Third Year Law Student Jeffrey Rochon Spent Four Months with Desmond Tutu

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Personal Life

Jeffrey E. Rochon is a third year law student at Western State College of Law and anticipates a May 2015 graduation. Although he has several areas of interest, Jeff wants to practice international business and civil litigation.


 
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Jeff was born in Huntington Beach and raised in Long Beach, California. When asked about his upbringing, he said:
"I grew up an only child, but in an 'extended family' type of house. We lived with my grandmother, and my uncle lived there as well (his wife eventually joining us when they got married). My other aunt/uncle and cousins moved in for a while. We also had good family friends who made their way in and out of the house. We referred to them as 'The Lost Boys.' So it was an interesting dynamic growing up, but something that I wouldn't change for anything."
Jeff graduated with his B.A. in Managerial and Organizational Communications and he Minor in Public Relations from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2012. While at Western State College of Law, he served as head BARBRI representative for their campus (2014 to 2015). Jeff currently is a member of the Young Americans for Liberty and the Federalist Society.

In February 2014, Jeff worked for small claims, family, and UD Clinics at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC). He started out as a volunteer at LASOC, but he recently received a paid clerk position at the organization. Jeff added, "I help with various functions around the office, client interactions, small claims and disso paperwork. I have also assisted with grant proposals and with an Incubator program which LASOC is starting."

What are his hobbies and personal interests? "I played basketball growing up, and ultimately obtained a CIF Section championship and various recognitions including Press Telegram Dream Team. However, now I am more focused on classic cars and drag racing, Camping, and SCUBA."

Jeff's Academic Law Career and Future Aspirations

Why did Jeff go into the law? "I had always had a bit of an interest in law. I grew up with parents who worked in the courts, I spent time there filing cases when I was younger, and always found shows/movies about the law or lawyers to be extremely interesting. I also had always had this desire to help people out. I know, seems cliché, but it's true."

He shared his aims and aspirations. "I'm hoping that one day I will be able to open a small personal firm, so that I can be there for the family I wish to have, someday."

What are Jeff's key accomplishments? "Well, after my first year of law school, I was academically dismissed. I struggled with my ability to take exams and manage exam anxiety. I was able to petition to get back in and turned myself around, averaging a full GPA point higher the following year."

He discussed his key strengths and skills that he would like to use to advance his career goals. "My personability. I get along with almost anyone, and it helps when it comes to networking and making clients feel comfortable."

As for his weakness, Jeff stated, "My attention span. I get bored really easily, and will get super distracted. It's been a real struggle during law school, but something that I've slowly been able to improve."

Since law school can be hectic at times, Jeff pointed out how he relieves stress. "I go for a drive. Literally just get in my car and drive, maybe for 20 minutes, maybe for a couple hours. I also enjoy going to parking lots near airports and watching the planes."

Many readers are probably wondering how he handles new assignments. The third year law student shared his process: "I'm one who will try to figure it out on my own, but I also won't hesitate to ask questions. I want to make sure that I do things right, and the first time around. If I can find the answers on Google, you can bet I will find it there before finding a person to ask."

Where does Jeff derive his confidence? "Family. They've always supported me in everything I've done while growing up. They have helped me to be confident in everything I do, and to have the mentality of diving in with all effort."

Three Wishes to Live By, Coping with Fear, Handling Law School, Community Service, Study Abroad Program and Most Influential Traveling Experience

If Jeff had three wishes, what would he wish for? "1. Marriage Equality, 2. Better Focus, and 3. Money/Time to pursue my hobbies."

In regards to handling fear, he noted, "Fear is interesting. I'm not one to back away from something because I'm scared. I'm more likely to buckle down and try to get the sh*t figured out… Unless it's heights or enclosed spaces (i.e.: elevators), then I try to just control my breathing and mentally go to a better place."
 
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Has Jeff faced any obstacles in his life? "Who hasn't faced obstacles in their life? Some people have faced larger ones than other people, but we all have. As mentioned before, my first year (and subsequent dismissal) of law school. I got through it with a lot of help from professors, friends at school, and my parents. They helped me re-work how I was doing things, take a different plan of attack, and discover how to more effectively use my time."

Has he been involved in community service? Jeff asserted:
"During the fall of 2010, I served the Dependent Children's Program. I helped with tutoring the children on my study abroad program, and acted like a 'big brother.' From 2008 to 2012, I served Cruisin' for a Cure. I helped with some PR/Marketing, as well as helping with the execution of the day of the event. I currently serve the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. I assisted with clinics, clients, drafted pleadings and motions, and drafting grant proposals."
Has Jeff been part of any study abroad program? He explained:
"YES! I spent the fall of my junior year of college (F10) w/ a program called Semester at Sea.

It was an amazing experience. I spent 4 months on a ship, and traveled around the world, stopping in about 10 different countries. It was my first time out of the country, so it was amazing to get the opportunity to see so many different cultures.

It was great. I got to help build a house in a Ghana Village, dive with Sharks in South Africa, home stay in India, and slept on the Great Wall in China (amongst many other incredible experiences)."
Does he have a most influential traveling experience? Jeff said:
"Semester at Sea was my most influential travel experience.

Aside from that, I've also taken a fishing trip to Belize. It was a fun, long weekend getaway with my best friend.

I've also done a solo road trip from Los Angeles to Portland and back during my last Christmas break. It was great. I love to drive to clear my head, so it was perfect."
Legal Role Models, Personal Philosophy, People You Want to Surround Yourself With, Favorite Quote and Final Thoughts

Does Jeff have any legal role models? "My dad, in a way. He ended up going back to school, getting his BA and then continuing on to get his JD, and just this past July took the CA Bar Exam. So, while he only recently has been a legal role model, he has definitely given me the necessary motivation to get through law school."

What is his personal philosophy? "Work Hard, Play Harder."

The future attorney discussed what he believes holds more truth in light of his personal philosophy. Was it fate or choice? "I always believed it was choice. But recently I have started to believe fate (or an act of God) is a major factor in how my life is turning out."

What kind of situations and people is Jeff attracted to? What kind of situations and people does the law student avoid? "Fun. Anyone who is open, fun, and has good energy. I'm not talking like let's go get drunk type of fun, but just someone who knows how to have a good time and has a great sense of humor." As for situations and people to avoid, he said, "Anything that makes me feel uncomfortable or is something that I know doesn't align with my moral compass. I'm not going to judge or talk down on someone who may be doing something I don't like, but don't expect me to stick around while it's happening." Jeff added, "I am extremely extroverted, however I find that I am far more productive when I am only around 1 or 2 people who are also being productive. Otherwise I become far too easily distracted and social."

Jeff's favorite quote is by Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu: "Continue to be idealistic ... dream, dream, dream the craziest dreams." He said the quote resonates with him "because it was said by Desmond Tutu during my study abroad program. Oh, did I forget to mention before that we had 'Arch' (as he liked to be called) on our entire 4 month voyage? Because we did, and it was incredible. The man is full of so much wisdom!"
 
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Is there anything else you care to share professionally or personally? "I want to recognize my friends and my parents who have been there to support me through school and the times when I've been at my lowest and was ready to quit. I also want to recognize my boyfriend who has put up with not only being in a long-distance relationship, but also all the crap that comes with dating a law student."



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