berkeley-law

Does everyone really hate law school?

Everyone has heard the stereotype: law school is a bad decisions. It is expensive, the market sucks and you will lose your soul somewhere along the way. I have to say that there must be some truth to that (more so at some campuses than others) but it has not been my experience. I think what really makes or breaks the wisdom in deciding to go to law school depends on why you’re doing it and which school you choose. 

People say don’t come to law school because you want to get rich. Don’t come just because you want the prestige of being lawyer. Don’t come for those reasons cause, if you do, you will be sorely disappointed. Well, I would consider myself someone who came to law school for the money and for the prestige of a legal career. Does this mean that the hours of studying I’ve put in, the pressure and anxiety I’ve endured have felt hopeless and pointless? Absolutely not. In fact, it has been one of those most challenging, scary, beautiful, and empowering experiences of my life. I’ve loved it all and If I could go back in time, I would do it all again.  

The reason my experience has been so empowering is at least partially because of my own personal background. My parents arrived in this country in the 1980s as undocumented immigrants. They fought hard to find a place for themselves in this country and to make a place for their children as well. Because of this I have a been taught to have a great appreciation and respect for education. Where my parents came from, you had to be rich to be able to study. There was no access to credit to fund your education. Granted our system places a huge debt burden on students but at the end of the day, I get to go to class. I have the option to take the risk. I have the option to push myself to make that risk worth the cost. In my life, coming to law school has been the product of decades of struggle that my parents endured to come to the US, generations of hopeful family members wanting something more for their children and years of my own determination to become someone I had no reason to believe I could become. 

Yes, I am came to law school to MAKE MONEY. But I care to make money because it’s what my community lacks. I care to have a prestigious career because my younger siblings can now live with sense of entitlement they would never have had otherwise. I care about all those things because it creates a place for my family in this country. Everyone has their own story so you can’t paint law school with a broad brush.

Of course there is always the element of being financial responsible, being savvy and playing your cards right as far as choosing the right law school to fit your needs. Considering the legal market you are pursuing and being okay with keeping your options open are all parts of actually making something good come out of your law school education. There are law school that prey on people by taking their money yet providing little to no hope for a prosperous legal career but that is not all law schools and it certainly is not mine. Students have to weigh the benefits and the risk to make the most out of a legal education. But my point is that if being here is YOUR DREAM, for you YOUR REASONS don’t let fear mongering keep you away.  Sometimes wanting the money and wanting the career is exactly the right reason to come to law school. 

Impostor Syndrome

Have you heard of impostor syndrome?

According to Wikipedia, it’s

High-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”

According to CalTech, it’s

A collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in the face of information that indicates that the opposite is true

According to my first-hand experience, it’s

How did I get into this school?

Keep reading

pepperminttii  asked:

hi! i'm currently an undergrad at cal and i was just wondering, how did ya get into boalt! i'm thinking about law school (im a sophomore). was your lsat and gpa perfect? or do you think other factors helped you get in... do tell if you have time, thanks! (also, it's awesome that you hung the niners flag, go niners!!!!!! :D) p.s. what was your major?

Glad to help a fellow Golden Bear :) 

I went to UCLA for undergrad and studied political science. My LSAT score was not far from, but below the median (167) but my GPA was very strong. Boalt is known for its high focus on GPA and personal statement. 

I definitely think other factors bolstered my application and helped a lot in my admission to Boalt. I was accepted to the UCLA Law Fellows Program my senior year (a prestigious minority focused scholarship program) and gained great networks and references through them. I was also chosen as a Sidley Austin LLP Pre-Law Scholar during undergrad, which is a scholarship program from a well known law firm. I think my high GPA, solid LSAT score, thoughtful personal statement and fellowship/scholarship achievements made me a good fit for Berkeley Law.

Really focus on your grades and be diligent in applying to law fellowships/scholarships and law programs. This is not only good for your resume but for your own understanding of law school and how to be the best candidate you can be! :) Hope this helps. 

Here is a link to the law fellows and Sidley Austin program. You should consider applying as a junior next year: 

http://www.law.ucla.edu/current-students/get-involved/outreach%20program/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.sidleycareers.com/northamerica/about/prelawscholars/

perhapsmaybetoday-blog  asked:

Hello! I just found your blog tonight through a tag search and your most recent post on the externship caught my attention - mainly because you look happy. I'm hoping to be in law school in the next year and I have to do my best to stay away from the internet because everywhere I turn - people are putting it down. I understand the stress and the debt and the scarcity of jobs - but really - are you happy? It's possible, right? Law school can't be THAT miserable.

haha well the media and people definitely love to make law school sounds like hell. Don’t get me wrong it is HARD. There are plenty of reasons to be stressed and worried but happiness really depends on the person. 

I am a 2nd semester 1L at Berkeley Law and honestly, I love it! Law school is challenging, at times disappointing and most definitely humbling but it also has been one the most fulfilling experiences of my life. 

No doubt there are people here who seem miserable and there are reasons to feel stressed but if you love learning and enjoy a challenge then I think law school is a great place to be. 

At the end being happy depends on the individual. I am happy to just be here and feel like I am on the path to do something meaningful with my life; something I can be proud of. I am the first in my family to go to college, much less graduate school and even with this disadvantage I have thoroughly enjoyed law school so far. 

If you can embrace disappointment and learn from it, if you can face the challenge and not let fear take over then law school can make you better, faster and stronger. I know that has been my experience so far. :)