In Legally Blonde, Elle says the famous words, “what, like it’s hard?”
It’s become some sort of a mantra for female students applying to and starting law school. As kickass as this moment was in the movie, however, there’s something very important to note here.
She says these words in reference to getting into law school, not actually attending law school, which, as you recall, she immediately struggles with.
Getting into law school is deceptively simple. There are no prerequisites. Elle’s undergrad had nothing to do with law, or anything even in the humanities. Her focus was in fashion.
All it takes to get into a law school is to have gone through undergrad and to have taken the LSAT. There is no “passing” score on the LSAT, and you will be able to find a law school that accepts you somewhere in the USA if you have taken it at all. It won’t be a good law school, but it will be a law school.
Getting into a good law school, like Harvard, requires a good GPA and LSAT score. If you have a 3.9 GPA and 175+ LSAT, you’re almost guaranteed to get into Harvard Law.
I will not downplay what an impressive feat this is, but you still need to realize that both a high undergrad GPA and a high LSAT score are things that to some, come easily. We all know those kids in college who got straight A’s without trying, and kids who did well on standardized tests (like the SAT) without really trying.
Elle had a 4.0 GPA (so yes, she’s smart), and yes she struggled with increasing her LSAT practice score but she still got a 179 (a score I actually never heard of in real life) on the first try. Meaning, she’s a great test taker.
This has very little to do with how one feels while in law school.
At most law schools, you do not have any exams until the finals. Instead you are expected to only keep taking in information, without being tested on them in any formal manner, and you need to do this in ridiculous volume and speed. You need to be reading cases for 4, 5 classes that all meet nearly everyday, and retaining all this information. It’s not easy. It’s not designed to be easy.
The film made this as clear as it could. Elle’s struggles with getting into Harvard were not even half the battle. It was a cute, fun montage of her studying for the LSAT and putting together a video essay. Once law school starts, she initially crashes and burns, in more ways than one. And then she realizes she really needs to get her shit together.
It can be very discouraging for these hopeful Elle Woodses to start law school and then realize how difficult it is in comparison to everything they’ve done before. But it’s important to remember that their heroine, Elle Woods, struggled, too. You can do it. You can get through it. Just remember:
I’m excited to share the product of my absence! For the past year, my thesis partner and good friend Esteban Bravo and I have been developing a computer animated short film, “In a Heartbeat,” for our senior thesis project at Ringling College of Art + Design. We are launching this Kickstarter to help cover the costs of hiring a professional composer and sound designer for our film!
“In a Heartbeat” follows an insecure middle school boy who has yet to come to terms with his sexuality. When he crosses paths with the most popular boy in school, his heart pops out of his chest to go after the boy of his dreams. Please visit the Kickstarter page for more development, information, and production artwork on the project!
We are currently mid-production, about to wrap on animation and begin lighting, rendering, and compositing the film, but we need YOUR help to make this film the best that it can be! Any contribution helps, be it a donation or simply sharing the video and spreading the word!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! This film has been a true labor of love for us both and I am so excited to share the finished film with you this Spring!
After an incredible spring break excursion to Calgary, Alberta (airbnb’s are so interesting, wow) my friends and I spent a day regrouping and looking ahead to the final 7 weeks of the semester. Then I kicked it with a stack of film theory books I borrowed for an essay I have coming up!
Typically, at the beginning of the month I look through all of my syllabi and map out major assignments and required events. Then I look at the event and guest lecturer schedules to see what other cool things I can make it to.
**if you haven’t picked up The Art of Living Other People’s Lives, I recommend it. It’s light, but also thoughtful and funny and generous. I’ve been using it as a palette cleanser in between film theory!
I got asked a few weeks ago by pictosays if I had any tips for upcoming film students, now I’m nowhere near an expert but this is what I have come up with from personal experience.
Learn from the ground up You are in school for a reason, don’t walk in thinking you know everything because you made a film for A Level Film Studies, everyone did and people will get annoyed with you rather quickly.
Take risks University is the time to take risks in your work, you have a safety net, use it to your advantage.
Get experience Talk to 2nd/3rd years to get roles on set, they need some extra hands on set and you need to know how a set works in the ‘real world’. Also use your summer/weekends wisely, get an internship or some runner jobs at a production company. Hands on experience is invaluable and a foot in the door never hurt.
Be nice to your peers In film school more so than others you have to work in teams, it’s part of the industry and it’s a part of everyday life. Don’t make enemies you will regret.
Theory is important It’s one thing being able to make a film look nice but if the shot has no real relevance/meaning then it’s pretty useless.
Use Lynda.com I use this website all the time, it has detailed tutorials on all industry standard software. There is a subscription fee but most (mine anyway?) universities offer a subscription as part of the degree. (Also Avid is the industry standard for editing Feature/Hollywood films at least get your head around the workflow)
Be prepared to self-teach This is true of all subjects but in film somethings you just have to figure out yourself, you have to figure out your own workflow. So instead of complaining about it just get stuck in - you never know it could be fun.
Don’t get cocky about your specialism You want to be a director? Awesome, go for it but have a backup. Director isn’t the only job available and it also isn’t ‘the most important’. Film sets are nothing without all the other departments, learning how they work will do you no harm.
Watch films! Expected really but at times you get caught up in production, make time to go to the cinema or to re-watch your favourite film, remind yourself why you do what you do. Also expand your genres, watch the classics and go to experimental film festivals because inspiration can come from the strangest places.
That’s everything I have for now, it’s also good to remember my BA is more fine art film than feature/hollywood but the principles the same - play around, find your niche and work hard.
If you have any questions just drop me a message :)