Episode 10 – students Steven Alvarado and Melissa Padilla

Double-digit episodes start with a bang! On October 16th, we sat down with two 4L students, Steven Alvarado (’18) and Melissa Padilla (’18). Steven and Melissa are a pair of very humble and happy overachievers. As part-time night students, they lead busy lives, juggling work, family, and law school, even law review. However, despite all the demands on their time, they still manage to have a good time and show the world that if you set your mind to something and work together, you can accomplish anything.

In late September, Steven and Melissa entered the 2017 National Sports Law Negotiation Competition at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Competing against 40 other law schools, and coached by Professor Paul Smith, they took first place! When WesternState CoffeeTalk sat down to talk with Steven and Melissa, they shared their wonderful experience. Congrats to you both!

Episode 09 – Academic Support @ Western State

What exactly is academic support? We’re in law school, aren’t we above getting help? Absolutely not! Law school is a place where many people, often for the first time in their educational lives, need help. It’s overwhelming. Because Western State is dedicated to students’ success, we have a stellar academic support and bar preparation program.

On Friday, September 29, 2017, we sat down with Lisa Blasser, an Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills and the Assistant Director of Academic Support and Bar Services here at Western State. Professor Blasser works alongside the program Director, Paula Manning, and Professor Tina Schindler.

Understanding the importance of academic support to student success, we talked about how the program work, how students can benefit, and many of the ways the Academic Support program helps students succeed — everything from understanding learning styles, to time management skills, to efficient note-taking, to the all important exam writing.

Episode 08 – Riverside County Public Defenders

In this episode of WesternState Coffee Talk, we travel out to a very warm Riverside and venture into the depths of the Riverside County Public Defenders Office. We are lucky enough to sit down with some current Western State students, as well as some alumni who are making a difference in Riverside through the PDs office. We meet the legend, Eric Keen (’95), along with two recent alumni, Sam Stone (’16) and Zoha Kahn (’16), and also two current students, Laura Mergenthaler (’18) and Cesia Alvarez (’19). Eric is the Supervising Deputy Public Defender most recently in charge of the Public Defender’s training program. Sam and Zoha are current first-year public defenders, and Laura and Cesia are working there for the summer.

In our hour-long talk, we discuss what brought each to law school, why they chose the Public Defenders Office, and what their typical day is like. They also share a little bit of advice for succeeding not only in law school, but about how to be best prepared to succeed in the Public Defenders Office.

Episode 07 – alumni Brian Derby

In this episode of WesternStateCoffeeTalk, we sit down with alumni Brian Derby. Brian (’16) continued working full-time in the IT industry while attending Western State as a part-time student. Brian came in with a plan – obtain his J.D. to complement his work in the IT industry and expand his job opportunities. Throughout our discussion, Brian talks about what kept him motivated to achieve his goals, how what he learned in law school helped better equip him to succeed in his new job as an IT compliance officer, and why he had such a valuable, memorable experience here at Western State.

Episode 06 – alumni Iris Franco and Jossiel Moreira

In this episode of WesternStateCoffeeTalk, we travel to the big city of Los Angeles, to sit down with two alumni, Iris Franco and Jossiel Moreira. Iris (’14) and Jossiel (’14) are both attorneys working for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a non-profit partnering with other attorneys nationwide to represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in deportation proceedings. Iris and Jossiel share what they do at KIND, how Western State helped prepare them for their work as an attorney, and tips for making the most out of law school.

Episode 05 – students Ryan Schley and Sean Kurdoglu

In this episode of WesternStateCoffeeTalk, we sit down with 2nd year part-time students, Ryan Schley and Sean Kurdoglu.   Ryan and Sean share what brought them each to law school, how they make it all work – juggling their responsibilities of work, family, and school, and some realistic tips on how to survive and succeed in law school.

Episode 03 – WSCL’s Public Interest Law Foundation – Public Interest Law Panel

Western State student organization, Public Interest Law Foundation, hosted a Public Interest Law Panel here on campus on Tuesday November 15, 2016.  Speakers included Bill Tanner and Scott Barnes, from the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, and Western State Professors Jennifer Koh and Stacey Sobel.  In this short lunchtime session, speakers shared interesting past and present experiences working in public interest law.