Orientation 2021

Welcoming Students Back to LLS Campus for Orientation and Fall Semester

Faculty, staff and students joined to celebrate and prepare for the new academic year.

Dinner with the Student Bar Association. Faculty-led sessions on hot topics such as Bodily Autonomy vs. Public Health and Deepfakes and the Law. An Introduction to Systemic Inequalities and the Law. Perspectives from students and alumni. An in-person mixer among peers and faculty. Welcome address and the law student oath.

Last week, LMU Loyola Law School welcomed its incoming classes of JD, LLM and graduate law degree students to the downtown law campus for Orientation – a moment representing the culmination of months of planning and preparation for a safe return. During what was one of the first on-campus gatherings of our student community in over 18 months, those attending had the opportunity to meet peers, faculty and staff while also preparing for their first year of law school in sessions such as Essential Lawyering Skills I: Read Like a Lawyer, and Introduction to Systemic Inequalities and the Law.

"Having been through this before, I know that when I am handing you your diploma. You will be transformed, you will have gained the skills to help make the world a better place, however you define that," said Dean Michael Waterstone during his welcome address to the incoming class. "Society is at this truly exciting moment. Racial justice, technological change, environmental justice, income inequality, what it means to work and thrive in the world. Law is central to all of the challenges, but also all of the opportunities we face, and our rule of law differentiates us in this world. That will be you."

While recognizing the still-evolving impact of the pandemic, where so many people around the world are holding onto the hope that things will get better, Dean Waterstone said that it is law students who are going at the forefront of change. “You have taken this time to invest in yourselves and to enter an important and noble profession,” he said. “To be a good lawyer you have to not be able to just make a legal argument, you have to not be able to just listen carefully to your opponent’s legal argument, you need to go beyond that. You need to be able to articulate their argument in many ways better than they can to be able to take it apart and do better. That type of careful listening, that type of being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, I believe is what the world needs.”

During her session, Introduction to Systemic Inequalities and the Law, Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion Kathleen Kim shared what inspires her about working in legal academia: "It's people like you. People who are passionate and driven and engaged intellectually and want to make a difference in the world, regardless of what area you practice in. Whether it's in intellectual property and defending or prosecuting rights to intellectual property, or whether it's in commercial litigation, entertainment law, or criminal defense or prosecution, every area of the law makes a difference in the world."

Fall semester events are already underway. The slate includes "How to Select the Right Arbitrator: Tips from the Experts,” moderated by Professor Hiro Aragaki, to be held on Tuesday, August 17.