- How would you describe preparing for the LSAT, in three words or less?
Intense, but worthwhile
- What methods/classes/tutors did you use to prepare for the LSAT?
My score kept improving toward the end of the course, which shows you that dedication pays off. I felt comfortable enough with my score when the course ended that I took the February exam (to apply in the following cycle). I could probably have continued to improve the score if I had continued to study. If the score is that important to you, then you should only take the test when you are sure you have reached your "ceiling," if there is one for each person.
- To what schools did you apply, and what factors led you to those law schools?
- What did you write your law school personal statement about?
My family’s economic situation improved dramatically when I was twelve-years-old, but I will never forget my humble beginnings, rooted in my parents migration from the countryside to the capital. They migrated in pursuit of their academic ambitions, which they fulfilled several years later while raising a family and struggling against impoverished beginnings. Their story is a great source of inspiration in my life. In fact, it gave me the strength I needed when I myself immigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen to pursue my own academic goals.After introducing myself, where I come from and the stories that have shaped my personal development, I go on to speak about my actual professional and academic interests: finding a balance between economic development and environmental protection using our legal system. Because I was applying right out of college, I felt it was important to highlight the extracurricular activities and internships in which I engaged while in college that would show I had already taken serious steps toward the achievement of my larger goals. I therefore also spent some time discussing this, making sure I tied it seamlessly to the rest of the story.
My interest in finding a balance between economic development and environmental protection arises from my experiences growing up in a developing country with abundant natural resources.
- What "soft factors" do you think helped your application the most?
I also did not major in any of the usual suspects: Political Science, History, English or Philosophy. I was a science major, which probably helps any applicant stand out.
- What made Harvard law the best decision for you? Which other law schools did you turn down, and why?
With that in mind, I focused on reputation, faculty and location. I went to college in New York, so NYU was not that appealing, and there is a discernible difference between the influence of the faculty at Harvard and Berkeley. I find Chicago too cold, and could never spend a winter there. I applied a similar analysis when deciding not to attend the other schools to which I was admitted, concluding that Harvard was the best decision based on its reputation, faculty, location and job opportunities after graduation. I was wait-listed at Columbia and Yale, so they didn't factor in, but I know I would have chosen Harvard over either one of them.
- What was the best piece of advice someone gave you during your law school application process?
- Make sure the people whom you ask to write the letters of recommendation will do a good job. Make sure they know you well, and be sure they have only EXCELLENT things to say about you. You don't even get to see the letters, so this is one of the components of the application that is most out of your control. Develop a close relationship with professors and show them your full potential.
- Craft your personal statement to near perfection.
- Go to the best law school you can get into. (I'm not sure how I feel about this one, but I certainly heard it a lot).
- What do you want to do immediately after law school? 10 years after?
I will probably work for a firm immediately after law school to gain some financial stability. 10 years after law school I hope to be working for the government in some capacity.