The Application Process and Personal Statement

You’ve made it through the LSAT and now it is time to start applying for law schools! It is a very daunting task, but you can do it! The biggest piece of advice that I can give you is: DON’T WAIT. Start the process early, do not wait until the last second.

Here are some things that I wish I would have known while applying to law schools:

  • It can take a few weeks for your transcripts to be uploaded. I recommend requesting them a month or more before you want to start applying. Even with a month before applications were due, I was stressing at the timeframe it would take and worried they would not be received in time to apply.
  • Some schools require letters of recommendation. Some don’t. Some have a minimum amount they require, while some have a maximum amount you can send. Look into this right away when you decide what schools you want to apply to. I didn’t look and was not able to apply to some schools due to not having enough letters of recommendation.
  • You are going to write several drafts of your personal statement. This is not a “write the night before it is due and get an A” type of paper. You are going to want to write several versions and have several different eyes look at it.
  • You need to write a resume! Include all your schooling, awards, volunteer service, relevant work history and special interests. That’s right, you can add special interests on your resume! This is a small part for you to show a little bit of your personality. One of my special interests was “rubbing elbows with professional chefs”. It wasn’t a gimmick, I actually have met quite a few professional chefs and have the pictures to prove it. But have fun with this part!
  • Each application can take a long time to fill out. Give yourself time to apply, don’t wait until the last day in case anything goes wrong in the system.

When writing my personal statement, I came up with a really good introductory paragraph to grab their attention. It was nothing to do with law school, why I want to go to law school or some imaginary story about be attending their law school. It was about a life experience that I had that I feel helped shape me into the person I am. I went along writing the rest of my personal statement. Then I read it and realized the only good thing about it was the first paragraph. The rest of the statement was absolute crap. So I let it sit for a couple of days and I thought:

What makes me special?

Re-reading my personal statement, I realized that the bones were there. It just needed a grab, a pull, to keep the admissions office interested in what I had to say. Then I realized what made me special and added that as a recurring theme in my statement. My statement focused on the time that I moved to Arizona and the time I spent living before deciding to go back to school, but based on a metaphor of one of my favorite hobbies- running. When I finished adding these touches to my personal statement, I felt like my statement was a slam dunk. It was the best thing that I have ever written so far. I think if you don’t feel that way about your personal statement, it will show. Take the time to read it, re-write it and love it before submitting it in your application. If you have an okay LSAT score, an amazing personal statement can make all the difference.

The waiting for responses was probably the most stressful part, especially if there is a school you really want to go to. Find an outlet and ways to keep busy so you are not obsessively checking your emails all day long (like me!). I applied to a binding decision and was told I would have a decision in two weeks, so as the end of the two weeks drew closer, the more times I checked my email. In the end, the dean ended up calling me to tell me of my acceptance, then said I would receive further instructions in my email. (So I back to obsessively checking my email.) What I can say is, the email will come when it comes. Don’t waste time sitting around waiting for it. Go out and enjoy yourself! You are finally through the long process of applying for law school and you deserve a break or a celebration or both!

Advertisements

The LSAT

It’s time to talk about the LSAT! Are you currently studying for the LSAT? How is it going? Don’t feel bad if you feel overwhelmed and feel like you are biting off everyone’s head around you. I know when I was studying, people being in the same room as me breathing set me off. Luckily, those people love me enough they are still around now that I am done studying.

Studying

When I was studying for the LSAT, I was going to work full time and working full time as well. I certainly don’t recommend that. I do not feel that I was able to dedicate the time to studying that I would have liked. I chose to self study since it worked better for my schedule as well as my budget. Obviously, I am not saying that was worked for me will work for you. The books I used were Exam Krackers LSAT. I liked the way these books were broken down by each section. The books walked you through each question type, common ways to try to distract you from the correct answer, step by step guide to get to the right answer and had plenty of practice questions in it. I got it from Amazon for under $80 at the time and that seemed way more appealing than the thousand dollar price tag of a program.

Here are some of my tips if you chose to self study:

  • Schedule time for studying. Put it on your calendar or planner. Don’t put it off.
  • Take breaks. I did an hour of studying, then took a 20 minute break.
  • Take time for yourself. It might seem like you don’t have time, but it is important not to forget about yourself while studying.

 

 

Taking the Test

It’s time to take the test! You can do it! Trust yourself and your studying.

