Annel Gonzalez–Last week the Junior Fellows held their sixth annual Law School and Graduate School Seminar. The event is designed to help students learn more about post-graduate opportunities and help them achieve their goals. To that end, the Junior Fellows brought in five speakers from various fields to discuss law school, graduate school, and career opportunities.
We began by hearing from Ricky Kaplan who works for Kaplan Testing, a company that helps students prepare for the LSAT, GRE, and other standardized tests. Mr. Kaplan is an attorney, and he actually served as the Assistant District Attorney in Texas and Minnesota. For his discussion, however, he offered advice on taking standardized tests such as the GRE and the LSAT. In particular, he stressed the importance of starting early (he suggests taking the LSAT offered in June, in between your Junior and Senior year, and taking a prep course if needed).
Note: The Junior Fellows partner with Kaplan to offer a LSAT Prep Course in the spring of each year. Contact professor Mike Yawn if you are interested in signing up for the prep course.
Following Kaplan was Pilar Mensah from the UH Law School. She covered the criteria that UH uses in evaluating law school candidates, stressing that GPA and the LSAT were of primary importance, followed by personal statements, letters of recommendation, jobs, organizational work and the like. One note of advice: don’t join numerous organizations to show “activity.” Instead, join a quality organization and work to develop skills and leadership, with the hope of eventually taking a leadership role.
Kathryn Meyer from the Bush School of Public Service and Governmental Affairs offered an overview of the many Masters Programs at the Bush School. Broadly speaking, the Bush School offers a Masters program in Public Service and another in International Affairs. In the latter, they have emphases in International Economics and Development and National Security. In the former, they offer five areas of emphases: Nonprofit; Local Government; Energy, Environment, and Technology; Security Policy; and Health Management.
Ms. Meyer emphasized–and had the numbers to back it up–that the school offered strong scholarship opportunities (everyone receives a scholarship, and the average is $4,000 a year) while keeping costs low ($11,000 annually).
To bring it all together we heard from Tracy Sorensen, a local attorney who has been through the entire process and is now a successful attorney running her own office. She discussed her nontraditional path to law school, and hinted at her public service activities–leadership positions in the Walker County Republican Women, Walker County Republican Party, and Walker County Bar Association.
Although each speaker covered a different topic they complemented each other. Each one encouraged students to begin preparing as early as possible and strive for the best performance in class as well as extracurricular activities. It was inspiring to know that the power to succeed is in our hands if we are willing to work hard enough.