I always dreamed of giving a thank you speech. That probably isn't realistic at this point, but I am happy to have one last post to share my thanks.
Thank you to Lewis & Clark College (my undergraduate school), Steve Hunt (my first college debate coach), and Bjorn Stillion Southard (my last college debate coach) for encouraging me to accomplish my goals. Thank you for helping me decide to go to law school.
Thank you to my Lakeridge High School debate team for teaching me responsibility as an 18/19 year old coach. All of you mean so incredibly much to me. I hope to see all of you achieve your goals in life.
Thank you to Dan Rohlf, Karen Smith Geon, Craig Johnston, and everyone at Earthrise for showing me how wonderful law school can be. Spending my last year of college with you was the last push I needed to choose Lewis & Clark as my law school.
Thank you to my past supervisor at the Oregon State Bar, George Wolff, for encouraging me through my first year of law school. Your guidance and support was very helpful, especially as I struggled to figure out the "system."
Thank you to Toni Berres Paul, my favorite professor in school. You made law school worth it in so many ways. I appreciated all of your guidance and honesty over the last three years. I am so lucky to have had you for Legal Analysis & Writing and Advanced Legal Writing. I am even more thrilled to be able to spend my last semester with you as your TA. You have been wonderful.
Thank you to Erin Ryan, the best Negotiations professor I know. You taught me how to be more assertive and have higher goals. You taught me how to be more confident. These lessons have made me a stronger person. I cannot thank you enough.
Thank you to Sandy Patrick, Daniel Barnett, my Purple Pod students last year, and the Legal Analysis & Writing Department. Serving as your TA was a fun and rewarding experience. All of you taught me how much I love working with people. Perhaps, one day, I will be back. ;)
Thank you to the OSB Diversity & Inclusion program, Judge Darleen Ortega, J.B. Kim, and the Lewis & Clark Academic Enhancement Program. Your constant support has helped me and many others make it to the end. I hope to one day see more diversity in the Oregon legal community. I have every intention to give back.
Thank you to Meredith Price, a recent graduate, who inspired me, pushed me to work hard, and encouraged me to never give up.
Thank you to the best job ever. I am so thankful for the opportunity and I am so excited to continue on as a trial attorney this fall.
Thank you to Orange Pod for being the best podmates during 1L year. I had a blast with all of you. A special thanks to my 1L study and car ride buddies, Kate Shumway and Erin Williams. Also, a special shout out to my 1L lunch-time buddies, James Henry and Alex Coberly -- thank you for making me feel like I am funny.
Thank you to my law school desi friends. It was so wonderful to have a small community this year. Also, thank you to my best law school friend and support, Sandy Dhesa. You made 3L year so much better.
Thank you to all of the other amazing professors, classmates, and friends in school with me too. So many of you have encouraged, supported, helped, and befriended me. I appreciate it more than you know. I am excited to work with many of you in the future and see all of you succeed.
Thank you for the best moments during the start of 3L year. It felt like a dream too good to be true.
Thank you to the incredible students who let me blog about them in my "Snapshots of a J.D." You all have inspiring stories and I am thankful you were willing to share.
Thank you to my fellow bloggers and Admissions for keeping this blog alive. I loved being able to represent the school. I hope to see more posts from other amazing students in the future.
Thank you to Dean Klonoff and Associate Dean Spence. Every year, you both successfully made Lewis & Clark even better.
Thank you to my family and non law school friends. I couldn't have done it without you.
Last, thank you to all of the readers. I hope that one of these posts made an impact on someone at some point. That would mean the world.
is a community builder. Unlike many law
school students, Tiffany is more than a “talker.” She volunteers in the community
and is unafraid of hard work. I admire
Tiffany because she is strong, poised, and determined.
I asked Tiffany
the following questions. Here are her answers:
your educational background?
received a B.S. in Public Affairs from Indiana University (Indianapolis campus).
