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The Flawed Stereotype of Lawyers May Cause a Law School Epidemic

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THE FLAWED STEREOTYPE

We’ve all seen it: the pounding on the desk, the shouting across the courtroom.

Nearly every legal drama in the past half-century has perpetrated the same cutthroat stereotype of lawyers.

This made me, a prospective law school student, worried about my future.  When I told people I wanted to be a lawyer, they’d cringe.

“You would be miserable as a lawyer!” they’d say.  Others asked, “Did your parents brainwash you into it?”

And frankly, for a short time, I began to worry that they were right.  Was I about to take a turn into the dark side?

My story is not unique.  Aspiring law students across America face a similar struggle—just because they aren’t loud and combative they have been discouraged from going to law school.  It’s as if the soft-spoken, empathic types don’t have the chops to be lawyers.

But then, thankfully, my view changed.  I met Daria Roithmayr, a professor of law at USC who told me something that I’ll never forget:

“Great lawyers come from all different backgrounds,” she said.  “You can be a successful lawyer regardless of whether you are soft spoken or flamboyant.”

Professor Roithmayr explained that the empathic lawyer could have an edge over the others.  She used the example of a character on the TV series, True Detective, who uses his ability to empathize with the suspect to break down his barriers and eventually get him to confess to the crime.  This character uses empathy as his “superpower.”

THE EPIDEMIC

Now, sadly, many law school hopefuls haven’t heard Professor Roithmayr’s rebuttal.  It’s fair to assume that most college students still think you need to be the outspoken, aggressive type to succeed as an attorney.

Remember, we are the millennial generation.  The TV set had a hand in raising most of us.  We’ve seen shows like Suits and The Practice, along with movies like A Few Good Men.  The impressions they’ve had on us cannot be downplayed.

This may seem like a non-issue at first glance.  But in ten or twenty years from now, what will happen if all the soft-spoken, empathic potential lawyers are dissuaded from applying to law school because they don’t fit the perpetuated archetype?

Our whole legal system may lose out on the type of attorneys our society needs the most.

Being soft-spoken is not a liability, but could be an asset.  Those who are soft-spoken or empathic get their point across by speaking thoughtfully instead of speaking loudly.  A soft-spoken lawyer will observe, ask questions, and listen in order to advance their negotiation tactics.

A lawyer needs to be mindful and intuitive to understand the depths of our laws and the opponent’s perspective.

The stereotypical lawyer may thrive in courthouse dramas, but that’s not the only way to succeed in real life.

Imagine a lawyer who intuitively feels what the jury needs to hear.  Now imagine the lawyer who can look at the case from his opponent’s perspective.  This lawyer analyzes and develops his case in a language that persuades his opponent.

In a world of fist-pounding attorneys, the empathic lawyer has a secret weapon.  Emotional intelligence isn’t only for psychologists.

There was a time when women were not believed to make good lawyers.  That was proven wrong. It’s now time for the introverts to take center stage.

Lawyers and law schools alike will benefit by educating the public about the multiple faces of the legal profession.

It takes a certain analytical skill to be a good lawyer, but in the end, it takes all kinds to make a profession.  So don’t succumb to the naysayers.  You don’t have to be a bulldog to be a good attorney—your work ethic and passion determine your success.

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Lana Halavi is 23 years old and living in Los Angeles, California. Lana received her Bachelor's degree from UCLA in Linguistics and Psychology. She is now a third-year law student at Pepperdine University School of Law.

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IsraAID is launching the Humanitarian Professionals Network (IHPN) in Los Angeles and Bay Area

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 World-renowned Israeli Humanitarian and disaster relief organization expands presence in U.S. by offering Americans training andopportunities for Disaster relief deployment

Los Angeles, CA – On January 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, disaster relief NGO IsraAID will launch its new aid initiative, The IsraAID Humanitarian Professionals Network (IHPN), an elite program that trains doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and mental health professionals in disaster response and deploys them around the world to helpsave lives.

IHPN members become part of a network of likeminded professionals at the top of theirfields, joining a robust roster of professionals in Israel, and have a chanceto share Israel’s humanitarian ethos with communities in need. Current IsraAID missions span disasters such as the wildfires in California, refugee crises in Greece, Kenya, Bangladesh, violence in Uganda, and cyclones in Vanuatu.

“IsraAID draws on Israeli social innovation and expertise to benefit people in need around the world. We are now leveraging our organization’s unique capabilities to train professionals in the U.S. interested in developing life-saving skills and joining humanitarian relief missions globally, hand in hand with professionals from Israel” said Seth H. Davis, Executive Director of IsraAID U.S. “IHPN will equip skilled individuals in hands-on disaster relief experience and provide enhanced capacity if local disaster were too strike.”

The first event, entitled “What You Need to Know About Humanitarian Aid,” will feature speaker Tim Burke, MA, MPH, who lead IsraAID’s work in South Sudan for five years, where he oversaw programs in public health and post-conflict development. Subsequent speakers include atmospheric physicist Colin Price and refugee crises expert Dr. Nir Boms.

