My participation in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic was by far my most memorable experience in law school. Professor Farrin Anello assigned my partner and I to a time-sensitive case. The client was a young woman who recently fled Guatemala and had entered the United States without a visa. After being apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, she was sent to Delaney Hall Detention Center right here in Newark, where she was being held when we met her. Her bond hearing was rapidly approaching, and Catholic Charities brought her case to the attention of the Center for Social Justice. After reviewing the documents from our client’s initial interview with an asylum officer, we believed that she had a strong domestic violence-based asylum claim.
I was a member of the Interscholastic Moot Court Board while I was a student at Seton Hall Law, and I competed in three moot court competitions during that time. Moot Court enables students to compete against other schools to learn how to present issues and mock arguments before panels of practitioners and real judges. The students get scored on their performance. Through Moot Court, we learned the essential skill of presenting our case, speaking persuasively and clearly before an appellate panel. The process involves getting questions from professors and practitioners, who probe the issue that the students are to present before the mock appellate panel.
Seton Hall’s first year curriculum includes a class that is not found at many other law schools. It is called Introduction to Lawyering, and it is broadly ambitious. The course introduces students to the core skills, values, and professional habits that are integral to lawyering across many areas of practice. Fundamentally, the course is grounded in the practical experience of real lawyers. It is modeled on what real lawyers do. Seton Hall used to offer a class that is more typically offered at law schools across the country – Legal Research and Writing. So how does Introduction to Lawyering differ from Legal Research and Writing and why did we make this change?
Law students hoping to practice in the area of Family Law can position themselves to achieve that goal by following this advice. While no one thing will guarantee a successful career in one specific area of the law, a combination of multiple experiences and associations will make the likelihood of employment in that area increase. Here are a few ideas to get you started.