Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: Be Gritty.

A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through my social media feed when I came upon a TEDTalks video from 2013 by Angela Lee Duckworth about her study on the predictors of success. In the beginning of her presentation, she described what she and her team set out to find and where they went looking for it.  They tried to predict success across a plethora of activities and professions where they might be doomed to failure.  They tried to predict who would succeed after joining the military, or who would do well at the spelling bee.   Automatically in my…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: By Mastering Minutes as a Mommy!

When I began law school as a single mother of two small children, I did not fully appreciate how much hard work it was going to take to be both a successful law student and a good mother at the same time.  It has been extremely hard.  At times, I have been very overwhelmed, stretched far too thin, and daydreamed about how nice it would be to have a personal assistant, babysitter and secretary at my disposal.  Since law school consumes a lot of brainpower and time on an everyday basis, it’s important to learn how to master your minutes…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: By Making Orange Juice from Lemons

Around this same time last year I had the honor and privilege of being awarded a scholarship from the Association of Women Attorneys where I got to attend a luncheon with eight other scholarship recipients from the three Houston law schools: the University of Houston Law Center, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and South Texas College of Law.  During that luncheon I heard the story of one fellow law student in particular that stood out to me.  Her amazing story of defeating adversity brought me to tears at the luncheon and I became Facebook friends with her that very same…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: Going from Tragedy to Triumph

Ms. Ieshia Champs-Smith is a rising 3L student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Texas.  I had the pleasure of meeting her at a women’s attorney event where she was honored as one of the scholarship recipients.  Ieshia’s story is rife with so much turmoil and tragedy.  Although her dreams might have died once or twice, her resolve and faith in God never let her give up.  Now, she is roughly one year away from achieving her dreams of becoming an attorney. When Ieshia was very young, she was taken away from her parents and sent to live with…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: Just Be Your Beautifully, Flawed-Self in All That You Do!

When I initially applied for law school, I had a hard time coming up with something to focus on for my personal statement. Of course, there were the typical formats like “why did you want to go to law school” or “why do you think you’d be a great lawyer” that were suggested to all applicants. But I had a better, deeper, and more quality story to share that would answer all of those questions, but without directly answering them. It paid off. In fact, it paid off so well that I was granted a unique scholarship, which was only…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: Through the Pipeline

Pipeline programs for aspiring law students are some of the best resources in the world for disadvantaged students to get a feeling of what it’s like to work in the professional world or go through law school.  I, myself, am a CLEO Fellow.  CLEO (Council on Legal Education Opportunity) is a program created by the American Bar Association’s initiative to recruit more diverse students for the bar.  There are many other programs like it around the nation and they range from those sponsored by major law firms, to higher education institutions and non-profit organizations aimed at diversity in the professional…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: The Legend of Perseverance

On February 1, 2013, I woke up the same way I had in the past five years, as a wife. But three hours later I became a widow and a single-mother of two children. It was a double whammy that morning. At 7:00 am I discovered an email message between my late husband and one of his female co-workers. Infidelity. By 10:00 am that same morning he had taken his own life. It felt like a very deep, trembling shockwave ruptured my heart from the inside. Aside from my mother’s passing, I had never felt such a paralyzing blow before.…

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Jmnakamoto

The Path to Pathos with the Help of Blogging

Ethos, pathos, logos.  All law students are taught in their first-year legal writing courses (sometimes earlier) that in order to write a winning argument you must utilize ethos, pathos, and logos.  Logos is taught extensively in law school where we spend hours on end eating, digesting, and regurgitating court opinions and analyzing them step-by-step.  Ethos is also taught extensively in classes when professors mercilessly harp on the policy reasons behind court opinions and congressional actions.  But pathos? Pathos is special because it cannot be taught.  It originates beyond a textbook or any other course a law school can offer.  It…

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