Our Summer Series continues! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. We hope to provide a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals! Today we also hear from Lizette, incoming 1L law student who does such a great job describing the struggle, commitment, and triumph so many of us endure to reach our goals!
For me law school was a dream; a vision that I wanted. After almost 15 years of wishing and working I am happy to say that this dream is coming true. I graduated from the University of California- Riverside in 2017 and took a year off before law school because I knew that I was not ready, and my LSAT scores would agree. I had to take the exam four times before I felt confident in the score I had, because my first score was horrible. After taking the exam for the second time I was content with my score, but after doing some research into the schools I hoped to attend I realized that my score needed to be higher.
I had big dreams when applying to law schools, I wanted to attend a law school with a well-known name and reputation such as UCLA or UCI. As big as my dreams were I knew I also had to be realistic and see what schools I had a good chance in compared to my GPA and LSAT score, and as a result I applied to multiple schools within California. As expected I did not get into the higher prestigious schools and I was okay with that at least I tried. However, when I began to receive emails from the lower level law schools I was crushed with what they read. When a rejection letter arrived, I was devastated; I saw it as a sign that I did not belong in law school, that all my hard work was for nothing. I was angry at myself I began to think negatively, “if a low-level school doesn’t want me what makes me think I any other school would take me?” I was angry and so frustrated I was ready to give up then and there. A friend of mine kept me from quitting he kept reminding me that I only needed one acceptance letter, just one, and the rest would depend on my own hard work in law school. He had a point. My dad always let me know, even when applying to college, that it didn’t matter what school I went to, what mattered was how I was as a student, “la escuela no importa, lo que importa es el estudiante.” I stopped feeling sorry for myself because I had worked so hard to get to where I was that I wasn’t going to let a few rejection letters get me down or make me give up.
I finally had seen my glimmer of hope I received an email stating that I had been waitlisted and I was ecstatic. That one little email gave me more hope and determination to do everything I could to make that waitlist into an acceptance. I registered for the LSAT once again, I set up tours and class sit ins, and I looked for more recommendation letters and even wrote my letter of continued interest. For once I saw my admissions journey turn around I felt like things were going my way. Sure, I was still rejected from a good amount of schools, but so what; one school saw potential in me and I was working hard to make them see more. I have never traveled far from home, besides going to Mexico, but I made my trip to San Francisco happen, I was alone in a new city I was very lost, but I made it happen I toured what I believed would be my future law school, and I also met with an incredible lawyer while I was there. My meeting with him was the highlight of the trip he saw potential in me, he was impressed, and more importantly he had faith that I would be accepted. To hear such encouraging words and good advice from someone in the field for almost 20 years was truly amazing. With the June scores being out now I was shocked to see just how much my score improved. It is my highest and best score I have received on the LSAT and I know that it will all be worth it. My hard work paid off and I couldn’t be more content with what I have accomplished.
Right now, I am in Italy, it is crazy for me to even say that! I never in a million years thought I would be saying those words, being from a low-income family it was hard to make this happen, but I had saved up and I am so glad I did. While I prepare for the stress that is coming my way with law school, I am making sure to take this summer to enjoy life to have fun and make memories with my friends.
Chicas, work hard and follow your dreams because in the end it will be worth it! “To get to a dream, you just have to keep going” I am not sure who said this quote, but it is one I am a firm believer in because that is exactly what I am doing now, I’m living my dream life at the moment and I couldn’t be happier.