Law School

Summer Series: The Power of Planning

Summer Series 2019 continues! Today we have Melinda Reyes, a pre-law student who is not a law student…yet, but she will be! And she’s sharing her goals and plans on getting to law school and why the power of planning is just as important as the power of yet. 

Latinas are a force to be reckoned with and we often second guess our own greatness.  And because of that, my dream of becoming an attorney sometimes felt out of reach. But even when it felt that way, I kept my dreams in mind and let them be my guide.  I graduated last year from Boston University, and I now feel one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming an attorney. Below are a few things that I am implementing this summer that you can do too, well before law school starts, to keep your dream of becoming an attorney within reach. 

It’s A Work of Science, Not a Work of Art

The LSAT test makers might argue it’s a work of art, but I beg to differ.  The LSAT is consistent, but with several curveballs every now and then. The only thing that changes on the LSAT is the frequency of particular question types, the difficulty of the questions, and perhaps the density/difficulty of the prompts.  Most students may start their LSAT studying by taking a practice test to determine their baseline score. However, I chose to forgo this for several reasons. For one, if I took a practice test well before I knew the fundamentals, I wouldn’t know how to strategically tackle the questions or know what to look for in a correct answer, or even why a wrong answer is wrong.  For me, acing the LSAT then is contingent on being able to properly tackle the questions and distinguish correct and wrong answer choices. Another reason for not taking practice test beforehand is that an unfavorable test score could be disheartening and discouraging. At the outset of my LSAT practice it would feel more like a formidable undertaking and like I’m swimming against the current.  Instead, I have a target LSAT score and with it in mind my goal for the summer is to have strong grasp and handle on the fundamentals. Once I’ve solidified my understanding of the fundamentals, I’ll take a practice test to determine my strength and weaknesses on the test. After that, it’ll be a matter of strengthening my areas of weaknesses and timing. I only plan on taking the LSAT once, and if all goes well with my studying, then hopefully that’s all I’ll need.  

Networking and The Power of Yet 

Although I’m not a law student or attorney…yet, it’s a goal I am working towards.  It’s a bit intimidating to try and work a room with already established attorneys and current law students. But, I try to go into networking events with this mindset and that I belong there too.  I’ve taken it upon myself to attend my local Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Puerto Rican Bar Association (PRBA), Dominican Bar Association (DBA) and other networking events to start connecting and establishing meaningful relationships with other attorneys.  My hope is that by attending these networking events well before starting law school, I will be able to develop several genuine mentoring or sponsorship relationships that will continue well after law school. I would highly encourage other law school bound students to attend Bar Association chapters in their area and begin cultivating relationships now.  In doing so, it shows initiative, enthusiasm and dedication to becoming a lawyer.

Diversify. Diversify. Diversify

Earlier this year I attended an HNBA event where one of the attorneys advised students to diversify their work experience.  I agree, but equally important is to diversify one’s sources of happiness to lead a full and meaningful life. In anticipation of the stressors of law school, I have been working on diversifying my sources of happiness with the reasoning that the earlier I implement them into my daily life, the more likely I’ll be able to sustain them throughout law school.  Some of my different sources of happiness include my family, fitness, cycling, yoga (especially Yoga With Adriene), planner crafting, and travelling, to name a few. It’s one thing for me to be laser focused on my goals, dreams and aspirations, but not to the point that I completely deprive myself of happiness and joy. These sources of happiness may serve as a welcomed reprieve from the stresses of law school. 

Open A Law School Savings Account

One of my goals is to attend law school without the same financial stressors I had in undergrad.  I think that the cost of law school can be a deterrent and make it less accessible or desirable for Latinas to pursue.  My goal is to open a savings account for both tuition and other expenses I might incur like housing, transportation, textbooks, conferences, and professional clothing. But simply opening a savings account is not enough, I’m becoming more proactive about gaining financial literacy and taking responsibility for my money.  This is something to be particularly mindful about especially since it is a consideration for one’s Character and Fitness.

My parting words of wisdom is to trust the process, yourself, and your aspirations as you strive towards becoming an attorney.