[Ended] Live Lightning Consultations—Weds @ 9 pm EST

David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
edited September 2016 in Webinars 7085 karma


This Wednesday, at 9 pm EST, I’ll do another round of live lightning consultations.

What’s a lightning consultation? Basically, I’ll try to be as helpful as I can in five minutes. We might brainstorm personal statement topics, strategize about addenda, or discuss LORs.

If you want a free five-minute consultation about your law school application, I’ll need you to post a few things in the comments section:

  1. Your three-sentence biography.
  2. Your biggest worry about your application.
  3. Two ideas for your personal statement.
  4. Did you attend last time? Did I get to you?

I’ll get through as many people as I can in one hour, working in a mostly random order. Please don’t post to this thread if you can’t show up for the consultation. If you do show up, test your microphone beforehand. Make sure you have a strong connection to the internet, and that you can speak and be heard on GoToMeeting. If your microphone isn’t working, I’ll have to skip you.

To join, just follow this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/180481501

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States +1 (224) 501-3212

Access Code: 180-481-501


  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    1) I'm Daniel, a twenty-four-year-old Midwesterner who has in almost every way lived the prototypical American life. A post-graduate for about two years now, I have since worked as an applied behavioral analyst for children with autism, a position I still hold today. Quite literally, my lifelong dream has been to become an attorney, though the reasons for this particular aspiration have predictably become more substantive over time.

    2) At this point, my diversity statement and whether I even have a topic for one.

    3) What I did/have done in my current job, how it has helped others (specifically my clients), and how those I've helped have in many ways helped me, even to the point where I much of who I am today is because of the very clients and their respective caretakers whom I've served.

    This is a topic I've been mulling over for my diversity statement more so than for a personal statement, though I'm really on the fence about using this topic at all: Despite both my parents' having triumphantly overcome poor life circumstances, I had never viewed myself as anyone even remotely unique. Given their respective pasts, both of my parents instilled a sort of inevitability for my road to being a first-gen college graduate, yet I saw no support for seeing myself as someone who could distinguish himself and truly achieve during and after college. While my father started a small business on his own and has since grown it into a firmly successful one, I knew I certainly was not my father. Both of my parents have probably achieved more than I ever will, and I don't think their personal triumphs bespeak anything of excellence that could be attributable to me. So, while I was truly blessed with a solid upbringing for which I will always be thankful, I had nothing but my parents' successes and my standard childhood to craft a perception of myself for myself. It was not before my senior year of college that I began to have the nerve to strive beyond what was "preset" for someone completely standard, and I will never look back in my earnest ambition to achieve the most I can, whatever that may be, for myself and for others.

    4) I did attend, but time ran out before you were able to get to me.
  • ChiTownGuyChiTownGuy Alum Member
    edited September 2016 179 karma
  • TheBatmanTheBatman Alum Member
    255 karma
    Your three-sentence biography.
    Born in Egypt, and immigrated to Canada when I was 3 years of age. Worked in sales for 10 years while and after doing undergrad. I did a Sociology major, and am 30 years old.

    Your biggest worry about your application.

    Applying too late, because I am applying after the Dec LSAT, and decreasing my chances of getting into a top law school (I'm applying to schools with rolling admission). Should I wait until Sept 2018 admission to increase my chances of getting into a top tier school?

    I don't know how heavy the empty semester gaps between my courses in my undergraduate degree will hurt me. I did not know that taking full time course loads was important to law schools. There were semesters where I took part time, full time, and no courses.

    Two ideas for your personal statement.
    1.) How I cofounded an NGO, and travelled to a rural impoverished community across the world, and am in the process of doing something with the fundraised money ($10,000, if that helps the PS).
    2.) Overcoming my fear of public speaking by taking many public speaking courses, and preforming a stand up comedy routine as a final project for one course, in front of an audience.

    Did you attend last time? Did I get to you?

