Over the past few months, I shared bits of my experience with the law school process, and now that I’ve chosen where to go, I don’t have much more insight than I already offered. BUT, I was trying to come up with some ways to incorporate more voices into my law school advice, and it dawned on me: my friends are applying to law school! So, I have four friends who offered to share their stories with law school admissions. So, first up in this mini-series is Evelyn, who I’ve known since our first year in college and who is one of my close friends! She’s the Class of 2016 Valedictorian for our college (whoop whoop!), and will be giving a speech at commencement. She is also an RA, Editor-in-Chief of The Collegian, our on-campus newspaper, and involved with Middle-Eastern Cultural Night. But, I’ll stop bragging about my awesome friend and get to it.
Here is what Evelyn had to say about the law school process as she experienced it:
“The law school application process is both daunting and nerve-wracking for undergraduate students – but once it’s over, it’s such a relief. I personally knew I didn’t want to take a break from school in fear of losing my momentum to go on to law school. So, I started out my senior year with the LSAT in mind. Looking back, that stage of the process feels like years ago, probably because of all the heartbreak and doubt it caused me. When I took the LSAT the first time, I did not do as well as I had wanted to, and I began to think my investment in the process was a lost cause. I wish I hadn’t lost so much hope in myself, and my advice to anyone applying is to know that your best efforts will be worth it to a school. Later in the process, I felt that my application was evaluated from many different angles and that I was given a fair chance. The choices I had to choose from ended up being what I deserved and what was right for me.
Both ends of the application process are stressful, the LSAT and decision, and the latter’s difficulty was definitely unexpected for me. I thought it would be very clear to me which school I would choose, and it wasn’t. I liked a lot of different things about my top contenders. It came down to what mattered most for me, and I learned it was practicing in California. Right now, I am committed to Santa Clara but am waitlisted at UC Davis. As a very decisive person, it’s hard for me to know I can switch to UC Davis at the last minute, but I know it could be the best decision for me in the long run. Regardless, both are phenomenal options. Law school decisions are a strange time because we are so young yet making huge decisions about the direction of our future. Sure, this might have been the case for undergrad, but it feels more real at the age of 21.
Law school will work out the way it’s supposed to; this, however, is easier said than done. Many who apply to law school are type-A planner-type people. The possibility of it not going as planned in daunting. But the reality is there’s always a way. Many law students transfer after their first year, usually into a higher-ranked institution. Others take a year or two off to enter the workforce, which could prove beneficial to their application. And many learn it’s not the right path for them. Your biggest challenge in any application process is to trust you’ll actually survive it. But once you do, you’re onto your next adventure.”
I wanted to include this photo of Evelyn in New York at Central Park while visiting St. John’s School of Law because we all, as in our friend group, thought that the school would be the perfect fit for Evelyn, and when she actually got there she quickly realized it wasn’t, which is 100% okay. I had a similar experience at the undergraduate level with one of my top choices, and that’s why I continually stress the importance of feeling comfortable where you choose! Feeling at home should not be forced! Like Evelyn said, law school works out how it’s supposed to!
Thank you to Evelyn, who took time out of her busy schedule during one of the most hectic times of the year to write something up for Bottled Creativity!