By: Ekib Ekure
I decided to go to law school in hopes of helping people. I believe the number one reason students say they attend law school is to help people. However, I do not believe many fully understand what it means to help people. Coming to NCCU Law was a dream come true for me for the simple fact that I wanted an HBCU experience for law school. Attending NCCU Law has truly opened my eyes to what it means to help people. The dedication the staff has to helping the underprivileged and underrepresented community is quite inspirational. The entire school is dedicated to public service.
As a student at NCCU Law, I was forced to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally. My mental growth came from the rigor that is law school. Learning and studying the law was different from what I was used to in undergrad. Here, I was required to know the material prior to class; I was unable to “wing” it. It all seemed backwards to me, however, it pushed me to expand my mental capacity. Attending lectures introduced me to a new way of thinking and analyzing issues. The fear of being cold-called and not having an answer pushed me to constantly prepare for class, and in turn it helped me learn and excel throughout my law school career. Though the style of teaching was new for me and took a while to fully understand, looking back, I am grateful for the challenge. Without the challenge and rigor, I would not be where I am today.
My spiritual growth was in part influenced by the rigor and stress of school. Being in a new state where I had no close relationships forced me out of my comfort zone, and outside of that comfort zone I became closer to God. My relationship with God grew as a result of the many women I saw around me who constantly praised and thanked God for their many blessings. Blessings that ranged from finding parking to making it back after academic dismissal. At NCCU Law, I was surrounded with praying women. Women, who took time out of their day to pray with you or pray for you all in hopes of encouraging you to stay the course. That type of sisterhood also allowed me to freely explore my relationship with God. During my 1L year I felt that it was predestined for me to attend NCCU School of Law because of the relationships I formed. These relationships may not last past my time at law school, but they have opened the doors of my heart and showed me that it is possible to be young and a Christian.
Attending to law school is an extremely stressful task regardless of how mentally or emotionally prepared you feel. As I began my law school career, I felt fine. I felt that I was able to conquer this beast called law school. However, that feeling did not last long. During orientation, we were constantly reminded of the difficulty of law school. We were told that it was very difficult it was to remain in this particular law school. This was a different approach for me. I came from an institution for undergrad where we were told to strive for the Dean’s or President’s list; however, in law school our biggest goal was to make it back. I was no longer the smartest person in the room. Students who were all the smartest person in their respective colleges surrounded me. It quickly became clear that this would be an uphill battle. I was afraid, I was nervous, and I was ready to give up; but something in me would not allow me to quit. Maybe it was the voice in my head reminding me of my life long dream of becoming a lawyer, or it was my mother’s voice, or it was the $80,000 loan I had already taken out. Regardless of the reason, I stayed at Central. There were moments where I felt like giving up; there were moments where I felt like breaking down; there were moments where I actually broke down; but every time I got ready to quit, somebody was always there to remind me of my ‘why.’
The decision to go to law school was easy, but the decision to stay was difficult. In the midst of my stress, anger, and confusion, I can honestly say that embarking on this journey has truly been a blessing. In these past three years I have grown into my own person. I now understand my likes and dislikes, and recognize the type of person I want to be. Coming to law school was an experience like no other. It was difficult at times, but as I sit back and reflect on my time at North Carolina Central University School of Law I realize that if it had not been for NCCU School of Law, I would not be where I am today. Deciding that I wanted to go to law school was a good decision but choosing NCCU School of Law has been one of the best decisions I have made.