I’m pleased to host today’s blog from Kenneth Sanchez ’03 and Dionna F. Shear ’14, the co-chairs of the Los Angeles chapter of the BC Law Alumni Association. Our alumni network is one of the strongest in the country, and I think their post gives you a sense of our alumni’s commitment to each other and to new generations of students.
Life after law school can get very busy, very fast. After three years of law school and the associated neurosis, stress, and countless nights of no sleep, you get to do it all over again. Life as a practicing attorney can be even more stressful when balancing the needs of your clients, meeting minimum billables, and trying to maintain some kind of social life outside of work.
Who has the time to do anything else? Who wants to mingle with other lawyers after spending the entire day dealing with them? What could my law school possibly have to offer me beyond a legal education? The answer to all that is very simple. Alumni should be involved with their alumni association because besides your education, the most valuable thing your law school offers you—and the students who come after you—is a network.
About a year ago we were asked to be co-chairs of the Southern California BC Law Alumni chapter. Aside from a few BC Law folks, we didn’t know many other alums in the area. However, after we began emailing alumni and expressing our desire to collectively meet more frequently, you’d be amazed at how many were seeking the same thing. We discovered that despite our hectic work schedules, we were all looking for that sense of solidarity and community that we shared in law school–something that is rare at most schools, but is a vital part of the BC Law experience.
When alumni get involved in their local chapter, it can create the foundation for every major network they will become a part of over the course of their careers. It also gives them a chance to help current students and new graduates begin their own careers. We were able to tap into a network full of alumni practicing in different areas of the law. We also met several extremely successful alums who stopped practicing law to create and run their own businesses, or to become Emmy nominated screenwriters. But most importantly, we made friends. Alumni who had previously played central roles in leading the Los Angeles Chapter passed on words of wisdom and guidance to us. Before we knew it, we had established a network of powerful, brilliant, and influential friends with one common goal: to maintain a robust alumni chapter here in southern California.
As co-chairs, we have seen alumni develop connections that are both personally and professionally rewarding, from discovering their mutual love of salsa dancing to working in similar practice areas. By stepping in to help lead a chapter or simply attending events, alumni can help continue to promote the incredible sense of community we experienced as BC Law students, and build upon it for generations to come.