I'm Finally a Bachelor of the Arts!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by VIETgrlTerifa, May 21, 2011.

  1. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    10,033
    I graduated Cum Laude from my university. I became the first person in my father's side of the family (his older sister has 10 children and his younger sister has three but the older ones are successful in their business endeavors) to graduate college.

    I don't know if any of you had a tinge of paranoia in the days leading up to your ceremony. I kept having these anxiety dreams of not graduating (in one dream I had a woman with a thick accent telling me I did not qualify for graduation because of a precedent from 1930). What exacerbated the problem was that my university did not really give me any sort of confirmation that I graduated. I did all the steps prior (apply for graduation, apply for a degree, graduation checklist, grad fest and confirming how my name should look on my diploma) but all of that happened either in the semester prior to my final one or early in my last semester before final grades were submitted. There was not even an email specifying when we should get to the arena or what the procedure was for the commencement. I learned from my friends who graduated from other universities that that is pretty much the norm.

    Now, my next step is the LSAT in October and Law School applications. I'm going to study hardcore (especially the logic puzzles and logical reasoning portions) because I am hoping to score in the high 160 and even 170 range. Easier said than done. All of my friends who recently graduated from law school and passed the bar are telling me not to go into law school because of oversaturation and how hellish the experience was, but deep down, law is something I feel like I have to do. I weighed other options and I took so long to graduate college because I dabbled in doing other things before I realized what my goal in life was.

    I wanted to make a celebratory thread because I have been in college in forever and it doesn't feel quite real yet.

    P.S. The best part was that I got to wear 5 honor cords. At first I thought it would be tacky, but an etiquette site told me that graduation was no time to look modest (only act like modest). Also, a friend of mine convinced me to go ahead and do it when he told me that I should wear it like Mr. T and "pity the fool" who thinks I'm elitist.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
    Cheylana, Rex, UMBS Go Blue and 15 others like this.
  2. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,065
    Congrats! Enjoy your accomplishment
     
  3. LuckyCharm

    LuckyCharm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,878
    Way to go! I can imagine how proud your family must be. And if the law is your calling, then go for it. Do you know where you're going to apply yet? Good luck with the LSAT. My brother just graduated law school last week. He did pretty well on the LSAT (160ish, I think,) but I remember him saying that if he had it to do again he would have spent more time practicing the "games," so it sounds like your study plan is a good one. Also, I love what your friend and the etiquette site said about honor cords. So true!
     
  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    10,033
    I'm going to let the LSAT score sort of dictate where I should shoot. However, my dream school in NYU. I always wanted to live in New York and I have family that live there and a few friends who say they can't wait for me to move up there.

    However, I'm also looking at schools from all tiers because I know that if I only look at tier 1 and tier 2 schools, I may end up with nothing but rejection letters. Plus, the biggest factor that I need to consider when I choose a school is financial aid packages. I know I have to take out loans no matter what to live on, but I want to minimize my debt as much as possible.
     
  5. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    14,083
    Congratulations! :cheer2:
     
  6. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Messages:
    18,917
  7. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,827
    Congratulations! :cheer:
     
  8. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,919
    Congratulations! This is an awesome achievement! :respec:

    Good luck on the LSAT.
     
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,874
    Congratulations - your future is bright.
    May all doors open to the path meant for you!
     
  10. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12,407
    ChĂșc mừng! Congratulations!

    Some statistics on NYU and the LSAT:

    LSAT Score Percent Admitted
    168-180 100%
    164-167 99%
    160-163 71%
    156-159 15%
    148-155 12%
    120-147 4%

    This site might be helpful too: law school stuff. The bratling, my younger brother, got a 178 using PowerScore. I know they have a program that's just for logic puzzles.
     
  11. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,546
    Congratulations, what an accomplishment!
     
  12. Eden

    Eden Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,172
    Congratulations! :respec:
     
  13. hydro

    hydro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,653
    Congratulations! :respec:
     
  14. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,654
    Congratulations! :) Best wishes with the LSAT!
     
  15. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,753
    Congrats, I am so proud of you! I know exactly how it is to take a while to finish. I will be graduating next May at the age of 29. Hey, at least I will have gotten it done before I turned 30! lol I am sure it wont feel real. I am still undecided on if I will even walk or not. I get all anxious and nervous at that type of thing and I am not graduating with any friends so it will feel a little lonely as an experience, perhaps. On the other hand, I took so long to do this so perhaps I should make sure not to have any regrets. Anyway, this is about you! Congrats!!!
     
  16. VALuvsMKwan

    VALuvsMKwan Wandering Goy

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,993
    Many congratulations!
     
  17. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,058
    Congratulations on your achievement. Excellent.
     
  18. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    7,433
    Mazel tov! Enjoy the accomplishment for a bit before studying for the LSAT ... and good luck on that test.
     
  19. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,347
    Congratulations on graduating. That's a wonderful accomplishment.

    The LSAT is one of the few standardized tests that you really can study for and improve. Logic games, especially, have a lot of tricks to them and the biggest challenge on those is time. (The best trick I learned was to set up the "set" elements of the puzzle in pen and use pencil for the rest, so I did not have to set up the entire puzzle for each question. I think the LSAT banned pens not long after, but I believe they still allow hi-liters.) Also, don't overlook the writing portion. The one-hour or so essay may seem silly, but I had a professor in law school who considered that one of the most important parts of his evaluation because it showed the ability to write cogently under a time constraint (at my school, the professors reviewed applications).

    For law school, think very hard about a few things. First, are you going because you think you'll make a lot of money or because you really are intrigued by and like the law? The answer could say a lot about your happiness in law school and beyond.

