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Nicole Carnemolla- Qu Law Student

 

How did you choose QU for law school?

I chose QU for law school for a few reasons. I liked the friendly, collaborative environment among the students and because it is a small school, the professors really get to know their students. QU also offers one of the concentrations I am interested in, family law, and is known for their clinic and externship programs that offer students practical, real world experience (which I am so excited to take advantage of!). I also was offered a great scholarship, which was important to me because law school can become very expensive. And, after spending 4 years at QU for undergrad, having the opportunity to be a Bobcat for another 3 years was an additional perk!

What made you want to be a lawyer?

I've wanted to become a lawyer for the longest time. My mom had an amazing attorney, and she has been a great mentor for me all throughout college. I saw the positive effects that an attorney could have on a person, and I wanted to do the same.

What type of law do you want to practice?

I want to specialize in family law, specifically divorce and custody issues.

What is the toughest part of law school?

The toughest part about law school is definitely the amount of work. It is completely different from undergrad. Every class assigns nightly reading, and even if it is only 15-20 pages per class, that reading will typically take anywhere from an hour to two hours to complete depending on the content and how many notes you take. On top of that, professors in law school all "cold-call" students, so you have to be fully prepared for every class. Going to class unprepared really isn't an option. What makes it more difficult is that your entire grade for each class is based upon one final exam at the end of the semester, so it is crucial to stay on top of the work all semester and make sure you understand everything. It is manageable though- you just need to stay organized and figure out what study styles work best for you.

What is your favorite class ?

My favorite class this semester is Torts. It is taught by the Dean of the Law School, and the cases we cover are very interesting. I really enjoy this class because of the great discussions we are able to have about the cases, and, since taking this class, it has completely changed how I view a lot of issues we see and hear about every day.

How did you prepare for law school?

I prepared for Law School by first taking an LSAT prep class which was actually offered at QU Law, and then spent another month studying on my own before the actual exam. The LSAT takes a lot of preparation, and it is all about skill and strategy, it is not something you can sit down and memorize. I took the prep class from April until mid-May, and then studied on my own until the LSAT in June. I decided to take the LSAT this early because I had an entire month off from school to study and would not be adding onto my other classwork, plus, if I didn't do as well as I wanted to, I had two more opportunities to retake it before my scores were sent to the schools. I spent the summer researching and visiting schools. I then started applying in late-November. Studying for the LSAT was far from fun, and I cannot even remember how many drafts of personal statements I wrote, but in the end it was worth it.

Any advice for people looking into law school?

If you want to go to law school, you have to be completely passionate about it because it is a big commitment. Spend time visiting law schools, sitting in on classes, and talking to students at different schools so you can really get a feel of what it will be like before you make the decision. Law school is a lot more than just a 9-5 job, so you want to make sure you are going to enjoy what you're doing.

If you know you want to go to law school, start preparing early. Do not rush into anything, especially the LSAT. It's requires a lot of studying, so you want to try to do your best the first time, that way you won't have to retake it and go through the process again. I'd highly recommend taking an LSAT prep class, it really helped me focus my studying on the areas I needed the most help in, and put me on the right track to study on my own for another month. You don't have to take the most expensive course, I actually took the cheapest option and felt as though I got just as much out of my class as other people did who spent double the amount. And, start working on your applications as early as possible because most law schools are on a rolling admissions process, so the earlier you apply the better chance you have of getting in. 

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