My Clinic Story: Embrace the Challenges

By: Hector Rojas, Spring 2017 Student Intern

Have you ever told yourself, “I can’t do that” or “that’s too hard” or even “I am not good enough?” I have…

My Clinic story began in the fall of 2015 when I attended my law school’s experiential learning fair. During that fair, I learned about the various clinics my school offered to help students gain practical experiences prior to graduating law school. Because I was most interested in business law, I inquired into the Investor Advocacy Clinic. I was given the opportunity to speak with current student interns of the clinic and to the now director of the clinic, Professor Iannarone. During my discussions with the interns, I learned what the Investor Advocacy Clinic was all about. I was very interested; however, I was hesitant to join because I knew nothing about securities arbitration. So, I left the experiential fair that day with the thought of “I can’t do that.”

Even though I thought I could not be a part of the clinic because I did not know about securities arbitration, I decided to take the pre-requisite class, Business Arbitration Practicum, which is required prior to becoming a student intern of the clinic. Throughout that class, we were given various assignments that would simulate the work that was done in the clinic. There was not one time I did not think “that’s too hard” or “I can’t do that” when I was given these assignments.

To overcome those thoughts, I did the only thing I know to do in these situations, work hard. I solicited feedback from my professors, discussed the assignments with my classmates, and did individual research to learn about the subject matter. I repeated this process with every assignment I was given, and at the end of the semester I ended up sharing the highest grade of the class with another classmate.

The purpose of that story is to tell anyone who is reading this that it is okay to be intimidated, scared of failing, or even think you are not good enough to do whatever it is you wish to do. What is not okay is not trying because of those thoughts. If I had let those thoughts take over, I would have never been a part of the clinic. I would have never had the opportunity to work and help real clients. I would have never had the opportunity to work with great colleagues and receive feedback on my work. And most importantly, I would have never developed into the person I have developed into because of the clinic. The clinic was great, and if you want to hear my story pertaining just to the clinic, click here.

For this post, however, I thought I try to inspire anyone out there who wishes to do something new, but are afraid of failing. I am here to tell you that based on my experiences, the only way you will fail is if you don’t try. If you try, however, and put in the time and hard work, then there is no way you can fail. And even if you do find yourself “failing,” at least you know you had the courage to try and gave it your very best. At the end of the day, I believe that is how success is measured, which is by your individual effort.

I have no regrets with my decisions to join the clinic. Nor do I have any complaints about the clinic. The clinic does something really special in that it helps investors who have been harmed by their brokers and cannot afford to seek the assistance of counsel because of the size of their claim. I have grown as a person and as a professional because of my time in the clinic. I recommend to anyone out there who wishes to try something new but are afraid they cannot do it, to just try. It may not be easy, but going through the process will make you a better person and teach you valuable lessons that you can use in any future endeavors. The clinic has been a wonderful experience for me and I recommend its services to any investor which meets our qualifications, and to any Georgia State College of Law student who wishes to gain practical experiences prior to graduating.