    Second, investigate schools carefully. NYU is known as a highly cut-throat school. With jobs at the high-paying firms scarce, that has only ratcheted up the stress and competition. It may be nice to live in New York, but would that outweigh the day-to-day environment of the school?

    Third, pay attention to what graduates from the school are doing. A lot of law schools sell people on bright futures, but they are unrealistic in this economy and you can wind up with huge debt and little opportunity. I don't know where you graduated, but if you were cum laude at a respectable college or university, don't settle for a tier 3 or most tier 2 law schools. It just isn't worth it in the long run. You might be better off spending a year or two doing an internship and gaining experience that you can sell to a top law school.

    I personally loved my three years of law school, but that was because I was not at a school where grades were considered particularly important. There was competition over law journal, jobs and clerkships, and stress around exam periods, but it was nothing like what my friends described at other schools. I had friends leave Harvard because the environment and competition was so unpleasant, whereas, the de-emphasis on grades at my school led to a pretty collegial and supportive environment.
     
  20. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,391
    Congratulations! Wear those cords with pride and enjoy yourself in law school.
     
  21. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,791
    Congratulations! :cheer2:
     
  22. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    10,033
    Thanks for the tips. I'm taking a Testmasters course (I got a half off coupon because they visited my school's Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and they offered those coupons to those who answered a logical reasoning question correctly). My biggest issue is the time-management and I know I need a lot of work on that. They also stressed the essay portion because I was told that there are examples of people doing well on the LSAT but not putting much effort on the essay portion and getting rejected from law schools because of that. I also enjoy writing, so that would most likely be the part I would enjoy the most (that and reading comprehension).

    I know jobs are very scarce right now (almost all of my friends who finished law school are having a hard time finding jobs) and I really am not doing it for the money. I would love to work for the public sector or non-profit and I know that's not where you go for high, glamorous living that is usually perpetuated for lawyers. I also love reading about the law, and I find judicial opinions to be fascinating. Every time there's a controversial law passed (like Arizona's immigration law and now Georgia) or a high-profile case (like the Westboro church v. Snyder), I like to see if my opinions, after reading the facts, are anywhere close to the real outcome.

    You're right about that. I'm going to visit NYU and Brooklyn law in October, so I can see if I even like New York. I have family and friends in NYC so that was one reason why I wanted to go to law school there, but I'm also considering other places as well. I was actually thinking about CUNY as well because they are known for having a diverse student body and their public interest clinics. Also, Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave a testimonial for it, so that caught my eye.

    IMO, the University of New Orleans is very respectable school and we are known for our academic research (I also think our Poli-Sci dept. is known in the South), but I know that UNO is not quite known as other schools in my area (like Tulane, Loyola, LSU) and it's not a big name school, so I may be suffering from some insecurity over that.

    May I ask where you went to school? It sounds like a great environment.
     
  23. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,347
    A review course definitely will help, as will just doing a lot of practice questions.

    That's good to hear. I will say, based on personal experience, that it is much more difficult to actually go into public interest when you are facing a mountain of debt. I had always thought I would do public interest, and I'm now into my 16th year of private practice, mainly at large firms. Part of that was financial. I also discovered, after working on several law school clinics, the emotional toll a lot of public interest work takes on lawyers. I have all the respect for people who can handle constant life-and-death cases, but it took too much out of me and I could not see doing that for a career.

    CUNY's an interesting school. One of my law school classmates is the dean there. But your options may be limited there.

    Something else to keep in mind is where you might want to practice. Some schools have excellent alumni networks that help with post-graduate placements. Others have particularly good reputations in certain cities, but are not well-respected outside of the region.

    I don't know anything about UNO, but your school might be able to provide some information on where past alums have gone to law school. That might give you an idea of how the school is perceived. Bear in mind that very strong grades, good recommendations, and a high LSAT will offset some doubts about a school.

    I went to Yale in the early 1990s, and it was an amazing experience. The first year is designed to foster collegiality. There are no grades (just pass/fail) in the first semester and your four core courses have one "small group" of about 15 people and three larger classes that combine two to four small groups. As a result, your small group members are in all of your classes. That makes it pretty easy to form study groups and divvy up outlines. The "small group" also is a designated legal research and writing course. I believe some other law schools have similar programs (I think University of Texas for one), but I'm not sure the classes are set up the same way.
     
  24. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    17,540
    That's excellent!! Congratulations!!
     
  25. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,623
    Congrats!! Don't ruin it with law school, lol :) Work for a lawyer first, or find a few to shadow to make sure that's what you want.
     
  26. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    4,648
    Congrats! :cheer2:
     
  27. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,283
    Congratulations BA and Good Luck in Law School!!!
     
  28. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    10,033
    LOL. I had to take a capstone course where we had a different Poli-Sci professor presenting a topic and journal article every week. We were assigned a professor and were responsible to facilitate that particular discussion. One person lucked out because one professor decided to use his week as an opportunity to recruit us for his public administration masters program. I must say that it sounded really tempting.

    But I've decided on law school already. When/If I get in, I'll let you guys know how my first semester turns out and you guys can say "I told you so." ;)
     
  29. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Messages:
    11,076
    I think we're trying to dissuade you because of the dire job market and the crushing debt. :p Most of my friends who graduated law school in the past few years haven't found law-related jobs yet, let alone anything high-paying that would make a significant dent into their loans. The only one who has claims she got her gig because she's fluent in Chinese. If you want to go that route, learning Chinese and heading to the east coast probably isn't a bad idea either. :p

    Congrats with the BA and good luck to whatever you choose to do! Even if it is law school. ;)
     
  30. Civic

    Civic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    6,262
    Congratulations. This is a very special time in your life. Enjoy it and soak it in. Word of advice. Try hard to stay in touch with your college friends. I let too many of those friendships go by the wayside and I regret it.