    YES, and YES, but I have new questions.
  • 1.Your three-sentence biography.
    I was born in Bethesda, MD to two parents who were in the Marine Band (the President's Own, oorah), and, after getting out of the Marines, my parents moved to Seattle, WA when I was about 6 months old. I graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle with a BA double major in Political Science and Law, Societies, and Justice where I also took advantage of the opportunity to study human rights abroad at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently, I am newly married to a Marine, I am a Victim Advocate with the biggest county's prosecutor's office in WA, I volunteer a lot, and I live a pretty quintessential PNW life (hiking, sailing, and I finally summited Mt. Rainier about a month ago, woot woot).

    2.Your biggest worry about your application.
    My LSAT score, but I won't take the LSAT until I can score around 170.

    3.Two ideas for your personal statement.

    A. Participating as the victim's representative in a pilot case for a Robb 1 where we are combining a Native American peacemaking process with the traditional criminal justice process. This pilot case hopes to accomplish what the criminal justice has failed to do in most cases-- prevent the respondent from committing future crimes, give the victim a voice, allow the community to be involved, and allow everyone to heal from this crime. This can be a year-long process or more. The last few steps of this new partnership is to have several community members, the respondent, his or her family, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, myself or the victim, and many others to gather together to talk about what the respondent has learned, how he or she has grown since the incident, and what everyone thinks is a fair sentence for the respondent outside of a court setting (although still being mindful of the current laws). I want to talk about how this process drastically changed my outlook on what I want to do with my law career because of how conflicted I now feel with the current system - I want to use the law creatively in order to have better outcomes for everyone involved. In general, I want to tell the admissions committees that I will bring this kind of think-outside-of-the-box mentality to my time in law school and as a thoughtful lawyer.

    B. Option A is my preference, but I could talk about how climbing Mt. Rainier (the most glaciated peak in the contiguous US standing at 14,410') is representative of how I approach all difficulty in life - the kind of preparation, mentality, and perseverance (even while quietly pooping myself) that it takes to literally conquer a mountain. I had to focus on each step and every breath while ignoring the possibility of a long fall into a crevasse, but a positive attitude and all the preparation I had done (with a bit of good luck) got me to the top. This is the kind of determination and mentality (paired with the right school) that will make me a great lawyer.

    4.Did you attend last time? Did I get to you?

    I did attend last time, but time ran out before you could get to me.
  • pbenjamin57pbenjamin57 Alum Member
    edited September 2016 112 karma
    I am a 34 year old Chicano living in Los Angeles, working as a case supervisor for a mental health agency which focuses on children and adults with developmental/Intellectual disabilities. I received a B.A. in Psychology and near completion of a M.A. in Latin American Studies (Finished course work, but have a Incomplete in a course). I have engaged myself in activism and social justice organizing throughout the years which lead me to do a internship at a Law Firm which had tremendous influence on my desire to seek a career in law.

    Your biggest worry about your application:
    I have two worries: 1) low undergrad GPA 2) Did not finish Masters Program (mix up with a In Complete in one class)

    Two ideas for your personal statement.

    1) When I was a undergrad at UC Merced I joined a group offering classes in Capoeira as a means of learning a new art and meeting new people (Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art mixed in a dance and music). I also felt the philosophy behind Capoeira fit in with my own world view (Philosophy of Capoeira is based on African slaves maintaining cultural practices and resisting/rebelling against injustice). My intrigue in Capoeira led me to enrolling in a Masters program in Latin American Studies to learn more about the historical significance of Capoeira in Brazil and study other social movements in Latin America. While in this program I met a immigration lawyer who gave a internship at her law practice. I felt that the work I was doing was putting my academic skills into practice, especially in field that greatly benefits my community. I eventually had to get another job because the internship did not pay and I lost my grant when I finished the grad program. I started working for a mental health agency for 4 years since, but with aspirations that I would eventually go into a legal career.

    2) When I was attending Community College, I learned that non-resident students (undocumented students) were getting charged a extra fee with their normal tuition by the institution, I initiated a statewide campaign to eliminate the policy that allowed Community Colleges to charge the extra fee. I helped build a coalition of student groups and a non-profit legal team MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) to build a case against California. After nearly 2 years the state of California Community College network struck out the clause that allowed Community Colleges to charge undocumented students an extra fee.