  • Take the night before the test off of studying. There is nothing that you can learn the last night that is going to change the results of your test.
  • Do something to help you relax- yoga, bubble bath, family game night. Whatever your thing is!
  • Make sure to eat a good meal and get a good night’s rest.
  • I recommend packing your gallon size Ziploc bag the night before so you aren’t stressed the morning of the test. Don’t forget your:
    • Number two pencils
    • Pencil sharpener
    • eraser with no sleeve
    • highlighter
    • analog watch
    • snack
    • water bottle with no label
  • Put your clothes out the night before so you aren’t stressing over anything. Dress so you are comfortable, wear layers to plan for temperature changes. When I took the test, the room was a million degrees, then it was zero degrees.
  • Breathe! You got this!

Good luck!

 

Life Changes

Hello all!

It’s been a while, I know. It’s funny how quickly life passes you by without you realizing it. But I wanted to take some time to give some updates and hopefully do better keeping this blog up to date!

First of all, I got accepted to Law School! I got into my first choice school- Sandra Day O’Connor Law School! I am excited to say that I was accepted as a Merit Scholar, which provides a scholarship to help out with tuition. I am going to write a few other posts on different parts of the admissions process and life preparing for law school. These posts are going to include:

  • Studying for the LSAT
  • The Application Process and Personal Statement
  • Saving money and paying for Law School
  • Creating a law school wardrobe
  • Stress management and making time for you

Once law school starts, I am going to do my best to keep you updated on this such as orientation, the first day, the first week, the first year, etc. Well I will do my best at least. The majority of my time is going to be spent studying as much as possible.

As for life right now, nothing really exciting has been going on. We are trying to find a new place to live right now and it is pretty stressful trying to find a place that fits our needs in our price range and that doesn’t go off the market in a day. Since I am going to be leaving my job, they are not allowing me to take any time off. Needless to say, this paired with illness in the family and preparing for law school is causing a great deal of stress at the moment.

Officially done with school!

Hello all!

The time has come… I have officially completed all my undergraduate work and completed my LSAT for the second time. Final grades just got posted (all A’s for me!) I am just waiting for my LSAT score and then we can explore how I studied for that (if my score was an improvement from last time. I don’t want to be giving advice if I wasn’t really successful).

I am still deciding if I am going to walk during graduation or not. I am leaning more towards not doing it. I will walk during my law school graduation and I feel like if that is the only graduation I walk at, it is even more special.

I took this week off of work to relax and focus on some self care. What’s this “self care” thing you may wonder. And I did too for quite some time. Too many times we are focused on our goals or work or family and making sure that everyone around us is happy and healthy that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Self care looks different for everyone, but it’s something that you do for your mental and physical well being.

For me, self care began with a massage. It has been over a year and a half since I got one and I was desperately in need. I went to Massage Envy and really enjoyed my time there, however the front desk staff really pushes the “membership” thing and never really fully explained what it was and what you get out of it. My thought is, if you want a massage, check out Groupon. There are amazing deals on there! After my massage, my friend and I went off to enjoy a healthy lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. Sweet Tomatoes is a salad bar type of restaurant. They have soup and baked potatoes and pasta as well. Then we split up for a little bit to take care of some things we have been wanting to do. For me, I chopped off 12 inches of hair to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program and she went to get her nails done as she is newly engaged.

Taking this time off of work has allowed me to clean my whole house, while having enough time to finish season 3 of Jane the Virgin. (When does season 4 start?!). I was able to ride my bike to visit some food trucks and ride my bike to the grocery store (something I have wanted to do since I got this bike with it’s giant basket on the end!). I was able to finish two books and have started on my third one already. And I still have time for writing in my blog, making my budget and doing some baking. I may even pull out my sewing machine! It’s only the 7th of December. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month has in store!

Where does the time go?

It has been over a year since my last post. Where in the world has the time gone? I have gracefully entered my 30s and am nearing the end of school (less than a month before graduation!!) It feels like the older we get, the less time we have to do things.

Sadly, I didn’t complete my 30 before 30 list. I made the realization that I had very high expectations on completing this list and not a lot of time to complete it between school and work. Through all of my work, I was able to earn a promotion at work and I am still a straight A student.  But the 30 before 30 list has become my 30 before law school list, and I will be able to dedicate more time to it after graduation.

I have so many stories to tell and so many ideas for future things to do bouncing around in my head. For now though, I wanted to check in and say hi. I am still here! And I will become more of a regular fixture in the weeks to come!

I missed this.

I missed this.

Today, I went for a run. Well not a run, I ran in a race. I have been too afraid to run recently. Afraid of what people will think of me, afraid to be judged. I haven’t had a chance to train between work and school and it’s definitely starting to show.