With deployment in 49 countries, and currently active in 19 countries, IsraAID is an expert in training professionals to deploy. In the U.S. alone in the last year, IsraAID has provided humanitarian relief in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, California, and Puerto Rico.

“IsraAID will make Los Angeles more secure by leveraging their unique expertise in disaster response to train professionals in our community,” said [Paul Koretz]. “I look forward to working with IsraAID to help them rollout their IHPN program in California”

Professionals interested in attending should RSVP here  and/or learn more and join the network here.

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About IHPN: The IsraAID HumanitarianProfessionals Network (IHPN) is an exclusive network of professionals at thevanguard of global aid relief activities. Members of IHPN receive expert briefings, emergency-preparedness training, access to enrichment with field leaders,and priority access to deploy on IsraAID missions.

About IsraAID: IsraAID is anon-governmental organization that provides lifesaving emergency relief andlong-term, sustainable solutions for populations affected by natural disasters, epidemics and post-conflict situations. Our teams leverage Israeli innovation,work in full collaboration with local partners, and educate the public and professionals on disaster prevention and relief. IsraAID (US) Global Humanitarian Assistance, Inc. is an independent 501c(3)organization.

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Nothing Matters More Than This

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We live in a world where FOCUS is even MORE important than your INTELLIGENCE.

From our never-ending Facebook feed, to our freshly-updated YouTube subscription page, to our email inbox, we live in an abundant world of information.

However, is it really necessary to consume all of this general information?

Will it ever be useful? Will it ever make any difference in your life?

No. Most likely not.

Learning a little about a lot of different things doesn’t really amount to much.

Instead, you should FOCUS.

Focus on learning and applying ONE skill as intensely and deeply as possible.

Focus is where mastery kicks in.

Kobe Bryant wasn’t the best basketball player that ever played because he was the best all-around person.

Kobe Bryant was world-class because he was absolutely great at ONE thing and one thing only: playing basketball.

So instead of consuming as much general information as you possibly can… instead FOCUS.

FOCUS on one topic. FOCUS on one task. FOCUS on one goal.

Because today, more than ever, focus is way more important than your intelligence.

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New Initiative Launched to Restore Memories and a Legacy

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On Tuesday January 30th, Thirty Years After (30 YA) hosted the Legacy Launch, one of their largest, most innovative and interactive projects to date, at the Ahyra Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills.

Sam Yebri, President of Thirty Years After, explains the Legacy Project, “The Project is a grassroots initiative that will help preserve and honor the Iranian  Jewish experience through video for future generations,  and provide an opportunity for every family to capture their parents’  and grandparents’ most compelling memories and anecdotes before it is  too late.”

Doors opened to guest at 7:00 pm where they were greeted with smiles from 30 YA volunteers and staff members. The lobby was packed with guests who were treated to wonderful Iranian street food not often seen or eaten in the United States. The delicious cuisine included Labu (beets baked in their own juice, and typically served steaming hot in a street cart during the dead of winter), Baghali (beans topped with spices, typically served the same way as Labu), Dizi (a meat mash/stew– usually made with lamb, but made with beef and chickpeas at our event), Shohleh Zard (saffron rice pudding), Chos-e-fil (otherwise known as popcorn) and Mahi-Cheh Polo (herbed rice with beef shanks).

The large number of attendees was a testament to the genuine and unprecedented support for the new generation of leaders of the Los Angeles Iranian-American Jewish community.  The printed program for the event listed over 25 generous families and businesses that supported the Legacy Launch and congratulated 30 YA on celebrating their 10 year anniversary.

This event was magical because of the broad range of emotions experienced just by being shoulder to shoulder with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins born in Tehran. Sadness is one emotion that could have been felt while standing in the room, because of all of the untold stories that were not recorded, told or heard. How many stories have we “missed out” on because family members have passed away, younger generations have gone off to college, or simply because we took time for granted? At the Legacy Launch, time stood still for a few hours for the sake of a community recording the past, but very aware of time, embracing beloved memories on video, but also progressively moving toward the future.

Yebri explained, “Our history informs our present and powers our future. This is especially true when our families and community have such a rich legacy of inspiring memories and experiences in Iran and during our exodus to America.  30 Years After  is thrilled to launch ‘The Legacy Project’ as part of the organization’s 10th anniversary celebration.”

Bobby Zolekhian, former President of Nessah Young Professionals expressed, “It was one of the most inspirational events I have been to. I am recruiting people to share their stories. This is something extraordinary!”

Featured guest speakers during the screening included Mrs. Susan Azizzadeh, President of the Iranian American Jewish Federation, Dr. Saba Soomekh, Assistant Director of Interreligious and Intercommunity Affairs at AJC, Megan Nemandoust, Margalit Rosenthal, Liora Simozar and 30 YA President, Sam Yebri.

The dynamic presentation of the screening and its intimate interviews clearly validated that the second and third generations of Iranian Jews growing up in the United States are confidently embracing their unspoken responsibility to record the stories of generations before them for a purpose with a greater cause– maintaining their identity, culture, and traditions.

Learn more about preserving your legacy with 30 YA at https://legacy.30yearsafter.org/

 

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november, 2019

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