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Inside the Huddle: Alyssa Frazier and becoming an Attorney

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2016 | Firm News |

The Law Offices of Mark Deniz is proud to announce the addition of Alyssa Frazier to the team.  Alyssa will be assigned as an associate in the firm.  

Alyssa returns to the firm after spending time with the  San Diego Public Defenders office.  Alyssa previously was a certified legal intern with the firm.  

Alyssa was one of the top 5 students of her graduating class at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.  She was a member of law review.  

Law firm owner Mark Deniz states, “Alyssa has been thrown into the fire and has been handled them well. Her ability to grasp the concepts of criminal law so fast has been impressive”.

Alyssa has extensive experience in the service industry. She has managed several business. It is apparent she is organized and has the ability to deal with a lot on her plate.

Alyssa has already drafted and filed motions, spoke to clients, and has performed investigations.

Attorney Mark Deniz sees a bright future for Alyssa.  “I love to be part of what will be a very promising legal career.  We are lucky to have her”. Alyssa joins head Paralegal Emiliano Padron, case manager Kelly Brady, and Of Counsel Alicia Freeze as part of the team.  I asked her to share a bit about becoming an attorney.  Taking a break from our usual blogs.

My name is Alyssa Frazier, Esq. and I have recently been admitted to practice law in California. I want to tell you a little about my journey. Being an attorney is a wonderful and rewarding a career. But not everyone knows how to become an attorney. While there are different ways, the following is the most traditional. First, you need to graduate from high school and college, receiving a bachelor’s degree. Personally, I graduated from Sacramento State with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. From there, you must take the LSAT, which is its own beast. You must then get into law school, and find the best fit for you.

Law school itself is a battle; you must learn to think in a different way. The professors use the Socratic Method to narrow down the case into specific issues and teaching you different rules. Once you have learned about torts, contracts, criminal law, and the other basic courses, you can usually take more pointed classes. One of my favorite classes that was offered at my law school, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, was vice crimes. In that class, we went over different theories of why certain things are crimes, and then specifically went over crimes. We discussed laws such as prostitution, laws dealing with drugs, adultery, and even bestiality (among other things). It was very interesting to discuss the different theories about why specific conduct is considered a crime.

Before you know it you are a 3L, which means you are on your last year in law school, and you are getting ready to graduate. You may take some bar prep classes, or you may just take a light load since it is your last year. One of the things that needs to be done during the last semester of your 3L year is your moral character application. Many people know about the bar exam, but another component of becoming a lawyer is a finding that you have a positive moral character determination on file. This is a grueling process of filling out paperwork going back years so the bar can determine that you are of good moral character. While the process does take time, it is important to make sure that attorneys have good ethical standards. Another way this is tested is through the MPRE exam, which is required to practice law.

Then the day comes to graduate. Once you have completed all your classes, usually between two-and-a-half to four years depending on how fast you take your classes, you can graduate. You are ready to go, you have your moral character application in, and you have tried to prepare yourself for the long and demanding practice of studying for the bar exam. You are there with all your friends and family, and you get to walk across the stage.

But then, before you know it, you must start studying for the bar. Although the bar exam will likely be several months after you graduate, you will start to feel the pressure when the bar review company gives you a start date only a few days after you walk across the stage at graduation. The task of studying the bar comes with eight to ten (or more) hours a day, seven days a week, studying a new subject every couple of days. Then the test comes, and by this point you are so exhausted, nervous, worried, and relieved that it is actually here, and within a few days it is over. All that you have worked for is done.

Now comes the waiting game. Depending on when you take the bar, you will have around two-and-a-half to three months of waiting. The week before is probably the worst, all of your hard work over the past three years may soon pay off, or not… And then it is the day of. Personally, I worked part of the day, and the latter half (as the results come out at 6 pm) I played games with my family to keep my mind off of the results. At 6 pm, the results came out, and for me it was a positive result. That said, it is an extremely rough exam, and it does not define who you are. There are many people that do not pass the bar on the first, second, third, fourth, or even more times. This does not mean they are not good at law or that they will be bad attorneys.

Once you pass the bar, and you have fulfilled all the other requirements (MPRE, moral character, etc), you will be sworn in. This is an amazing day where you are with your peers and taking the attorney oath. Once you have taken the oath you are officially an attorney! You can start practicing law as soon as you have taken the oath. And that is it, you finally did it!

I started this out by saying that being an attorney is a wonderful and rewarding career. You are able to help people, in whatever way that is. Maybe you are helping people who have been harmed by doing class actions, maybe you are helping people make their will, or maybe you are defending the accused as a defense attorney. I look forward to my many years as an attorney, being able to help people on this magnificent journey!

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