Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A student's perspective on NALI/NAELA--Part 3 of a series

In November, I was able to send three of my students to the NALI conference in DC.  The students wrote short articles on their experiences (see previous posts).  This post, by Desiree Toldt, is part 3 of a 5-part series.

“Taken Under the Wings of the Wonderful Elder Law Attorneys of NAELA”

As a first time-attendee, attending conferences on a national scale can be a bit daunting and a sometimes nerve racking experience. I’ve attended large conferences in my “life before law school” and have often found myself as an “outsider” as a first-time attendee.  Many attendees have attended these types of conferences year after year and have developed strong bonds with one another.  For them, the conference acts as an opportunity to reconnect, socialize, and share their experiences from the past year.  Upon my arrival at the conference I was unsure what type of environment to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the warm welcome I received. As a first-time attendee, the committee members, volunteers and other attendees turned out their warmest welcome to help facilitate the development of useful relationships and to allow me to gain a great deal of knowledge over the three day conference.  I am also thankful to have had Professor Kim Dayton as a “talking point,” as she was both well known and well missed amongst attendees.  While the content of the conference itself exceeded my expectations; I believe the social nature of the conference is what will encourage me to continue to attend NAELA events in the coming years.  I had the opportunity to meet with attorneys, law professors and other professionals in the field of elder law who willingly shared their insight, passion for the law, and experiences without any hesitation. I was never lacking an opportunity to attend dinner with a new group of people or to meet others at the social hours. The individuals I’ve meet and the things I’ve learned created an experience I will not soon forget. The graciousness of Professor Kim Dayton in providing her students this opportunity is something that will leave a lasting impression upon each of us that attended. I hope to provide the same wonderful opportunity to first-year attendees at next year’s conference.

         --Desiree Toldt, 3L, William Mitchell College of Law



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