I was lucky enough to find out about PLEN by accident through a professor at my college. I had never heard of PLEN before, or the Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy program. I decided to do some further research, and after looking at the topics covered and the general agenda, I knew that partaking in the program would be an amazing and enriching experience. For as long as I can remember, I have hoped to go to law school and eventually become a lawyer. However, the thought of actually going through the law school process has always been very daunting to me, especially because I do not know anyone who has gone through it before. Therefore, PLEN seemed like a great place to become exposed to what the law school process can be like, and what careers are possible in relation to law and policy.
I can truly say that the seminar surpassed my expectations. Throughout the days I attended the program, I learned so many valuable different skills throughout all the workshops that I attended. I had never put much thought into how important networking can be, or how many different paths you can take when it comes to law. However, once I got to hear from all the different amazing speakers, I realized that no matter your background, as long as you are willing to work hard, and put passion into the work that you do, you are bound to go far.
After attending the seminar, I have come to the conclusion that law is truly something that I want to pursue. Before I go into law school, I plan on taking a gap year, and although I do not know exactly what I want to do yet, I no longer feel stressed about the idea of taking a little time off because I came to realize that a lot of people do that. Overall, I can truly say that attending the seminar was an extremely important and enriching experience. Getting to meet so many different empowering women in the legal field, as well as getting to meet other empowering peers, truly inspired me. I have come to learn a lot of valuable skills that I believe can be translated into various different aspects of my life. I can definitely say that I feel a lot more confident about my future, and I know this would not have been possible had it not been for PLEN. I highly recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to partake in this program to do so, it is an experience that you will never forget.
Darla Chavez Chavez is currently a Sophomore at Occidental College. She attended the 2018 Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy seminar with a scholarship sponsored by K&L Gates LLP. Some of her academic interests at Occidental are international relations theory, philosophy, and ballet. She is a sophomore senator, a lawyer in mock trial, a research assistant at the Intercultural Community Center, and a member of Law and Society. She is also a part of the ASOC finance committee, which oversees and provides guidance to clubs and campus organizations trying to receive student body funding for projects and events. She would eventually like to become a lawyer, pursue international or immigration law, and give back to the Latinx community. Aside from school and extracurriculars, she is an avid concert and beach goer, loves to go on runs and hikes with her friends, and enjoys reading books and listening to music.