Works and Days


"state legislation"

Oregon State Bar: Cristobal Mancillas, Winter Shadow 2016

Really… law school?  That’s almost always what I end up hearing after I tell people that I have decided to apply for law school. As a thesising senior the two questions I am almost always asked are: What is your thesis about and what are you doing after Reed? Usually I smile, talk about my thesis for a bit but then reveal that I want to pursue law. The reactions are usually pretty polarized. Some people are excited and talk about a relative who’s a lawyer, or they look me in the eyes with genuine concern and ask why. They ask me why like I am about to voluntarily inject myself with some terrible disease.  Why law school? After spending some nights working on Logic problems at my thesis desk and silently freaking out about all the debt I am about to accrue I started to understand the concern. When I heard about the Externship in the Oregon Bar, I knew this would be great opportunity to learn and ask others the same question: why pursue law?

I spent a few days as an extern with the Oregon Bar. I was lucky to have a fantastic and generous host, Amber Hollister, a former Reedie and General Councilor at the Oregon Bar. My goal was to learn about the dynamics of the legal profession here in Oregon but also the resources and opportunities available to me in the upcoming years as I work on my application materials. That I did, and also was able to meet a variety of inspirational and fascinating individuals who shared personal experiences that made me far more comfortable with the decision to pursue law.

For the first day, I shadowed different members of the Oregon Bar, learned how the bar regulates the legal profession, and about the services it offers to its members. I was really impressed by the work happening in the Diversity and Inclusion Division. I was able to meet the director and talk about the struggles that many young lawyers coming from marginalized communities often face and learn about the resources available to increase diversity in the legal profession here in Oregon. I felt like I was able to very honest with the director about my concerns and he even shared his own experience as a participant in some of the programs he now coordinates. I left feeling more optimistic about the prospect of pursing law school as well as enlightened about the difficulties I would likely face.