Jeanin Alvarado chose GGU’s Hybrid JD Flex program over every competitive program in the state – because it had precisely what she needed in a JD program.
Jeanin earned her BA in Finance from California State University, Long Beach, but knew she wanted to pursue careers other than typical investment banking. After graduation, however, she had to become even more creative with planning her future when COVID hit – and it hit her family especially hard since her mother’s a nurse.
She started looking into every program available in the entire state of California, starting in the bigger cities and tech hubs. She sought a law degree that would benefit her and harmonize with her existing priorities. Flexibility and lack of specific time commitments were key factors because she wanted to live at home. Family responsibilities and summer jobs needed to occur right alongside her academics.
Flexibility Plus Innovation
The coursework’s asynchronous structure addressed her need for flexibility and stood out for its innovative approach. Jeanin readily calls it “the best of both worlds – being able to take on law school and be there for my family responsibilities.”
Her family had a long history and worked in close proximity to the criminal law field, so she knew her way around the subject almost by default. But she also knew that she didn’t want to be directly immersed in it. Once enrolled and on her way, she set out to explore the available specialization. She enjoyed contracts and transactional work, so she began to hone in on that source of joy and concentrate in corporate, real estate and tax law.
Jeanin recognized that choosing a hybrid program meant she wouldn’t receive a classic law school experience. Though she’s on campus eight weekends per semester, the rest of the time is remote, and with the flexibility comes the need to be self-driven. While motivation comes and goes, she’s always willing to put in the work when the reward is her north star. Distractions come easily when her comfy bed is a few feet away from the desk and her best friends live just down the street, but she’s managed to put many routines and personalized structures in place to stay focused.
New Friends and Networking
Jeanin feels grateful to have found classmates who she meets virtually with once a week in a tight-knit study group. Though this tactic was recommended by her professor right at the beginning of classes, she found these new friends organically when she and a group of students just really hit it off one weekend on campus. The connection has been immensely helpful in two ways. First, there’s a sense of belonging, hints of the “classic” law school experience even while online, plus new friends to see every other weekend. Two, she has built-in accountability, cheerleaders, and, of course, study partners, all of which benefits her academic achievements. The ease with which she’s been able to build rewarding relationships is just another reason to love GGU’s hybrid JD program.
Networking is predictably harder when neither fully on campus nor living in San Francisco, but making professional connections is certainly not impossible. Jeanin has approached it with intentionality and proven successful. Again, it all comes back to being driven and keeping that goal in mind. Though she’d taken a real estate law course during her BA, she wasn’t particularly pursuing a career in the real estate sphere until a recruiter reached out – she happily discovered that she is now a sought-after candidate in a niche she hadn’t even previously considered! After enjoying the opportunity to grow through positions as a leasing consultant and then a legal intern, she is now assisting the admissions team here at GGU while continuing her degree.
Consistency is Always Key
Jeanin appreciates being a part of a small firm working with multi-million dollar purchases. It can prove truly mind-blowing to see how every massive real estate deal plays out and participate in the process. Even the less outwardly glamorous trust and estate side of the business, which she’d never given a second thought before, has proven surprisingly absorbing.
Her first year complete, seemingly in the blink of an eye, Jeanin feels established enough to offer some sound advice to new students. How do you make your JD Flex program best serve you while achieving your academic goals? It’s crucial to have a consistent study schedule. Carve out blocks of time when the people in your life know you won’t be answering texts or scrolling social media – because you’re focused on studying. And so is Jeanin, at least until her GGU degree helps her land that post-graduation dream job!