A Week in the Law Life

Chen Suen '17 - Evening Student 


I wake up at 7 a.m. to get my 7-year-old son ready for school. Since I’m away a number of days during the month on 24-hour shifts at the fire house, I help my wife as much as I can. I then pick up my parents and head into downtown LA to work on their business project: renovating a property and opening a senior housing facility. I take my parents back home to Arcadia and meet my wife for lunch.  Afternoons are spent reading assignments and squeezing in a run.  At 5:30 p.m., I take my son to his after school program and read in the car while I wait.  After dinner, I spend time with my family and study until I fall asleep.  


After the same get-ready cycle with my son, I pick up my parents and head to downtown LA. At 9:50 a.m., I have Criminal Procedure. I do a quick review of the material before class begins. After class, my parents pick me up and we grab a quick lunch in Koreatown.  The break between lunch and my 3:20 p.m. class is filled with class review and any needs of the business, such as installing gate alarms. Then I head to Advanced Legal Research (Tuesday only). For two hours, I surf through Westlaw, LexisNexis and Bloomberg looking for case law, regulations and dockets to answer my professor’s questions.  After class, I have 40 minutes before Civil Procedure, where we are intellectually challenged with questions of subject matter jurisdiction, venue and joinder, driving us into confusion until the end of class where we usually have a moment of clarity.

I get to the fire station around 8:30 p.m., where I relieve my gracious and generous co-workers who have agreed to cover many of the days I’m at school. I check in with my crew to see how they’re doing and what needs they have.  From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., I catch up on any work projects such as making a radio training PowerPoint and try to study for school. Then I head to bed, cautiously optimistic for a good night’s sleep.  This is usually wishful thinking.  In the middle of the night, we are commonly called to help a person who crashed his vehicle after a night’s partying or to assist a grandmother who lost her balance and broke her hip.  


I hurry home from the firehouse to get my son ready for school.  The morning is filled with business preparation, working out, laundry and, of course, studying.  I have one class on Wednesday nights – Civil Procedure.  The night ends with dinner, family time and some studying if possible.  


Today I pay back my coworkers who have covered my shifts. I meet with my crew and share the day’s schedule. We then work out together during our scheduled fitness time, followed by station maintenance and cleanup. At 10:30 a.m., we have scheduled training such as rope rescue drills. In the afternoons, we often meet taxpayers and inspect that their businesses are safe.  Dinner is a sacred time, where we share the happenings of our personal lives. It’s also a time to de-stress from all the bad things we see during our shifts. Each of us takes a turn cooking a good meal for our brothers and sisters at the firehouse.   

Ashley Inouye ’15 - Day Student 


I pick up my friend Kelly, and we carpool to school, catching up on our weekends. We head to the library, our home away from home. I finish my Remedies reading in the morning, and then take a lunch break with friends outside. After Remedies class from 1:10-3:10 p.m., I walk to Starbucks with a few friends for a coffee break. Back in the library, I try to crank out my Accounting for Lawyers reading and problem sets. Home around 6 to cook dinner and spend time with my boyfriend. And watch several episodes of "Friends"before bed!


My flexible day. I don't have class! Some days I go to hot yoga. Other days, I head straight to the library. After grabbing a cup of coffee at Sonia’s, I finish up Accounting homework. At noon, I find a guest speaker on campus talking about the legal ramifications of current cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. I also take advantage of the free lunch! Then I head to the Law Review office. I’m the Senior Research Assistant on the International and Comparative Law Journal. I catch up with other staffers and editors as we work. Extra bonus: We get free coffee and snacks! I stay in the office late, doing class work – and my daily workout challenge of 100 squats, 100 crunches, 30 push-ups and 70 back exercises! 


My long day. Accounting for Lawyers at 9:50 a.m. is a super interesting class where we are learning actual accounting practices and how companies fudge their numbers. I have Remedies in the afternoon, and then I head to the library to do the reading for my evening class. Then I walk to LA Live with friends, to grab a bite at the Yardhouse. I have California Civil Procedure from 6-8 p.m. I love that class because the professor is hilarious and gives us a ton of practical advice for when we get out into the real world as practicing attorneys. I head home, do my workout challenge, and get some shut-eye.


My fun day. I pick up Kelly, and we head straight to Sonia’s for coffee. I finish my reading before Civil Litigation Skills Practicum - my favorite class! We’re preparing a fictional case from its inception until trial and competing against another section. We represent a corporate client, and I’ve written several motions, interviewed clients, and taken a deposition. It’s a lot of work but fun! After lunch, I prepare for Young Lawyers, a program in which we mentor and coach high school students for a mock trial competition. This year I’m a team leader and bus chaperone. Riding on the yellow school bus to Loyola is really fun. I get to relax and talk with the students - their excitement about their futures is infectious! From 4-6 p.m. we coach the students for their final trial. Then it’s back on the bus!


If I don’t have a ton of work for the week ahead, I usually spend time with friends. I may go to yoga, catch a movie at the Grove, or head to the beach for a bonfire. If I have a paper or test coming up, I head to the library and get to work. I may lead a campus tour for prospective students. Around 4 p.m., a couple of friends and I will usually head to happy hour in downtown.