About the Blogger

Melanie's picture

I am a 3L, originally from Watchung, NJ. I received my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Rhode Island where I completed the honor’s program and majored in Women’s Studies. My senior thesis was titled “Sex Trafficking and Decriminalized Prostitution in Rhode Island.” I served as the co-...

Melanie's Post

105 days until graduation

Posted by Melanie Shapiro on 02/02/2012 at 05:10 PM

It has been a long time since I last posted. I’m in my third year and it’s busy, busy, busy! In the fall, I returned to the Immigration Clinic and took 7 classes, while also doing my writing requirement paper. (Word of advice to first and second year students: get your writing requirement over with ASAP). 


This is my last semester of law school and it feels surreal! These three years have been so short and so long at the same time. Every day has been jampacked, but when you’re busy, time flies! 


So now about what I want to do with the rest of my life... The Immigration Clinic was great for me because I got practical experience and figured out that I want to practice immigration law. Why? 1. I love working with people-- In immigration law, you get to interact with the clients and their families pretty often. 2. I love helping people-- In this field, most of the clients that come in really need your help.  They come from traumatic backgrounds, tough financial times, some educational difficulties and other issues. It feels good to be able to make a difference in their lives. 3. It is interesting! One of the things I love about immigration law is that it’s always evolving and it’s interesting substantively. Practicing immigration law entails a lot of substantive analysis, writing, thinking and trips to court. I feel like it provides an opportunity to get a well-rounded legal experience. 4. Getting out of the office- While working in the clinic, there have been several situations that have arisen where I’ve had to run over to a client’s school, their church, or swing by their house or work to get papers signed last minute. 


My plan is to open up an office once I (hopefully) pass the July bar. Going solo is exciting and terrifying at the same time. There are abundant resources on applying for jobs, getting that perfect cover letter or resume, but information and resources on going solo are scarcer.  I have, however,  found some great sources to guide the way. Instead of applying for jobs, I’m working on a business plan, deciding whether to do an LLC or a sole proprietorship and researching attorney advertising regulations in the jurisdiction in which I wish to practice. If anyone else out there is thinking about going solo, one great place to start is the blog http://www.myshingle.com. Solo Carolyn Elefant, founder of My Shingle has written a number of helpful books on solo’ing, including the recent: Solo by Choice


Also to note, I’ve started a immigration-related blog with updates on law, comics and musings. It’s http://www.wetfootdryfoot.wordpress.com if anyone is interested in following it. 


I hope everyone is having a good semester, and for prospectives, I encourage you to check out Roger Williams. It’s been a great experience.