Diversity @ Widener Law: Jay Patel
Jay Patel relied on a strong support network to fuel his success and keep him hungry for the challenges of law school.
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Balancing Act
TurennePatrice300px“Working and going to school has been the biggest challenge for me – balancing everything so that it doesn’t feel like one thing is suffering over another,” says Delaware Extended Division student Patrice Turenne in discussing the obstacles she has faced in her pursuit of a legal education.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Patrice works as an account manager for a health care advocacy company, but she has always been fascinated with the legal system, and that interest led her to law school. “I’ve always felt that you had to have a career that you’re passionate about,” she says.

“I was hoping for a challenging experience, but one that was going to be rewarding,” says Patrice of her expectations of law school, adding, “It’s always good when you work really hard for something and you see the fruits of your labor as you’re going along.”

Law school has already provided her with valuable skills that she finds helpful in her daily life. “The critical thinking skills you get just from being in law school I find myself using on a regular basis at work,” she sates, continuing, “I can formulate better arguments. The writing skills are big too.”

Patrice credits advice she received on balancing work and school during orientation with helping her find the balance between the two demands, and she says, “I had an amazing first year and it’s been an amazing experience. I wouldn’t change anything.”

“Make sure that you’re going to law school for the right reasons. It’s important not just to think about how much money you might make when you get out because that won’t get you through the difficult times. Make sure that you want to be here,” Patrice advises future law students.

“Do your reading, go to class, and seek help if you need to because we have some amazing professors who are willing to help whenever you need it. Take advantage of that,” she concludes.