Monday, August 16, 2010

On the Eve of My Departure to Law School

Here I am about to embark on my trip to the city where I’ll be going to law school. Two years ago seems like such a long time ago with so much uncertainty. I hadn’t even started studying for the LSAT yet, and when I did, wow did I receive a huge slap in the face from reality. I thought I would be able to study a few weeks for it like I did the GRE and achieve about the same success with the LSAT as I had with the GRE. No. No. No. I told no one but a coworker and my mom that I was scheduled to take the LSAT, and under strict orders were they to tell anyone. Period.
Had I bombed on my LSAT, which my first few practice tests indicated I would do, I would have quietly worked on my resume, a seminar and applied for jobs in the northeast or out west. In my line of work, the most pharmaceutical R&D positions are in the places just mentioned. Also in my line of work, the interviews typically last from 8am until 4pm, and the candidate is required to present a 30-45 min seminar of the candidate’s scientific research. It’s a formidable task not to be taken lightly. Often, the success of a candidate’s job search hinges on how well the seminar is. As a matter of fact, after the 3rd bombed out practice test, I did indeed prepare a seminar for my job search. I also postponed taking the LSAT from December to the following February. I was even thinking about not taking the test. However, I put so much work in the test that I would go ahead and take it, after all the test was paid for.

It took a few weeks to go over 6 years of research and then compose a 40 slide seminar in Power Point. Soon after, Christmas rolled around, and after New Years, I studied an additional 3 weeks for the LSAT which made the difference. Something ‘clicked’ (or at least for the logical reasoning part), and I didn’t do nearly as bad as in my practice tests. The logic games kicked my ass which frustrated me to no end! For someone with a science background, that should have been my strongest segment, but it wasn’t. I received my LSAT score a few days after Abby died. What a bitter sweet moment that was. I just lost my baby girl, but on the other hand, I had the realization that I was going to law school—somewhere! I didn’t hit a grand slam, but I guess I got on second base after hitting a single and advancing a base after an infield error.

The receiving of the LSAT score stopped my job search quest, but I still had a decision to make. Should I go to law school in the 2009-10 or wait a year? I chose to wait a year so I could stay in Raleigh and help my mom take care of my sick dad. August 2010 seemed like an eternity, but here it is!

I’m nervous about this for several reasons. First, I’m taking a huge step out of my academic comfort zone. Sure, the law school exam format is going to be different for all of us, but for a science major, this difference will be even starker. Then there is the matter of age. I haven’t taken a class for a grade since 1995. I’m going to be rusty to say the least. Also, PLEASE don’t let me be the oldest in my class. It really shouldn’t matter to me but it does.

People often ask me if I’m excited. I’m not the ebullient type and am not a giddy teenager starting school for the first time. I’m nervous and scared. Am I doing the right thing? Can I do this? Will I get a decent job? I’ve been thinking about going to law school for ten years, but it took my being laid off to really force the issue of whether I wanted to go to law school or not. I have to admit, my R&D position wasn’t the most sexy and thrilling job in the world, but it was a safe and comfortable one. Now I’m about to go into a realm of great uncertainty. The next time I post about my law school experience, I will no longer be a 0L but will be a 1L!


  1. Good luck. Who knows if law school is ever the right decision for anyone? It is, however, a fascinating journey. And that's something to look forward to.

  2. You're going to be great - you'll see! Think of all the things you'll learn, the new (and bright!) people you will meet. You're going into another field that will not only affect your life, but other lives as well - and that is amazing. I work in a law firm now, although am on staff, and there are some great people here.

    I wish you a happy and successful journey! Congratulations!