By: Carlos Rodriguez
Being an attorney in today’s modern society definitely has its perks. Nowadays they tend to specialize in a wide array of areas ranging from litigation, bankruptcy and corporate law. Currently, it is one of the highest paid careers and statistics have shown that nearly three times as much students have applied to Law School when compared to the number of applicants for Medical School. However, the rise in applications is attributed to the recession, meaning that there was a shortage of good paying jobs, which in turn created the spike in number of applications.
Many students dream of one-day becoming lawyers, but typically many of them do not know how to improve their resume. For starters, many take political science classes but it really does not give an overview of how the profession really is. The Phi Delta Alpha (P.A.D.) Pre- Law fraternity chapter of the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez campus, offer aspiring students a view at the intricate world of jurisprudence. The P.A.D., which met for the first time on October 4, was dazzled to see students from all the faculties of the UPRM. They generally spoke of their plans for the coming semester, such as giving workshops related to the admission process for law school and inviting guest speakers to give us an overview on the different aspects of life after law school.
Phi Delta Alpha is one of the oldest and largest co-ed fraternities in the United States. It was founded in 1902 and currently one of every six attorneys is a member. Becoming a member of the fraternity definitely has its benefits. Ricardo Ramos, a member of the P.A.D. in Yale, who is currently working as a corporate attorney in San Juan, claimed that the dean of admissions of Yale Law School was dazzled when he told him he was a current member. He said, “ The Dean went on and on about his tenure as a chapter president, and was constantly asking about what I did within the fraternity.” Ricardo was grateful that he found out about the fraternity as a junior in college. “ It really helped me hone my skills as a public speaker, and it gave me the skills to successfully network on a professional level.”
Kristia Maria Baez, an alumni from the UPRM and a recent graduate from law school, gave a conference on job prospects for attorneys in our current economy. She said she was forced to go into private practice because there weren’t many job offerings. On the other hand, Ricardo Ramos, who obtained a master degree in law, was offered a six-figure job as a first year associate at a large law firm. According to both of them, law school is a numbers game during the admissions process. However, it does not necessarily mean that good grades automatically gets you in. Being an active member of the community is what gives leverage over other prospective candidates.
Lawyers are not regarded as highly as doctors are. Frankly many people dislike them, mainly because of the high rates they charge and those who take on controversial cases. But in reality, it is a small number of them who are being criticized. Being successful is not about flaunting your earnings in a given year or about what you have. It is about who you are as a communicator who isn’t biased and judgmental about other people’s way of life. If you work on being that type of humble person, it will definitely take you places.