Ah, the personal statement. You’re told to write a 1-3 page essay that explains to an admissions committee what sets you apart from others. Well, where do you begin?
We thought we’d tackle this for our next entry in the series Preparing for Law School. Whether you have questions about choosing your topic, finding your voice, or anything in between, we hope you find the below insights helpful.
Course registration just began at BC, and we thought it would be helpful to dive into our next topic of the Preparing for Law School series—choosing the “right” classes. When your college doesn’t have a pre-law major or track, you might be feeling a little lost. And even if your school does offer guidance, you might be torn between taking classes that interest you and those that you think will look best on your transcript to an admissions committee.
Whether you’re planning for next semester or the years ahead, we hope you find our below insights helpful.
As a political science major, I spent four years saying I wasn’t going to law school. As a 1L, I’m probably more confused now than I was in August. (But at least I’m confused about the right things!) Keeping my less-than-stellar credentials in mind, my advice is to take the classes you want to take.
1L year is well underway, but it feels like just yesterday I was studying for the LSAT, drafting emails to former professors inquiring about recommendation letters, and deciding on a topic for my personal statement. Whether you’re thinking about law school or in the middle of the application process, the Impact Blog writers wanted to share advice on these topics and more which will hopefully address some questions you may have. Welcome to the launch of Preparing for Law School: A Series Providing Tips and Tricks from BC Law Students.
Because the LSAT is, for most, the first step in the application process, we thought it made sense to tackle this topic first. How do you balance school/work and studying? Should you drink coffee the day of the exam even though you’ve never been a coffee drinker? Is it strange that logic games seem fun to you? Well, here’s our take:
When people asked me about my summer (How was work? Did you like what you did?), I found it difficult to provide an adequate account of what I was doing. I spent my summer with the Child Protection Unit at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. The Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) there form part of the team that investigates and, if appropriate, prosecutes instances of child physical and sexual abuse in Suffolk County, which includes Boston, Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop. At the Superior Court level almost all of the cases they handle deal with allegations of sexual abuse involving children. To be clear, the following will include a discussion of those cases, and some of it may be difficult to read. Continue reading
In law school, the primary method of teaching, at least in larger classes and especially during the first year, is referred to as the Socratic method. A professor will call on and question a student (usually at random) about the day’s assigned reading, typically a judge’s written decision or case. You’re asked what happened to cause the dispute, what position the opposing sides took and argued, and how the court reasoned through the issue. This happens in front of the eighty or so other students in class. Public speaking consistently ranks among our greatest fears. The cold call in law school has you speaking in public without much preparation because you cannot know exactly what question will be put to you.
I didn’t know cold calling was a thing in law school until family and friends started asking me if I was nervous about it. I did some research and became terrified – and while it’s normal to feel that way, let me tell you why it might not be justified.
In law school, our free time is precious, so how we spend it matters. Wasting time on a show you’re unsure you’ll like is just too risky. Never fear though, because I’m here.
I watch a lot of TV — admittedly too much. Everyone has their vice. Some people like a night out on the town, others treat themselves to a nice bottle of wine and some fancy cheese. I watch TV.
Here are my top suggestions for what to watch, whether you need some comfort, some time away from the law, or some inspiration.
My first year of law school was hard for a number of reasons. I commuted from the North Shore everyday to avoid the debacle of finding an apartment, but this meant a ninety minute trip to school and back every day. To make my 9 am Torts class in the Fall, I would take the commuter rail into the city, and then an hourlong Green Line train ride to Cleveland Circle, where I would either pick up the shuttle or bum a ride from a fellow student heading to campus (thank you Colleen, and thank you Karla, you two saved me).
Imposter syndrome compounded my anxiety and I went from being someone who was hard on herself to someone who was impossible with herself. I was convinced that I wasn’t good enough, that I would fail my finals, and that graduating (or even making it to 2L year) wasn’t a given. I spent most of the year walking the ever-thinning tightrope of telling myself I deserved to be at BC, while not getting so confident that I would slip up and lose focus.
Then my dog died.
Hi everyone! I have the pleasure of hosting a guest blog from our two fearless Law Student Association leaders from this past year, President Nirav Bhatt and Vice President Andrea Clavijo.
Nirav was also a civil procedure teaching assistant for Professor Mark Brodin, the former president of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), and a former 2L and 1L representative of the LSA. Andrea (or Dre, as her friends know her) was the founder of the BC Law Ambassadors program, a member of the Criminal Procedure Moot Court Team, and executive board member of the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), and a former secretary and 1L representative of the LSA. Both are amazing Eagles, friends, and people, and, on a personal note, my law school experience would not have been the same without them.
Dear BC Law,
Thank you. As your outgoing elected leaders, we want to first and foremost send a huge thank you to all of you for your votes in confidence, your support and attendance at events, and, ultimately, your insightful and thoughtful suggestions to improve the student experience at BC Law. It has been an honor to represent the interests and needs of each and every one of you.
The BC Law community rightfully expects the Law Students Association (LSA), the student government on campus, to voice student concerns to the administration, preserve traditional programming that students have grown accustomed to, and use our resources and access to administrative leadership to continually improve student life at BC Law on all fronts – socially, academically, and professionally.
Name: Heather Perez
Year: 2L (Class of 2017)
Organization: Latin American Law Students Association (President)
Undergraduate Institution: Boston University
Experiences between college and law school:
I worked in public service in Boston as the Legislative Aide for State Representative Willie Mae Allen. Later, I served as the Chief of Staff for Boston City Councilor At-Large Felix G. Arroyo, and helped lead his campaign for Mayor.
Favorite event that your organization plans:
LALSA hosts a “Day in the Life” for local high school students to come to BC Law and get a personal look at being a law student from the perspective of LALSA members. Part of our goals as an organization is to provide mentorship and it’s great to be able to do that both within our BC Law community and in the Greater Boston community.
Editor’s Note: Alex Porter will serve as the President of the Boston College Law Students Association for the 2016-17 academic year. Much like his predecessor, Alex embodies the very best qualities that BC Law students have to offer. As a member of the Boston College Law Review alongside him, I know for a fact that as incoming students you will be in very capable hands. Without further ado, I am very pleased to present his welcome letter to the Class of 2019.
President-Elect Alex Porter (second from right) along with three of his classmates.
Congratulations on your admission to Boston College Law School!
This August, you will become the newest (and most celebrated!) members of our truly extraordinary community. It is a community that eschews one-size-fits-all happiness because we choose instead to value the whole person. Here, it matters that you were the captain of your track team in college, or served as an aide to the Secretary of Transportation, or had first-hand knowledge of tort law due to an unfortunate car accident. Here, whether your family came on the Mayflower or whether you just stepped off the plane from Bangalore, your classmates will want to know – and will value – your story. Please understand that this doesn’t mean an easy ride; you will work harder than you ever have in your life, and you will be challenged to achieve more than you thought possible in the classroom and beyond. But you will do it in a supportive, caring environment that lifts you up so we all get there together, rather than tearing you down.
Friendly competition can be a great thing, but cutthroat competition is not, and we won’t stand for that here.