How I Chased My Dream and Got Into Law School

Being a lawyer has been a goal of mine since I was about 14. Every year, I’ve come closer and closer to that goal, which is such a bittersweet feeling; one day you’re talking about a dream, and next, it is staring at you right in the face. If this is you in any aspect of your life, I challenge you to look at this stress as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle and this mindset shift will set you up so you can accomplish whatever your heart desires. 

But if you’re like me, you set your mind to something, know you want to do it, and think “okay so now what”. I made my decision to pursue this career, but I did not know where to start. 

 

I was fortunate enough to have landed a job working as a legal assistant about two years ago at a firm in my hometown which has provided me with so much experience and many growth opportunities. But, one of the main differences between me and my coworkers is that they have taken the LSAT, BAR, and have a license to practice law. Taking the LSAT would be my first opportunity to take another step in the direction I was bound to go.

 

If you are an aspiring lawyer, you have heard of the brutal Law School Admissions Test before. A five-section exam, 35 minutes for each section, and an additional writing section. It's just you, a pencil, and three hours of logic games, reasoning, and reading comprehension. A running joke in the legal community is “If you think you're smart, take the LSAT and think again”. There is really no other way to describe it. 

 

Due to COVID-19, the LSAT was changed to the LSAT-Flex, a slightly shorter version of the exam, but just as intense. You still study the same way and are faced with the exact same questions - it just is online and slightly altered due to obvious pandemic restrictions. 

 

I highly suggest listening to the “Thinking LSAT” podcast and using “LSAT Demon” to study. This was recommended to me by a friend who currently attends BC Law. I can attest that using these resources to study was a saving grace. Nathan and Ben are two young LSAT tutors who founded Thinking LSAT and LSAT Demon and explain the test in a way that made sense to me. I started my studying in March of 2020 when the world locked down due to COVID. I locked my eyes into practice tests and logic games, for I had no other excuse to put off this studying. 

 

I took the test in June and my one piece of advice would be- don’t freak out. It is so normal to get all jittery and stressed a few days leading up to the exam and on the day of the exam, but you truly have to treat it as just another practice test. I wish I listened to this advice before my June exam because it was exactly what I needed to hear. 

 

I got my results back and my initial thought was “I can do better”. I was frustrated because I knew I didn’t do my best. I was too nervous and felt like I walked away from the test overthinking everything. I was second-guessing myself which was a red flag. I like to believe that a minor setback prepares you for a major comeback so I signed up for the LSAT for a second time. I retook the test in August and finally got a score I was happy with.

 

I asked three important people in my life to write me letters of recommendation to send to the admissions committee of the schools I am considering attending. One political science professor, my boss, and another attorney at my firm. Being proactive about this and giving them enough time to write the letters is crucial for being able to submit your application as early as possible. With this in mind, I asked them in June and had all letters completed by September. All three were so open to writing a letter for me and I believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. 

 

Once I start something, I absolutely need to finish it in one sitting and this is basically how the application process went. I started my applications at 7 pm and completed the forms and documents to all my schools at approximately 1 am. Now, I don’t necessarily recommend approaching anything this way, especially something of this importance, but sometimes your excitement gets to you. I closed my laptop exhausted thinking “all that’s left to do is wait”. I sat with that thought for a few minutes and imagined how different my life would look in less than a year from now. I wanted to know if the past 7 months of work paid off if the risk would be worth the reward.

 

A month later, I got my first acceptance letter to law school. I indeed cried and jumped around my room like a child. I had my family and best friends there to celebrate this accomplishment with me and tell me “I told you you’d get in”. They did that again when I got my next acceptance, and the one after that, and the one after that.

I can proudly say that I have been accepted into eight law schools and feel overwhelmed but in the absolute best way possible. There is simply no better feeling than knowing you are on the right path. Although I still am unsure about what law school I will attend in the fall, I am overjoyed with opportunities that have been presented to me and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for me.

 

If you want to accomplish something, just start. I realized that there is no right time for anything, there is simply time and what you do with it. You have to be willing to fail in order to win, for the moments you want to give up occur moments before your success begins. The work is far from finished, but the first of many opportunities for success has been achieved.