I was supposed to have a race last weekend, but fear got the better of me. During the week, I noticed a lot of things. I noticed my beau who thinks that he is out of shape (I don’t agree with his thoughts, I of course think that he is always perfect), go out and play softball every Thursday. And he kills it every time. I realized that other people in my running groups online, post pictures from races, regardless of how they look. Because they are proud of themselves for accomplishing something and they are not concerned with that others are thinking of them.

So this morning, I got up at 5am and went to my race. The Race Fore Cancer with Startline Racing. I ran into some people that I used to see at these races. They all welcomed me back with no judgements and we chatted about why I have been MIA from the running season for a while. During the race, I had other runners cheering for me as I ran past them or as we crossed paths during the out and back sections. I didn’t realize how much I missed the atmosphere until I got there. I need to make sure that I don’t lose this again.

This race was on a golf course and was super hilly. I was able to represent my running sponsor SunRype at this race and handed out a bunch of free bars. (These bars are great, if you haven’t tried them or want them to try them, let me know!) I am not a fan of running on hills, but you know what, I finished and I was not last. I am proud of myself and that is all that matters.

20160924_084552

 

 

30 before 30

I am terrible at keeping up with this blog. I need to start scheduling my blog posts like I schedule homework. I always am thinking “This would make a great post!” and then I never write it. I get a big F when it comes to keeping up with my blog. But this shall change…eventually…!

I have recently celebrated a birthday. Well a month ago today, I celebrated a birthday. I turned the big 2-9. That’s right. This is the last year of my 20s. So I made my 30 before 30 list so that can make this year the best year yet! I will mark them off as I accomplish them. I have already started working on them (at least I don’t procrastinate on that!) and will have separate blog posts for some of the adventures this list leads too. While I was making this list, I was looking at other people’s lists to get some ideas and I realized that I am extremely blessed with what I have been able to accomplish so far in my life. I realized that I have been able to do a lot of things in my life that other people wish that they could do. And here is it, my 30 before 30 list!

  1. Visit the Grand Canyon.
  2. Visit a wine country with my beau. (Completed 9/4/2016)
  3. Go to a yoga or barre class.
  4. Learn a new language.
  5. Go whitewater rafting.
  6. Go 24 hours without technology.
  7. Go camping in Arizona.
  8. Join a club.
  9. Run a marathon.
  10. Touch a penguin.  (Completed 7/24/16)
  11. Cook a new meal at home every month for a year.
  12. Try indoor rock climbing.
  13. Hike in the Smokies. (Completed 7/22/16-7/26/16)
  14. Eat at a new restaurant every month for a year.
  15. Volunteer with an animal shelter.
  16. Have at least 3 months expenses saved
  17. Get a pinup or boudoir photo shoot done.
  18. Completed a 30 day challenge.
  19. Host a dinner party.
  20. Take a spontaneous trip.
  21. Pay off my credit cards.
  22. Begin paying my student loans while still in school.
  23. Try stand-up paddle boarding.
  24. Ride in a hot air balloon. (Completed 7/25/16)
  25. Learn how to shoot a gun.
  26. Climb A mountain. (that’s the name of the mountain)
  27. Go to an archery range.
  28. Visit Sedona.
  29. Visit a winery in Arizona.
  30. Take time each week for yoga or meditation.

 

Updates and boxed meals

First and foremost, I have news! I was accepted to Team SunRype this year! I guess I should explain. I am a runner. Not the best runner and some races are better than others, but I have been running for too many years to count now. I started running when my cousin asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon. I said okay and registered. Mind you, at that point, I had not even run a 5k yet! Now many moons and 14 half marathons later, I am still hitting the pavement on the semi-regular (not so much recently because life had gotten in the way and I live in the desert). Ever since I started running, I have had a running sponsor (Marathon Bars, Aquaphor, SwirlGear and Eternal Water in the past). Running and these sponsorships have helped me meet many amazing people and build some awesome friendships with people (some of whom I have never actually met but couldn’t imagine my social media life without them). So there it is! It looks like this girl will be needing to get her booty back into shape! Be on the lookout for giveaways of SunRype strips in the near future!

 

Now for boxed meals. I am sure many of you have heard of the meal delivery services such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef and more. I decided before I moved into my new house that I would try some of them to see what they were all about and see if it made cooking easier. As I order and try them, I will be posting pictures and writing reviews.