Unlike most of my classmates, I did not have a traditional undergraduate
experience since I both worked and attended school full-time. As a result, I
have tried to make up for lost time while in law school by studying abroad and
getting involved with student groups and on-campus activities.
about your family background?
was born and raised in Montreal, and my father was born in the Dominican
Republic but grew up in Queens, New York. My mom and I lived in Montreal for
six years before moving to Southwest Michigan.
My family is scattered all over the world, but my closest family members
still live in Canada.
Why did you decide to go to law
In Southwest Michigan, where I grew up, there are few options for young people
looking to start a career. I figured out early on that law school would open up
many doors in my life, give me an opportunity to improve my social status, and
allow me to use my degree to help people in my community. Law school has been a
great experience and I look forward to see where my law degree will take me
your favorite part about Lewis & Clark?
people. The faculty and staff at Lewis & Clark truly care about the school
and its students. Everyone is down to earth, helpful, passionate, smart, and
extremely committed to maintaining and improving Lewis & Clark’s reputation
and the legal profession. The people at Lewis & Clark don’t just talk-the-talk,
they also walk-the-walk!
your least favorite part about Lewis & Clark?
racial diversity. Portland lacks racial diversity and as a result, so does Lewis
& Clark. I have had a wonderful experience at Lewis & Clark and I
believe other students of color can have the same. Increasing the racial
diversity at Lewis & Clark will only add to the wonderful things this
school has to offer. Additionally, it will provide for a more well-rounded
legal education and better prepare students for the practice of law.
your future job and career goals?
law. I never thought I would want to practice in this area but I am fascinated
by the various laws governing corporations. However, most of my career
aspirations go beyond the practice of corporate law. I am fully committed to
community development and want to help small business owners realize their
dreams. I plan on actively providing pro bono services to minority small
business owners. Small business owners are some of the most passionate and
dedicated individuals in our society, and I want to help them succeed.
you think prospective students should know about law school?
prospective students should know that law school is more than just academically
challenging. In addition to academic stress, law school will put a strain on
one’s personal life (relationships, personal growth/development, etc.). Life
still goes on, and most students find it difficult to manage their personal
lives while in law school.
an interesting part about your background? Or in other words, how do you
contribute to the diversity of Lewis & Clark?
I am proud to say that my family is of Caribbean heritage—my paternal
and maternal grand-parents are from the Dominican Republic and Barbados,
respectively. The Caribbean culture values
community, volunteering, and personal relationships. Since I am a reflection of
my heritage, I hold the same values and do my best to stay true to them. I only hope
my cultural perspective brings positivity to Lewis & Clark!
Two weeks ago, I was fortunate, lucky, honored, privileged, and all the words associated with being able to see Justice Sotomayor two days in a row. On a side note that I'll never forget, she came up behind me, put her hand on my back and asked, "Well, does this table have any questions?" I wanted to ask her if she would marry me but the younger student across from me wanted to ask if she had any regrets. Although I did not get to ask her my real question, I wanted to ask her what solutions, if any, would she suggest on diversifying the legal field, I just feel so fortunate to even be in the same room as her.
I would like to thank the powers that made it able for Justice Sotomayor to come. Thank you Chief Judge Ann Aiken (shout out to Jolie Russo) and Dean Klonoff (shout out to Anh Le). Thank you for making a very memorable week happen. Thank you Justice Sotomayor for coming to Portland and sharing your thoughts, your stories, and your words of wisdom.
One of Justice Sotomayor's answers that stuck out to me was when she said our experiences affect how we hear-- how we listen. That was a significant answer to me because, to me, a judge's job, an attorney's job is to listen. When we hear someone advocating for something, we focus on the facts, their body language, and any cues that makes us believe one way or another. We turn our attention to what we think is important based on what we hear. If we all have different experiences, how can we all hear the same? How can one person from another listen to determine what is important? Who else in that room even listened to that answer and thought about it as much as I have?
As law school teaches students how to advocate, in theory, we focus on how we present our voices to be heard. What good would it be to focus on being heard when no one listens? In a profession that suffers from the least amount of diversity, I hope that someone is listening out there. With that being said, our experiences affect how we hear. How we hear determines what is important to us.