Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Student Profile

Carlo and Rebecca Reyes

PLEAS Program

To simply call Carlo and Rebecca Reyes busy would be an understatement. The third year PLEAS students are both physicians, have been married for 11 years and have four young daughters. Carlo always wanted to be a lawyer (but initially opted to uphold his family's tradition and pursue medicine), and Rebecca thought law would be an interesting profession. The couple met at Chicago Medical School: Carlo is both a pediatrician and emergency room doctor and Rebecca is a psychiatrist. Carlo practices at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and is also still affiliated with UCLA (where he completed his residency), serving as an attending physician at Olive View Medical Center and teaching pediatrics and emergency medicine. Rebecca works for both Sober College in Woodland Hills and The Bella Vita, an eating disorders program in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was in private practice and served as director of the psychiatric intensive care unit at Vista Del Mar Hospital in Ventura.

After nearly a decade of practicing, both of them "want to find their way out of medicine and into something different," Rebecca explained. Carlo pointed out that Rebecca always talks about "how doctors need to be protected from malpractice, from having their profession dictated to them." They also have an interest in eventually educating doctors about the legal profession.

The couple chose Southwestern because of its strong reputation and PLEAS Program, which enables them to work while going to school. Both have been part of the Moot Court Honors Program, though Rebecca had to take time off last year when she became pregnant with their fourth child. Carlo was also on Law Journal. They try to take as many courses together as they can. And they found Professor Calnan's Products Liability class to be extremely beneficial. "It's nice to use my field in a particular aspect of law," Carlo said. "And products liability has a lot to do with medical devices and drugs. It also incorporates torts in terms of interaction between doctors, hospitals and corporations. In fact, Rebecca has been talking about concentrating on products liability." Rebecca has also considered specializing in jury selection and corporate psychology, and enjoyed Professor Carpenter's Criminal Law class as well as LAWS with Professor Gharakhanian.

After they graduate, Rebecca would like to start practicing as soon as she can. Carlo will "ease into law," sticking with medicine to support the family while Rebecca establishes her career as an attorney. Both are up for the challenge but neither of them could tell you which has been more difficult: medical or law school. "It's apples and oranges," Rebecca said. "We're at a very different stage in our lives. We're busy now because of our family. It's tough to find the time to read." Carlo added, "You memorize so many facts in medical school: there you either know it or you don't. It uses a different part of the brain."

Although the demands of raising a family while working full time and going to law school can be extremely strenuous, Rebecca and Carlo are happy they chose Southwestern and appreciate the contribution of their instructors. "I really love the professors and think they're top notch," Rebecca said. "I'm very happy that the professors at Southwestern are so passionate about [teaching us] the law, because that is not something you always find in an academic setting."