My first service I tried was Hello Fresh! I purchased a Groupon for a one week, three meals for 2 people plan. With a coupon code, I got it for roughly $32.00. The package arrived on a Saturday and sadly the mail carrier did not ring the doorbell. Luckily, Hello Fresh! plans for that and the food is packed in an insulated cardboard box with many reusable ice packs. When unpacking the box, make sure you check UNDER the ice packs for your meat! Also, if you have a meal with spinach, make that meal first.

I did enjoy the convenience of having all the food delivered to my door. They provide you with recipe cards that you can reuse and make these recipes again later. They also pack each meal in its own separate smaller box, so you don’t have to find the ingredients later. The meals were fairly quick (30-45 minutes) and they were pretty great! If you do not like the meals that are selected for you, you have a few other options to change them too. So far, they set the bar pretty high for meal delivery services. Check out the pictures!

IMG_20160702_143413

Oh! I almost forgot, you can order a free meal to try it (but remember, this is a subscription service so it will automatically renew if you do not cancel it. Cancelling is easy, you just sign into your account and can cancel it online). I ordered a free meal for my beau- steak, potatoes and peppercorn sauce. It was our favorite meal! I am not sure where the picture went, but trust me, it was a thing of beauty. That recipe card is being kept for sure!

Up next is Blue Apron. Review and pictures will be posted once all the recipes are made.

Well I am off to a baseball game. The anniversary of my birth is coming up. My email has exploded with so many freebies, I am excited to be getting older! Remind me to post my 30 before 30 list. Also, I need one more idea for my list, so feel free to comment with some!

Until next time!

 

 

Broken Phone= Possiblities

Well friends, I have broken my (semi) new phone and now must live without one for a few days. We activated my old shattered phone so I have an alarm clock and a way to contact people in case of emergencies, but there will be no texting and interneting. Whatever shall I do? We as a people have become very attached and dependent on our phones. I don’t think that we realize how much time we waste blanking scrolling through a Facebook newsfeed or playing a game just to pass the time.

So for the next few days, I plan on being productive. Every time I miss my phone, I think I should do 5 burpees or something to pass the time I would have been staring at my screen. But here are my goals since my time will need to be filled:

  • Finish reading my book that I started in August. (School got in the way)
  • Finish unpacking
  • Workout (like really workout, not just some little sheet of workouts I found on Pinterest)
  • Be present in the moment with company.
  • Look in a cookbook for recipes (or one of the 30 food magazines that I have)

I was just thinking about how it is going to suck to run without my GPS telling me how far I went, but I realized that I have a running Garmin from a couple years ago that will work just fine. I won’t have music to listen to on the run, but that probably isn’t a bad thing.

The thing I think that I am most upset about though is that I won’t have my music or audiobooks to listen to while I work. I like the distraction especially at 5am when I am struggling to wake up. This is going to be an interesting experience. Wish me luck!

Been a while

Hello Friends!

Sorry for the silence there. Life has been busy!!

The first adventure that needs to be discussed is the fact that I am officially a college graduate! I started college a little later in life to make sure that I would be able to afford it and when I felt excited to go back to school. I have earned my Associates in Applied Science for Administration of Justice. I graduated with the Highest Distinction and with Phi Theta Kappa. I am crazy excited to be done with the first degree! I start junior year of my Bachelor’s in Justice Studies in the fall. For now, I have a break from school for more adventures!

received_1108408885877910

 

Speaking of adventures, I moved into a house! I have been an apartment dweller up until this point of my life, but I have decided that some space from my neighbors is what I need. My beau and I have a beautiful house with a beautiful kitchen and he surprised me with my very own garden! Right now we are growing tomatoes, green beans, pickling cucumbers, thyme, rosemary and mint. I can’t wait for fall to plant some more! I am thinking of changing the name of my garden. Any good ideas?

20160513_175225

I also went on a day trip to California the day after graduation to ride my bike 16 miles along the beach with a hundred or so other people. I got pretty burnt, but the weather was amazing! And the views were even better! (FYI I tried putting brewed black tea on my sunburn after looking up sunburn relief on Pinterest, but it did not work at all. Do no try that at home folks!)

20160514_115715

Oh, I ran a short little 5k too! I used to have races almost every weekend, but these days I have been slacking shall we say? The weather is starting to get warm here in Arizona, so it is unlikely I will have another race for a while.

IMG_20160508_120559

And the final adventure was some new tattoos! As my bestie says, my beau and I are tattoo married now since I have a key and he has a lock tattoo now.

Well friends, I am off to get some rest for my next adventure. I will make sure to update more frequently now that I am not in the middle of finals and moving!