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Snapshot of an Almost J.D.: Alex Flood

March 10, 2014

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“I met Alex Flood when we both served as teaching assistants for Legal Analysis and Writing last year.  I have no doubt about his ability to write and interact with others.  This semester, we are taking a class together.  In our mock negotiations, I am always impressed by his calm demeanor and sincerity.”

   -Halah

Halah asked Alex the following questions.  Here are his answers:

What’s your educational background?

I have a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado.

What about your family background?

I grew up in Lakewood, Colorado, which is a suburb of Denver. My mom still lives there and, when she is not working, she is busy being the greatest grandmother of all time to my two adorable nieces. My parents are married, but my dad currently lives in Saudi Arabia.  Thinking about them handling challenges makes law school seem like a breeze. My sister is a talented designer and, every year, she creates Halloween costumes that must drive other mothers in the neighborhood insane. My wife is about to graduate from medical school at OHSU here in Portland. We will find out which residency program she is matched in and where I will have the pleasure of taking the bar and finding a job.

So, long story short, I’m super fortunate.

Why did you decide to go to law school?

When I was in college, a close friend of mine was accused of a serious crime. It was terrifying and I only experienced it second hand. The indictment was based on a false identification and the charges were dropped only after paying an attorney a lot of money to show the DA passport stamps and a flight itinerary proving he happened to be in another country when the crime occurred. To this day, I get the chills thinking about what would have happened had he not been on that trip and not had such a solid alibi. The following summer, I got an internship at a the local public defender’s office and was inspired by all the people out there working nights and weekends to make sure things like that don’t happen, or at least, happen less.

What is your favorite part about Lewis & Clark?

The obvious answer is that you can study while practically sitting in a forest. However, I’m going to go ahead and say Professor Newell is the best thing L&C has going for it. I’m not going to get to take any more classes from him so I’m free to shamelessly suck up. He’s great; the best teacher I’ve ever had.  He gave me the worst grade I’ve gotten in law school, which does not say much for me, but says a lot about him.

What is your least favorite part about Lewis & Clark?

The Wood Hall study room is always 5-10 degrees too cold, no matter what. In the warmer months, this is as baffling as it is annoying.

What are your future job and career goals?

I plan on doing public defense, but I also really like immigration law. I’m hoping that somehow I can eventually do both.

What do you think prospective students should know about law school?

I do not like networking. I even hate saying the word. But, whatever you call it, it matters. However, it definitely does not have to involve walking up to total strangers with business cards and talking about how awesome you are. That is what I thought it entailed and that was my nightmare.  I actually tried it once, although without business cards, and it lasted about five minutes.

Instead, think about what you want to do and who might have some information about how to do it. Then, find the least creepy way you can to contact that person and ask if they are willing to get coffee with you. Writing that first email will be the hardest part. I think if you approach it in a way that shows you’re really just trying to gather information, as opposed to getting a job, it is so much more comfortable for everyone involved.

What is an interesting part about your background?  Or in other words, how do you contribute to the diversity of Lewis & Clark?

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a few different countries, and I think each of those experiences along with law school helped me learn a basic, but expensive lesson: if something really does not make any sense to you, you’re probably looking at it incorrectly, except if that something is the Immigration Nationality Act…

 

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