    Did I attend? Did you get to my questions?

    I did attend, but you did not get to my questions.
  • alma..goalma..go Alum Member
    edited September 2016 11 karma
    Your three-sentence biography.
    I am Alma Godinez, a 22 years old undergrad senior at Dominican College, NY majoring in Social Sciences with an emphasis in psychology and minors in both english and history. I am also a legal assistant at an immigration firm in Jersey where I enjoy helping my fellow latino community and other diverse immigrant groups. I myself immigrated from Mexico when I was 9 and feel a great duty to help underrepresented communities. I wish to obtain a law degree in order to serve and protect these groups.

    Your biggest worry about your application.
    My biggest worry is my lsat score I take it in September 24th but I fear I won't get anything better than a 152. Do you have any advise if that is the case? Should I opt to take it again?

    Two ideas for your personal statement.

    Perhaps exploring how my participation in the Debate Society at my school and serving as a translator at asylum interviews made consider law as career path.

    Exploring my experience as a DREAMER.

    Did you attend last time? Did I get to you?
    I did not attend last time.
  • rachelrachel Alum Member
    207 karma
    1.) I'm a 40-year-old female, married with 3 kids, and I've been a marketing professional for nearly 20 years, most recently in the nonprofit sector but with a great deal of business experience.
    I have obviously been out of college for some time, but have a deep passion for learning and for new experiences (and I have a lot of energy, thankfully!). I co-founded a company in 2013 that did not ultimately succeed (see below). I currently am responsible for communications for a major fundraising organization focused on cancer research, and I also am a copywriter for a B-to-B software company.

    2.) My chief worry about my application is that I will be "typecast", in that admissions officers will view me as someone without a lot of options due to my age and having a family, and thus be stingy with scholarship dollars.

    3) Idea one is about the start-up; we ceased operations when it became clear it wasn't going to work due to inadequate funding (we were unwilling to stiff our employees or vendors or spend the last dollar to our names), despite well-meaning, hackneyed but impractical advice from many startup gurus to "never give up on our dream." This has had a huge impact on me personally as I ponder my future career, and on my family's financial situation. It's brought law school into a sharper focus.

    Other ideas are: that time I spent 6 months homeschooling my oldest child and learned more about myself than I taught her; and one more: dealing with 1.5 years of surgeries/recovery due to a gene mutation that predicts an 88% increased risk of cancer. This was a scary time that caused havoc to our plans and has guided my choices since.

    4). I have listened in on these calls but haven't submitted my own entry until now.
  • YANGSHYANGSH Alum Member
    16 karma
    My name is Shi and I am originally from Taiwan. I received my B.A degree with honors, Magna Cum Laude, in Political Science, Criminology and Sociology in just three years from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey in 2016. I was the President of Student Government Association and inducted into both Political Science and Sociology Honor Society. I was the recipient of both Student Pinnacle Award and Dean’s Academic Achievement Award, as well as the winner of Student Leader of the Year. I am currently working as a Litigation Specialist/Paralegal in a law firm.

    Biggest worry about my application
    Just like everyone else: LSAT score. I did very well when the test is not timed, but my score dropped significantly when the test is timed. I also suffered from neck/chest pain when I sit down for too long, and it is distracting.

    Two Ideas for my personal statement
    1) Overcome my language barrier as an international student.
    2) The Journey of achieving the goals I set for myself when I was 6.

    Did you attend last time? Did I get to you?

    No, I was unable to due to personal reasons.
  • DEC_LSATDEC_LSAT Alum Member
    760 karma
    1) 24, BA in English and History. MA in English. Interest in international law. First to attend university in Canada. From the middle east.
    2) Biggest worry is the LSAT, i have not written it.
    3) write about my experience as an MA student where i learned a lot about human rights and int law. About my interest in international law and my goal of working for the government or a non profit organization that incorporates international law in domestic cases.
    4) no
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