The one with the relationship.

Unrelated, but kind of related. I noticed a few women-run law student blogs have posts about being newly weds, and I thought I should make a post to talk a little about my relationship.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for over 8 years now. We’ve been together since our freshman year of high school. I like to tell people we met in Italian class, because we did. But I usually end up telling people the whole truth which is:

We met in Italian class but saw each other on the weekends because he was a football player and I was a cheerleader.

I know.

It’s like a bad teen movie.

But wait! We’ve survived high school and college and we continue to (try to) adult together. As I continue going to school and he starts his career, we are constantly working together to navigate through our schedules, understand each other when we’re tired and frustrated, and make things easier and happier for each other. We’re far from perfect, but I like to think we’ve gotten a few things right since we’ve lasted all these years.

He’s been SUPER supportive of my road to law school. He even bought me books like The Introverted Lawyer and The Color of Law! He’s pretty great and I thought I’d just shout him out because he’s a big reason why I’ve developed the confidence to pursue this path.

If you’re interested in more blog posts about navigating through my relationship while applying/eventually going to law school, please let me know!

The one with the Public Defender.

Hey all! It’s been a super long week of LSAT Prep, but one of the cool perks of the fellowship I’m in is that they bring public service attorneys in on Saturdays after class to talk to us about their experiences.

This week we had a Supervising Attorney from the Bronx Defenders and it was interesting to hear his experiences. He talked about his work in immigration, housing, police brutality, “qualified immunity” and how it affects his line of work, how police presence in certain neighborhoods determines which communities are most affected by certain policies. He also acknowledged his privilege and how his working experiences changed his perception or understanding of how people live.

It’s great having access to these conversations. We’re told to prepare at least 3 questions before each speaker comes so that the conversation never dies out, but so far the two speakers have been incredible at sharing their experiences and our questions end up developing more organically. It’s also great having access to these conversations because none of us have lawyers in our families and we don’t know what that environment is like. It’s awesome to see people who are passionate about their jobs, passionate about helping people, and passionate about changing our current system, even if just incrementally.

It’s also just really cool to be able to nerd out about the academics behind law. We talked about the law, past cases, and past sociology and psychology studies that have been used in cases. Meeting people that are genuine in and passionate about their work is so satisfying and breaks down the idea that lawyers are lying manipulators.

I’m sure there’s definitely some manipulating (of words at the very least) to get your point across, but lawyers and judges are responsible for so much of what we experience today. From who gets to become a US citizen to whether or not a baker has to bake for a gay couple, the judicial system has effects on our society socially and economically.

If anyone is out there reading any of this, thank you!  I love nerding out and listening to other peoples’ experiences, so please reach out if you have any stories/questions/concerns/suggestions. I’m really new at this and I appreciate any and all interaction(I’d never say that in person, but for this blog I mean it).

The one with the decision to apply to law school.

I feel like everyone I know that goes to law school has known since high school. My high school actually had majors and a bunch of kids in the Law and Society major are actually in law school right now.

In high school, I was a media major. My school was kind of intense and I wanted to pick a major that would allow me to be creative and not take things too seriously. I got to create animated characters, learn how to use photoshop, and take films and pictures for junior and senior years.

Going into college, I thought I was going to take all my science classes, finish a dance major, and apply to graduate school to earn a DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy). I was a cheerleader, a dancer, and I loved anatomy. In undergrad, I also found that I was a pretty good writer. I found that I’m able to articulate my thoughts clearly and effectively. I thought that would mean that I would switch career paths to English or something.. but then life happened.

Discussions about race, immigration, and what it means to be American seemed to be EVERYWHERE. As a child of immigrants, these discussions were important to me. I was just figuring out what being Filipino-American meant for me and how the immigration stories of my family members shaped how I navigate through every day life. I couldn’t understand how anyone could refer to immigrants as animals or say that they deserved awful things for trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, so I became interested in immigration and the law.

After a few of my friends from high school began receiving their law school acceptances, I began to consider the possibilities. If they got into law school, why couldn’t I? I’m good at arguing and researching, I’m good at articulating myself, and I think about my words VERY carefully before I spit them out. I had been working in a physical therapy clinic thinking that I wanted to help people, and I still did/do, but in a much different way now.

I came to this decision late in the game. I was already a rising senior when I had made my decision. I took a class called Asian American Civil Rights and the Law which confirmed my thoughts about law school. My professor was a teacher at two law schools in the tri state area and he encouraged me in my application process. He’s even writing my recommendation letter.

At this point you might be wondering, so… what did you even graduate in?

I graduated with a Dance major and two minors in English and Asian American Studies. As different as that might sound, I studied communities in each of those areas. Each of those areas examined race and the human experience through different outlets and lenses. Everything that I had studied led me to this point, even though I hadn’t planned for it.

After I had made my decision, I had to be active in building a resume fit for a law school application. I volunteered to collect Voter Exit Surveys, I attended Human Rights events, I volunteered to do phone banks to save DACA, and I interned for a NYC Congressman. It still doesn’t feel like enough, but I continue to be excited about where this process will take me.

Did you know you always were going to apply to law school? Were you like me and came to it later in the game?

The one with the “What’s in my Bag?”

Hi again! I really need to figure out a new greeting. I can feel myself nervously waving at you guys through my screen.

