1) What is your name, year in school, and post-grad plans?
My name is Tamara “Tami” Pérez Cantalapiedra, I am a 2L, and I am currently enrolled in a dual-degree program for a MA in Philosophy; I will hopefully graduate next year! Post-grad, I’m hoping to be an immigration/human rights lawyer. I’m not sure what my post-grad plans are yet. I see myself starting my career at a nonprofit and hopefully teaching in the future!
2) Can you give me a quick rundown of what LALSA is all about?
LALSA is a Latin-American/Hispanic student group. I like to describe it more as an affinity group, but we love opening events to everyone to share our culture. The purpose of this affinity group is to create a safe space, a home away from home. Our goal is not only to create a sense of community, but also to help 1Ls acclimate to law school in both professional and social aspects.
Today we’re hosting a guest blog from Talia Weseley, the incoming Law Student Association President.
BC Law was a very different place when I started as a 1L. While I felt very lucky to have some degree of in-person classes, it was impossible to not feel isolated and overwhelmed in the height of Covid. I was excited to start law school and begin this chapter of my life, but I also genuinely had no idea how I would fare trying to make friends and navigate this new environment.
I figured the best place to start would be to try and make friends over GroupMe. I distinctly remember feeling overwhelmed as I sat in my Zoom Civil Procedure class, and decided to post in my section GroupMe to ask if anyone wanted to form a study group. Looking back, I’m honestly not sure what I thought would come out of my shout into the void. Much to my surprise, nearly the entire section replied that they too felt overwhelmed and were also in search of the same community. In many ways, this moment was the first time I truly felt like I could find the support system and network I so craved at BC Law.
As elections approach for student organizations, I want to make a pitch to 1Ls who are on the fence about whether they can make a commitment to a student organization on top of the normal commitments of law school.
1Ls, this year has no doubt been challenging and strange. While 2Ls were able to spend half of our first year just popping into events to take food and spend time with friends, 1Ls need to make a much more concerted effort to join Zoom events to network, listen to speakers, or even socialize. That’s taxing. I understand and it makes sense why your affinity for student groups might be less than ours was.
I once said thank you to one of my mentors. He replied “You’re welcome, but there’s no need to thank me. All I ask is that you do the same for others.” And while I had certainly tried before that moment to help out the newest new kids whenever they called and asked, it hadn’t occurred to me in quite that way. So this blog post is an attempt to do as he asked and to urge you to do the same!
Mentors are critical to success in law school and the legal field (and most likely just life in general). They provide insight, validation, constructive criticism, emotional support, wisdom, and in the best moments real friendship. I’ve befriended many of my mentors over the years and keeping in touch with them, even casually, has given me a lot of warmth and happiness. I’ve seen them succeed and grow in their own career paths and as they do, they continue to inspire me to be the best version of myself. I can say without question that every accomplishment worth noting in my life is due in no insignificant part to wonderful mentors.