New Year, New Venture

​    I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about joining the Housing and Community Development Legal Clinic’s legal team, and even more nervous after being assigned my client. I was nervous that the classes I had previously taken did not completely prepare me for what I was getting myself into. However, after delving into the project with my partner and Professor Lawton, I now feel slightly less uneasy.
    Our client is an entirely new venture, which means new ideas, new locations, and new people to meet and collaborate with.  The project is big, and as we progress over the course of the next six months, it is only going to grow exponentially.  Although the experience seems daunting, it has been overwhelmingly rewarding and enlightening thus far.
    As I previously mentioned, this is an entirely new venture with all new people. We want to build from the ground up in conjunction with several other parties, all of which have their own ideas for how the end result should look, which can be frustrating at times.  With that said, after scheduling and facilitating a few meetings, I have gathered a few takeaways from the experiences.  First, be flexible.  Scheduling one time to meet with several people from various departments is always complicated. Flexibility, not just with your schedule, but also with your expectations, allows the meetings to flow more smoothly.  Second, along those same lines, be patient.  Not everyone is going to agree with your ideas at first.  You might go into a meeting thinking that your pitch is the best idea since sliced bread, only to find that it was not as well received as you would have hoped.  Do not get discouraged.  Lastly, own the meeting.  If it is your meeting, own it. Go into every meeting with a clear head and a determination to persevere.  Other members of the group will try to take over at times; be polite, but firm.  You scheduled the meeting, and as such, you control the meeting.
    The challenges that my partner and I will face over the next few months are both new and exciting.  All in all, I am looking forward to everything this experience has to offer.