Raul Mendez III

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Undergraduate School: Penn State University; Crime, Law, and Justice

M.S. in Education and Social Change; University of Miami

Temple Law Community

While I was at Temple, I was on the budget committee for SBA, a staff editor for the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, a member of the Moot Court Competition Team, an ACE counselor 2L year, and a general member of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). These experiences taught me the value of time management and teamwork in the legal profession. Moreover, they drastically improved my legal research and writing skills, which allowed me to perform better thereafter both in the classroom and during subsequent internship opportunities. Additionally, I was a member of the Temple Law Deans’ Cup Basketball Team throughout my three years, where we won the championship every year. I, along with other Temple Law students, also played on a Temple Law intramural basketball team in both the Fall and Spring semesters in all 3 years at Temple. All of these experiences allowed me to develop lifelong bonds and friendships with colleagues both in and out of the classroom.

Experiential Opportunities

I participated in the Federal Judicial Clerkship Honors Program where I performed various tasks such as legal research and writing, attending settlement conferences, drafting memoranda and opinions, and creating presentations to be used in future CLE presentations. This experience was the most influential on my legal career thus far. I was able to refine my understanding of the trial process and fully understand the inner workings of a judge’s chambers. This experienced allowed me to research and learn about a vast array of topics that I did not come across in law school and also exposed me to the legal writing styles and structure of attorneys throughout the region before the Court, which indirectly helped me improve my writing.

Faculty Influence

Three faculty members were most influential in shaping my legal education: Professor Andy Monroe, Professor Hosea Harvey, and Professor Donald Harris.

Professor Monroe is one of the most genuine people I came across at the law school. 1L year came with much anxiety and pressure but Professor Monroe constantly went out of her way to support her students emotionally and reassure us that we could successfully navigate law school. It was also apparent from her teaching style that she genuinely wanted us to learn and understand the material and would go out of her way to ensure we knew she was available if we ever needed anything.

Professor Harvey taught his courses in the most unconventional way at the law school. His ability to integrate pop culture and relevant news stories to the subject matter at hand provided students, such as myself, a unique way to learn and remember the law. Through videos, music, and creative PowerPoint presentations, Professor Harvey differentiated his instruction in a manner that catered to my different learning styles and allowed me to push through dense material that otherwise I may have struggled with more.

Professor Harris truly invested all of his time and energy to ensure that all of his students understood the material at hand, even if this meant pushing back the course schedule. He made himself available more than any professor I ever had a course with and would stop at nothing to ensure that my classmates and I knew that he had our best interests at heart. With Professor Harris, I always felt as if I could approach him to discuss subject matter in Intellectual Property but, more importantly, seek his advice on career and life questions I was grappling with at the moment.

Temple Law Network

As a student who isn’t a native Philadelphian or Pennsylvanian, I didn’t realize how strong and well-regarded Temple Law is by the legal community throughout the city of Philadelphia. Throughout my internships and during various networking events, it became clear to me that attorneys respect Temple Law students and especially praise the practical experience we receive as preparation for entering the field. My advice to the next class of entering students is to engage alumni throughout the city. Do not be afraid to sit down for coffee or have lunch with someone you share a common bond with (Temple Law) to ask questions you may not know the answer(s) to. Leveraging the alumni network and building mentorship relationships will undoubtedly be beneficial to your growth as a law student.