Anyway, if you’ve read my previous posts, you’d know that I commute through NYC for LSAT prep. Our days are long, you don’t get to run home really quick for lunch and EVERYTHING IN THE AREA IS EXPENSIVE.. except for the one bodega a few blocks away and your handy $1 pizza.

Because of this, I usually bring two bags along with me every day. I bring a cute Anello backpack for my study supplies and a tote for things I need easy-access to. Here’s a comprehensive list:

Backpack:

  1. I use an Anello backpack I bought the last time I was in the Philippines. It has a secret zipper that lets you reach inside, so it makes it easy to keep my wallet safe while also having easy access to it for my Metro card.
  2. Laptop. I carry around my new Macbook which I love because it’s so light. I don’t love it because I need to bring an adapter with it to print.
  3. This file folder that I bought off Amazon. It fits A LOT of paper, it’s cute, and keeps everything organized.
  4. A bag of toiletries
    1. One of those new Secret deodorant balls because summers in NYC are rough.
    2. Gum
    3. Pads
    4. Tissues
    5. Lip balm
    6. Oil blotting sheets
  5. A pencil case
    1. Muji colored pens
    2. A Faber-Castille black pen
    3. No-skid 6in ruler
    4. Post-its
    5. Scissor
    6. Pencils
  6. Prescription glasses
  7. Hand fan and handkerchief (Habits brought over from my Filipino family. These are hot weather necessities.)

 

Tote:

  1. Blender bottle filled with ice cold green tea (I don’t drink coffee).
  2. Ziplock filled with my lunch and snacks for the whole day.
  3. Wallet
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Headphones

 

What do you take with you to class? Do you have to commute to class? Do you do online classes and chill on your couch? I’d love to know how other people are preparing!

The one with the real(est) NYC experience.

Hey again! So if you’ve ever been to NYC, know anyone from NYC, or seen anyone from NYC post on social media, you know that our public transportation is SEVERELY outdated.

NYC is made up of five boroughs (surprise! most of us don’t actually live in Manhattan). I commute from the outer boroughs to my LSAT prep right smack in Midtown (close-ish to the infamous Times Square). As beautiful as it can be to be in the middle of one of the greatest cities in the world, commuting can get really draining. This is especially true when there are delays. If you’ve ever been a commuter student, you can probably feel my pain.

It usually takes me an hour to get to class which isn’t so bad, but this morning my EXPRESS train decided to go slow AND stop at a platform for twenty minutes and then another platform for fifteen minutes. Luckily, I was only 10 minutes late for class and walked in on my prep fellowship mid-meditation(more on that later. Ha! Now you have to come back later).

After that not-so-great start to my morning, I was working in prep and felt that I was doing really well on strengthening and weakening questions, only for my confidence to be DESTROYED while practicing timed question sets. I’ve been finding that if you skip even one word while reading to save time, it can change the whole premise. Also, I know I need to practice not inserting my real-world assumptions and rather applying the logical assumptions to see which answer choices are supporting or weakening the conclusions. AH! Having to unlearn your normal thought process and replace it with the thought process required to do well on the LSAT is proving to be difficult, but certainly not impossible.

This was then followed by more delays on my way home.

Feeling a little discouraged today, but it’s only the beginning and it’s all part of the process. Wishing everyone else studying for the LSAT luck in their studying endeavors. I’m not giving up yet and I hope none of you are!

 

P.S. That’s my notebook and my obsessively color coded LSAT notes!

 

The one with the first day of LSAT prep.

Hi again! So I officially started my LSAT fellowship on Friday, June 8th. It was more for introductions and logistics, so we got out early and came back the next morning for our first ever timed, proctored LSAT.

Considering I was out for 17 hours the day before, that I got home at 1am, and that we were locked out of our classroom for 2 hours on a Saturday morning, I think I did okay for a diagnostics exam. I scored a 149, with 48% on Logic games, 48% for the first logical reasoning section, 80% on the second logical reasoning section, and 52% on the reading comprehension section.

Major things that I noticed were:

  1. What is endurance? I don’t have it. I need to build it.
  2. Time management is also a thing I don’t have. Especially for that logic games section.
  3. I’m good at sequencing games, not at grouping.
  4. I have no idea why I scored so much higher on one logical reasoning section than the other.

On the Monday after our first proctored exam, we were split up into groups of three to fight to the death over whose answer was right. Our group test score (not timed, of course) was 157. I had a few right that we as a group didn’t choose as the right answer, so I need to have more confidence in myself and stick to my gut.

I’m excited to really get into this program and improve my score. Unlike other programs, this program is a pro-bono two month intensive. We have class 5 days a week to prep for this exam. (If you have questions about this program hit me up! Only available in NYC.)

Is anyone else starting to study for the LSAT? Let me know! This was my first time taking a timed, proctored LSAT and I’d love to hear other peoples’ first experiences.

The one with the first post.

To anyone who may stumble past this post or blog, thank you! Thank you for somehow finding yourself here.

My name is Ems and I’m a native New Yorker who recently graduated from undergrad. As if that hasn’t done enough to my mental health, I’ve decided I’m applying to law school! If you’re interested in the law school application process, going to law school, or just want to find out how a first generation Filipina-American navigates the uncharted waters of not pursuing a career in healthcare, please follow my blog with Bloglovin.