Cloie Chapman

2L Year


September

It’s great to be back in school! I did not spend much time on campus over the summer, so I’ve actually missed being at the school.

Over the summer, I interned with Disability Rights Washington, a non-profit that supports people with disabilities to strengthen their self-advocacy skills. It was a really great internship because I got to do a little bit of everything. I worked with individuals to help them find resources that would address the issues that they are facing – mostly related to discrimination issues. I also got to observe the settlement negotiations for a lawsuit that was filed against the Department of Social and Health Services. My supervisor was incredibly supportive of making sure that I had the opportunity to see what her daily work looks like. I am continuing to work there for Fall Semester as well.

I took August off to travel to Ecuador for my partner’s brother’s wedding. It was an amazing trip that gave me a chance to get away from work and school. I came back feeling recharged and ready to start school again.

A lot of people say that the second year is the most difficult and I would have to agree with them. The expectations are much higher than the first year as many 2Ls join journals and become leaders of student organizations. I was elected President of the Asian/PI Law Student Association and have high hopes for the year! I also joined the American Indian Law Journal because I was interested in improving my writing and editing skills. It is a lot of work to balance but I enjoy the challenge. The academic workload also increases because we have already built a foundation with our first-year courses. So far Constitutional Law is my favorite course, I took some courses in that area during my undergraduate studies, so I have been looking forward to it since starting law school.


October

Happy Fall! I can’t believe how quickly we are moving through the semester. 2L is quite a challenge because of the workload and extra-curricular activities but I’m enjoying it so far.

I am still working for the place that I interned at this summer, Disability Rights Washington, for a few hours each week. It is a nice change of pace from school and this internship is a great experience. Because I take a few phones calls each week, I get practice in talking to ‘clients’ and then when I follow up with information I am working on my writing skills. It is also a wonderful place to work, we have about five dogs in the office!

The classes I’m taking are dense but very interesting. My favorite so far is Constitutional Law, which is a course that I was able to take in undergrad as well. We have been assigned a few recent cases and have had discussions on current political topics, which makes it easier to understand the material.

Being an editor on American Indian Law Journal is also a lot of work. We have been working on edits all semester. This has pushed me to strengthen my editing skills. We are also starting to work on our original articles. It has been a challenge to pick a topic that has not already been written on, but I have enjoyed researching issues affecting Indian country and am excited to learn more about my topic.

There is only one more month until finals! I can say I am certainly looking forward to Thanksgiving, but trying to ignore the fact that finals comes after it.


November

This month went by so fast! Because we have Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving, we had a few nice long weekends to prepare for finals. Most of my classes are learning new material up to the week before finals, so there is a lot to review.

I registered for next semester and signed up for the Administrative Law Clinic. This is a great opportunity to improve my client counseling skills, which I have been working on a lot through my internship with Disability Rights Washington. The clinic offerings were one of the things that most interested me about Seattle U, so I am really excited to see what it’s like.

The American Indian Law Journal has almost finished its editing for the semester. We went through multiple rounds of edits, focusing on specific areas like citations and grammar. Now we get to work on our original articles. I will be researching the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in Canada, a topic that I do not know much about, so I will be learning a lot about the issue as I write on it.

Another thing I love about living in Seattle is I am close to my parents, who live about 30 minutes outside of the city. I was able to go home for Thanksgiving, enjoy some time with my family, and take a break from school work. This was exactly what I needed to refresh before heading into finals.


December 2018 / January 2019

December is two weeks of finals and two weeks of freedom. I had a final for all four of my classes, so I had a lot going on in those first two weeks! It was easy to stay motivated because winter break is like the light at the end of the tunnel, but I won’t lie and say I enjoyed finals. It takes a different kind of studying to prepare for finals. I go through all of my handwritten notes for the semester and turn them into outlines. Some of my finals were open book which meant I could bring in any materials I wanted, so the outlines really make a difference.

Once I was done with finals, I had to submit an outline of my original journal article. As I mentioned in last month’s journal, I am writing about the Pacific Northwest tribes’ treaty rights implicated by the Canadian Trans Mountain Pipeline project. This is a huge undertaking because it involves international law and treaty rights. I am excited to continue working on it in Spring Semester but am nervous about completing such a complicated article on top of my schoolwork.

Winter break was a great time to catch up with friends and family. I was lucky to be able to stay in the area and I spent a lot of my break catching up on shows. I watched all of Sex and the City, Killing Eve, and Gilmore Girls. I was able to do some baking for the holidays which reminded me of how much I love being in the kitchen.

Break flew by and before I knew it Spring Semester was starting. Because I was able to get Constitutional Law and Evidence done in the Fall, my only remaining required courses are Legal Writing II and Professional Responsibility. This meant that I had more choices to make about my schedule for this semester. I chose Constitutional Law II, Civil Procedure II, Legal Writing II, Administrative Law Clinic, and a 1 credit course taught by Washington Supreme Court Justice Yu and a practicing attorney. I am really enjoying my classes so far. Being able to build upon my past classes is challenging because I have to remember past materials, but it’s fun to dive deeper into these subject areas.

Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten any snow yet. I’m still holding out for a late winter freeze but we will have to see what happens!


February

This semester has flown by. Every semester seems to move quickly but this one especially. Oddly enough, I predicted a late winter snowstorm in my last journal entry, and it delivered! We missed about four days of school in total but combined with the two holidays it felt like we took another winter break. I enjoyed the days off, but it was difficult to get back to a normal schedule.

That being said, I am really enjoying my classes.The Administrative Law Clinic has been so unpredictable because we are working with a real person. I am unable to get into the details of my case because we are required to keep it confidential, but my client has a great story and a wonderful sense of humor. I am excited to work on this case. Legal Writing II is a bit intimidating because we have to present an oral argument twice in the semester, but my professor wrote the book for the legal writing program, so I am confident that she knows what she is doing. I have already finished the work for my one credit course – I highly suggest taking a few of these because they are limited in duration and worth the credit! Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure are my two “typical” law school courses. The material is challenging but the discussions have been really great.

As for the American Indian Law Journal, we are ramping up for the second publication of the year and writing our original articles. Let’s just say I have a lot on my plate.

I am starting to think about my responsibilities for next year, which seems a bit eager, but I think it’s important to plan ahead. I am applying for a board position on the American Indian Law Journal and am considering reviving a student organization for students with disabilities and students who want to pursue a career in disability law. It may be ambitious but it’s my final year so I might as well make it count.

Finally, I am excited to announce that this summer I will be working down in Olympia at the Washington Supreme Court as an extern for Justice Yu. It is such an incredible opportunity. Justice Yu has made a serious commitment to social justice and to mentoring students and young lawyers. I am so lucky to get a chance to work for her and to work at the court. 10 year old me would be freaking out!