Blog Entry 24

Posted by Ryan Gutierrez
Ryan Gutierrez
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on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Student Blogs

October 24th, 2010
A rewind synopsis of my most recent law school events:

Sunday, the Wolverine Bar and the D. Augustus Straker Bar Associations held their annual law student reception this day.  This was a great networking opportunity.  In just the hour or so that I was at the event, I was able to build on and create new relationships.  Out of the reception even came a job offer!  

Friday, I attended the Platinum in Profession: a Conference Highlighting African Americans in the Law, another great event.  The Chairperson of this event was my very first mentor (the event was co-chaired by the SMB Young Lawyers Section chairperson and others).  I met my mentor before attending undergrad; in fact, she inspired me to pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer.  She was the first African-American attorney that I ever met.  I was 19 or 20 at that time and worked as her legal assistant.  Nearly 10+ years have passed since meeting my first mentor and there are still far fewer African-American lawyers than should be in the profession.  So, in order to inspire and encourage current African-American law students, my mentor (being the community advocate that she is), and others decided that we need to be exposed to more successful African-American attorneys, hence the Platinum in Profession conference.  

This conference was truly a treasure.  To hear seasoned attorneys in the profession share their stories was priceless.  Actually, it impelled me continue to always strive for excellence.  Maneuvering through law school and the profession alone is difficult and unnecessary.  Conferences such as these help us students and young lawyers capture the stories, wisdom, successes and failures of the forerunners.  Fusing the gap is always beneficial as it helps up and coming lawyers to have a better understanding of the mindset of seasoned attorneys. 

Thursday, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), to which organization I am the Secretary, had the honor of co-sponsoring a workshop put on by Peter T. Wendel, Law Professor of Pepperdine University Law School. Mr. Wendel came to UDM to speak to BLSA members and other students about achieving academic success in law school.  Although my class schedule prohibited me from attending this event, I did have the privilege of helping to plan the event and picking Mr. Wendel up from the airport and bringing him to our school.  During the drive from the airport to downtown Detroit, I was able to gain insight and wisdom from Mr. Wendel.  The most remarkable thing about him, despite all of his achievements, is that he remains humble and finds enjoyment in helping others. 

Meeting Mr. Wendel, attending the Platinum in Profession Conference and the Law Student receptionreinforced what the practice of law is about – helping others with our unique gifts and talents.

All in all it was a great weekend and beginning.

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