The funny thing about time is that it never seems to move fast enough when we want it to and yet, somehow, everything whizzes past in an instant. Three years of late nights, procrastinated motions, freaking out about sleeping through finals, and a collection of experiences I would not change for all the coffee in the world. Sure, it was difficult, and there were times I thought maybe I’d fall flat on my face (I’m looking at you, Secured Transactions), but the “J.D.” is incredibly wonderful to add to my signature. It was so much work but I am elated with the end result; I’d do it again, too.

Law school is officially over and I’m feeling all sorts of ways about it; thrilled to earn the degree, scared and somewhat intimidated about taking the Bar exam, frenzied to land the perfect job (more on that later), concerned about balancing my work life with my studies, and excited for the future that passing the Bar brings. I also kind of feel like a dog who caught its tail. I’d been chasing my own dreams for so long that now I’m nearly overwhelmed by the accomplishment.

I would never have gotten to this point without my support system. During the hardest moments – exam season, project deadlines, and an inordinate number of scheduled events – I leaned on my family and friends. Many of these incredible people stuck with me through it all. I lost a couple of friends, those who thought I was being selfish, who refused to understand the chaos of my life because “so many people go to law school. It’s not that hard” and the countless “you should visit/take a break, you’re always studying.” Those overly-toxic individuals simply didn’t make the cut. It was necessary to put myself first during these last three years (and for the next two months as I prep for the Bar exam).

I make no apologies for this.

Thankfully, my support system rarely failed me. Of course there were scheduling errors and distance issues, but we met for (nearly) weekly brunches, the occasional shopping trip, countless coffee runs, and my mom frequently stopped by to raid the (filled with the products of stress-baking) cookie jar and burgle a few bottles of (stress-purchased) wine. My brothers even pitched in hilarious hypos and attempted a few runs at crafting multiple choice questions here and there. It takes a village, y’all!

I couldn’t have accomplished this without you and I am incredibly thankful for every sacrifice you made to get me here. I know it wasn’t easy, and I spent many breaks a little too crabby, but I love you for doing what you could to help me reach this milestone.

I must have said this at least a dozen times to Melissa and Ashli…

These last three years were filled with challenges, some of which I thought might break me, and you – my amazing familia – were there to pull me through all of it. This win is for you. I love you fiercely. Thank you a million times over for making this Latina Lawyer’s dreams a reality.