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Values and Your Career
published June 30, 2014
"I did not speak English until I was about four years old. I was born in central New Jersey, but my parents who are from Russia (now the Ukraine) sent me to Russian pre-school and kindergarten. When I finally went to public school I had to take English classes. I can read, write, and speak Russian. I also read, write, and speak Spanish, which I learned in grade school.
"During my law school career I have interned at a real estate company and a bankruptcy law firm. Both opportunities have enabled me to gain real world experience and get a sense of what the professional world is really like. I have assisted my superiors in deed and contract evaluations and motion and discovery practice.
Additionally, my role as an on campus West law representative has enabled me to do extensive research for my coworkers on topics they were not very familiar with. It was very rewarding being a student but also having a direct impact on helping others either buy a home or file for bankruptcy. My roles varied at both internships I had; sometimes I would do some writing or make phone calls to customers, and sometimes I would research what kind of fishing boat is best for shallow streams. Every day there was definitely a surprise waiting."
"Originally I went to law school because my parents always told me I could become a doctor, businessman, or lawyer; that's it. I am not a fan of blood so becoming a doctor was out immediately. So ever since I was little I thought of combining business and the law and came up with owning my own practice one day. I knew I wanted nothing to do with litigation and luckily enough in high school I interned for a law firm that handled collection and contract matters and was hooked from that point on. Looking back now I think I went to law school because as a child I saw many adults who were lawyers making decent or really good money and wanted to have that for myself in the future."
"I have studied extremely hard for three years while working two internships and refereeing soccer matches roughly 30-40 hours per week. Additionally, I have become engaged recently to my college sweetheart, and as many people know, maintaining a healthy relationship through law school can be challenging. However, she really is my rock, and I could not do it without her. I think the biggest accomplishment is her putting up with me during these hectic years."
"I think my biggest achievement is making it this far. My parents are immigrants who came to this country with nothing. They gave me a great opportunity to succeed, and I did not throw it away as many young people do, unfortunately. I am far from perfect, believe me, but I have never strayed from my path to hopefully one day own a small law firm and golf every Friday morning. I have also trained hundreds of young people over the years on how to play and referee soccer. Being able to teach someone discipline, respect for others, and creativity (even if it is with a soccer ball), is very important to me."
"If the assignment is new material I will try and get as much information as possible, as quickly as possible (lawyers don't tend to give much time to unpaid interns, which I fully understand and usually agree with). Then I will start the assignment and complete as much of it as I can, asking coworkers for help if absolutely necessary after exhausting all other options myself. After I have done all I can I submit my work and note any areas I am not confident about or did not even complete because I did not want to waste anyone's time correcting my mistake. If the assignment is something I have done in the past I will just do the assignment, check my work, and submit it."
"I served Habitat for Humanity from 2004 to 2014. I built and repaired homes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I volunteered with the Special Olympics soccer and bowling divisions from 2004 to 2014. I was also a translator and interpreter for Jacksonville residents in matters ranging from citizenship issues to child custody disputes from 2011 to 2014. I was the only student at Florida Coastal certified to do such work."
"I have traveled all over the world because of family vacations and tagging along on my parents or relatives business trips. Probably my most vivid memory was traveling in the Swiss Alps. Writing about the beauty there does not do it justice. If I were not raised near the New York City area I would say travelling there is the most influential traveling experience of my life, but since I grew up there I have a completely different perception now than I would if I were just a tourist. In my opinion Switzerland is the most beautiful place to visit, but New York City is the most important and magnificent city in the history of the world. I strongly feel that New York is the melting pot for all modern civilization."
"My biggest obstacle growing up was meeting the expectations of my parents. As I stated earlier - they came to America without a lick of English and a few dollars in their pockets, but they made something of themselves. I guess that I always felt I had to outdo them because I was born here, I speak the language; what would I tell them if I did not succeed in my endeavors. Seeing how hard my parents work with little complaint gives me a good example of how to approach every day - just do one thing at a time and eventually the to do list will shrink."
"If you are considering going to law school, look deep inside yourself and see if you are ready for a lot of reading and stress. I think that almost anyone can become a lawyer, but it takes a specific type of person to become a successful lawyer. I know I am not even a lawyer yet, but I see students everyday who just go through the motions, never becoming involved in the process. Law school makes college look like daycare, and the bill you receive after three years will definitely make you think twice about the whole experience. A law school applicant has to have some internal drive to become an attorney. Many people come in thinking that lawyers make a ton of money and make their paralegals do all the work, so I can definitely do this. Forget everything you know about Jerry Maguire and Johnnie Cochran, being a lawyer is not glamorous, it is hard work."
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