On Wednesday night, the Emory Black Law Student Association crossed Clifton Road and met up with the Emory Black Pre Law Society to answer questions regarding the dos and don’ts of undergraduate life when you are preparing for law school in the future. The attendance for this event was lower than any other Black Pre Law Society event thus far, surprisingly. It was mostly law school students and seniors in the college. The discussion took place in the form of a panel.
Who was on the panel?
- A first year law student (referred to as a “1L”)
- A third year law student who also had the perspective of working in the law school admissions office and is a transfer student (“3L”)
- A non-practicing attorney who attended Hampton and Mercer Law, she has a law based Youtube channel(“AT”)
The moderator asked a question to the panel and they could respond as they felt appropriate and often times would “piggyback” off of each other’s answers and throw in more tips and strategies. Some of the most fitting questions for first years and their most helpful and common answers are listed below!
Why did you decide to go to law school? What type of law are you planning to practice?
1L: I had no intentions of going to law school until my senior year of college. I had a fashion degree from FIT and found a way to combine that with law after having tons of discussions with one of my professors and just went from there.
3L: I have known since high school. Law school was just always the route for me. I plan to practice labor and unemployment law.
AT: I have a weirder story. Everyone in my family has been divorced at least once, so I just knew divorce law was for me. I wanted to have a huge billboard off the side of 85. Now I am in law school recruitment instead so you never know where your JD will take you.
How did you study for the LSAT?
1L: I used the Blueprint test prep course, and a whole lot of brutal self study.
3L: I used the Kaplan test prep, but would not recommend it at all. Kaplan isn’t individualistic enough and if I had to do it all over, I would get a private tutor.
AT: I did the Kaplan live online course, and very little self study. I only got a 140 the first time, so I did the in class Kaplan to bring up my score. If I could do it all over, I would take at least 30 practice exams.
Do you have any tips for writing the personal statement?
3L: Emory wants to know what you learned from your experiences and how you plan to implement that in the Emory community. Your personal statement doesn’t have to be some life changing event, they would rather see something you’re passionate about than a really prestigious award.
AT: BE PERSONAL! Stop being hella generic. If I never have to see the sentence, “I have been through so much adversity,” I would be happy. For most law schools, there is no interview aspect so your personal statement needs to be very telling.
- tell a story or have a consistent theme
- talk about specific law school plans (what kind of law you want to practice)
- talk about specific reasons you are applying to the law school you’re applying to
What was most important when you were choosing law schools?
- Black Law Student Association Presence
- Location/Cost of Living
Overall, I feel that the small crowd size made for a comfortable, more informal environment. The panelists were open and really wanted to see the undergraduate students succeed. They offered their cards to attendees and encouraged us to keep our studies first. I also think the panelist’s different backgrounds allowed them to have a wide variety of perspectives on the law school application experience, yet they still firmly agreed with each other on certain things.