Expanded Orientation Brings Incoming Students Together in Innovative Ways

Professors, alumni and students joined the law school's expanded orientation.

A screening of the legendary legal film "The Firm" with a discussion including Dean Michael Waterstone. LLS students’ campus selfie tours. Faculty-led session on such hot topics as insider trading and police use of deadly force. Essential lawyering skills. Student and alumni perspectives. Welcome address and law student oath. Diversity, equity and inclusion group discussions. Legal research fundamentals.

Over the course of the first two weeks of August, incoming students joined LMU Loyola Law School’s first-ever virtual Orientation in a reinvented welcome program that was the most comprehensive ever provided to new students. Professors, alumni, staff and upper-division students led sessions on topics such as legal research and preparing a case briefing, to conversations around critical race theory and equity and inclusion, with a session that focused on implicit bias, microaggressions and imposter syndrome.

On Monday, August 10, Dean Waterstone welcomed new class students to LLS and administered the Law Student Oath. "The pandemic has revealed every vulnerability in our community. So many people justifiably are waiting for things to get better. You’re not. You’re taking this time to invest in yourselves and enter a noble profession," he said during his opening remarks. "Law is central to all of the challenges and opportunities that we face. The world needs you doing this more now than it ever has before."

The expanded virtual event included students from a range of the law school’s programs, including Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Science in Legal Students (MLS) and Master of Tax Law (MT). Alumna Whitney Gore ’13, an attorney at Netflix, addressed JD Day students by highlighting the unique circumstance of beginning law school during a global pandemic. "The perks of virtual learning: Extra sleep, saving on gas, having your pets in class & being able to defer to them if you're cold-called!"

Alumna Genie Doi ’14 did the same for incoming JD Evening students. “Being in the evening program enabled me to work full-time while in school. I was gaining on-the-job lawyer skills from 9 to 5, and then when I stepped onto campus I was learning immigration law from the president of American Law Association and the General Counsel of the Walt Disney Company," she said.

Leading her session on Essential Lawyering Skills, Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion Kathleen Kim remarked, “You all are arriving to law school at a time when this social movement needs lawyers. We are in the moment of movement building, adopting values of anti-racism and anti-bias, but you are going to be the lawyers that enact the changes to realize those goals of racial equity and inclusion. Whether or not you are doing social justice work specifically it will permeate everything you do.”

She further emphasized the work that lawyers must do to overturn the entrenchment of systemic racism throughout the legal system: “By virtue of joining the legal profession and diversifying the legal professional you will have great responsibility but also opportunity to shape the culture and propel the advancement of legal reforms that improve our society.”

Learn more about LLS Orientation