EF spent two years after her undergraduate studies working and applying to medical schools; although she interviewed with several top programs, she decided instead to drop medicine and turn to law school.
She was accepted to 10 out of the 11 law schools she applied to, and received full scholarship offers from most of those schools. Her interview is the first in a series we'll conduct with law school applicants, each of whom were exceedingly successful but chose to attend very different schools.
- How would you describe preparing for the LSAT, in three words or less?
- What methods/classes/tutors did you use to prepare for the LSAT?
- How was preparing for the LSAT different from preparing for the MCAT?
For the LSAT, it is absolutely necessary to run practice tests exactly as the actual exam. Otherwise, one would have an excellent grasp of the material and strategies, but fail miserably because they did not know how to allot time effectively. Also, the LSAT is by far more focused on how you use your intelligence; there is no regurgitation of learned material. The MCAT is purely content and thus has to be prepared for quite differently.
- To what schools did you apply, and what factors led you to those law schools?
Each university had something unique that appealed to me. For Boston University it was the strong welcoming climate for LGBT students. For William and Mary, it was the high regard it holds in the legal community, along with being in an appealing small-town in a beautiful area of the country. Notre Dame was simply a place that I felt I needed to apply, because of its reputation and standing. Baylor recruited me aggressively, and so I applied there almost out of thanks for the aggressive recruiting.
The University of Toledo appealed to me because I have family in the area, and one of my aunts graduated from their law program. In Cleveland and Cincinnati, I also have family. I applied to the University of Kentucky because that is where I did my undergraduate work, and I was living in Lexington during my application cycle. I applied to the University of Louisville because it is closest to my immediate family, and the campus is one of my favorite places in the Louisville area. I now feel I should have gone there for my undergraduate work instead of the University of Kentucky, and I was impressed by the genuine warmth the admissions staff had for their applicants.
- What did you write your law school personal statement about?
- Your unique education and work backgrounds combine nicely with such an interesting essay; it makes sense you received so many scholarship offers! Would you mind sharing part of your statement?
"Someone once told me that my life is a series of contradictions. Interested, I considered why a person close to me would say that, and whether it was a positive or negative statement. The latter thought was the easier to answer. I chose to take it as a positive statement. Alfred North Whitehead once said, 'In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat, but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress toward a victory.' I agree with that and I think that my life being a series of contradictions might indicate that I have been on my way to really learning about the world."
- What "soft factors" do you think helped your application the most?
- How would you compare med school interviews and law school scholarship interviews? Most people don’t have to be interviewed by law schools, so we’re interested to see how you’d describe them.
- What made Brandeis the best decision for you?
- Which other law schools did you turn down, and why?
The other ten schools accepted me, and most offered me some sort of scholarship. The University of Louisville was the second most generous; the University of Toledo offered me a full ride. Baylor, the University of Illinois, and William and Mary all offered me full rides, minus the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition.
I turned down all these other offers simply because Brandeis felt, in a metaphysical wishy-washy way, right. When I visited the campus, I got the distinct feeling I was meant to be there, and the warmth of the admissions staff assured me I was right. I've gone through my orientation, and so far I stand by my decision.
- What was the best piece of advice someone gave you during your law school application process?
If you have a good LSAT score, you can go almost anywhere, and you get a lot of perks for a good LSAT score. That's where scholarship money gets decided.
- What do you want to do immediately after law school? 10 years after?
Ten years after, I want to be practicing in healthcare law, neglecting most other things in life because I know I’ll enjoy my work so much. After the whole med school process, I realized what part of healthcare I’d rather be working in.