“I am the first in my family.”
Those of us who are first-generation law students are often straddling a fence. Some of us feel obligated to follow through on the dreams that brought our parents to America by solidifying the family’s socioeconomic status. Some of us are in law school simply because we’re passionate about it. I’m on both sides. There’s a big part of me that’s doing it for my unit — I want to help build a foundation that will serve future generations of my family.
A lot of times we sell ourselves short because we don’t think we’re knowledgeable enough about whatever it is we’re interested in pursuing. This is particularly true for first-generation students. We may not know exactly what law school entails, and most of us don’t have attorneys in our families we can talk to and learn from. But it’s important to believe in yourself and do it. You never know what others might see in you and how you might inspire them.
Why is law so important?
In the legal field, not all superheroes wear capes. The law is a field where even the men and women who work behind desks can change the world. Also, law really matters. Whether it’s criminal issues, data, privacy, or health care, everyone has a horse in the race, and anyone who graduates from law school can have an impact.
What inspired you to pursue law school?
As a first-generation law student, I didn’t grow up with attorneys in my family to tell me that law is a field in which I can succeed. I’m motivated by making my family proud, because they’ve been my champions for so long. But I’m also passionate about solving business and corporate issues in the most responsible way possible.
What are the most important skills for success in law school?
Even though my original plan was to work my way up to the C-suite as an accountant, I’m very passionate about learning to think like a lawyer. In law school, I learned to be more analytical, not just about numbers, but by being trained to thoroughly assess scenarios and then search for all the solutions that might be out there.
What would you tell a young person at the beginning of their journey to law school?
I’d say take a leap of faith. Don’t sell yourself short. You never know who you might inspire along the way.
What advice would you offer to someone getting ready to take the LSAT?
I studied really hard, spent a lot of time at the library, and took practice tests. I recommend that anyone who is planning to take the LSAT check out all the test prep resources that LSAC offers. At first, I was worried about the logic games section. But when you think about the different pieces of industry or society and how they all come together, it’s important to be able to balance the interplay among all those facets. The way your brain has to work to solve those games is what you need to be a good attorney. Most importantly, we all approach learning and test taking differently, so it’s important to prepare in the way that best suits your style.