By David Brand
Queens Daily Eagle
The CUNY School of Law Class of 2021 officially embarked on their journey toward a career in public interest law when classes began Wednesday. First-year students and a crop of talented new professors face a challenging and exciting mission.
And the moment called for celebration and and some helpful advice from faculty and alumni.
“Good vibes to the CUNY Law 1Ls starting their law school journey,” CUNY Law Alum Jeremy Rosenberg, an attorney in Long Island City, wrote on Twitter. “I was in your shoes only a few years ago. Make it count—and most importantly, have fun (and outline, definitely outline)!”
Students and professors responded to the prompts “Why I’m Here” and “I Am Here To” by writing brief statements of purpose that now hang in the hallways.
“Be a voice for trans folks to gain power [and] liberation,” one person wrote. “Live my truth” and “end mass incarceration” others said.
“Make my family proud,” a third person added. New professor ___ Huq. said she too aimed to make her “immigrant mom proud.”
Huq also noted that people of color comprise 49.8 percent of the Class of 2021. Increasing diversity is a major goal of CUNY Law, which introduced the Pipeline to Justice program to ensure more underrepresented minorities gain admission to the school.
“We’re halfway through the first day of classes, but we all know we’re in it for the long haul,” CUNY Law tweeted from it’s official account on Wednesday.
That perspective is exemplified by Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Allie Robbins who started a blog to help students prepare for the bar exam. It is never too early to begin, Robbins said.
“I used to tell students not to worry about the bar exam yet – just focus about the first semester, and you’ll be able to get to the bar exam later,” Robbins said. “While it’s true that you don’t need to worry about the details of the bar exam yet, your legal career does start now, and it’s important to spend the time developing the learning habits you will need for the bar exam and for law practice.”
Robbins advised students to put in the hard work of making case briefs, engaging with student affairs and creating their own study materials instead of relying on others.
“Now is the time to develop that skill set so that it becomes second nature to you,” Robbins said. “It will pay off for the bar exam, and throughout your legal career.”