believe and feel is productive given my skills and experiences. The third motivation is to represent my community in spaces that are difficult to access due to institutionalized barriers.