Investor Advocacy Clinic Taught Me Things I Could Never Learn in a Classroom

By Bryan Rafie, Fall 2015 Student Intern

It was middle of the spring semester. No, it was the tail end of the summer semester. No. Wait. I actually can’t quite remember. The semesters are starting to run together, but I know that at some point early this year I made the decision to sign up for the Investor Advocacy Clinic.

I went back and forth. Did I really want to take this on? The argument went something like this. “I am a part time student. I really don’t have the time to dedicate to ACTUAL CLIENTS, ACTUAL CASES. I know very little about FINRA arbitration. I just got comfortable reading for class, being called on by professors in class, and studying for a 3-4 hour final. Did I really want to force myself out of my comfort zone, again?”

If you are having a similar internal debate, stop it. Go online and apply. I was told recently that I needed to get used to feeling uncomfortable. The practice of law, at least at first, is uncomfortable, and that is a good thing. It means you are growing and getting better. Not only will the Clinic get some of this heavy lifting out of the way early in a safe and controlled environment, it will also teach you things you could never learn in a classroom. There is just something different about working on a real case, talking to a real client. The intensity just seems to be turned up, and this will force you to work hard. It will pull the best out you.

There will be a moment near the end of your clinic experience when you take a step back from your work. You will find yourself inches away from a settlement, fighting seasoned attorneys at big firms on the merits of your case. You will look down at the paper, and realize that this whole attorney thing isn’t so bad. When you do, don’t thank me, just write a blog, and get someone else to join in behind you.