Archive for March, 2013

Dreaming New Dreams03.05.13

For over the last two years, it has been my dream to get into a law school. A very specific law school that is two blocks from a condo I bought partly due to proximity to said law school. I started telling people back in January 2011 that I will be attending law school some day so that they could help keep me honest with my goal. A year ago, this law school rejected my application with the recommendation that I take some advance writing composition class and reapply. Even though it broke my ability to think clearly for a moment upon receiving this rejection, I recovered well enough to work my ass off at the local community college, which resulted in my best college academic quarter yet.

I reapplied. Then I worried over how I would take it if I was rejected again. I dreamed a horrible dream that I was rejected again, and the admin told me once again to re-apply. There will be no more re-apply. I started this process when I was 34, I’m about to turn 37 in another month. Still, I walked around with this identity of a law school hopeful, and wore it like a favorite cloak that I refused to take off. This cloak gave me a sense of purpose even though it started wearing on me after a couple years of people constantly asking which law school I was attending when I had not been accepted into any school yet.

About a month after my re-application, I got an email from Seattle U with the subject, “Important Information from…” I nearly had a heart attack, because last time I got an email from them, it was the rejection email. Then I read it, and it said my application was being reviewed for their special program for people with either bad LSAT score or (in my case, REALLY) shitty undergrad grades.

I told my friends of my progress in application and they high-fived me for maybe getting into a special program that will provide additional help. Then we laughed over how when we were younger, being placed in a “special” program would be a personal insult. Somehow, now that we’re older, if someone wants to give us extra help, we’re all over it. In hindsight, if I wasn’t too full of pride to ask for help when I was drowning in undergrad, my grades might not have been as embarrassing.

My partner and I planned our trip to Australia, which is the final bit to my law school bucket list. He wanted to go for a week because of work, and I told him, “This is going to be my last big hurrah before hunkering down for the next three-four years, so if you really don’t think you can go for two weeks, I can do this alone.” We will be gone for two weeks in April, time split between Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns and Fiji. I started scheduling around starting law school this summer. I rejected plans based on, “I can’t do this in July because I will be in law school.” Each time I said that, I felt a sense of dread of what it would be like if I didn’t get in, again.

A few days ago, on my little brother’s 18th birthday, while I was trying to figure out dinner plans with him, I got an email with the subject line, “Congratulations from Seattle University School of Law”. I opened it and read it. Then I handed my phone to my partner and asked him if I was reading it correctly. He replied yes, stood up to give me a hug, and I started jumping up and down in our little home office while cheering. I texted my little brother that I got in first because he’s applying to undergrad, and we’ve both been asking each other if the other has heard anything yet from schools. There were far too many sad no-not-yet’s. Then I texted my friends who promptly replied, “DRINKS! NOW!”

We went out and toasted to Sandy. While I can’t quantify how much difference she made in my application, I can honestly say she made so much difference in my level of calmness during the holiday season while trying to wrap up my personal statement writing. I credit her with keeping me sane during a very stressful time. It’s people like her that reminds me this is why I wanted to get into law, to help people who simply don’t know how to help themselves in certain situation.

I took off my law-school-hopeful cloak that day. It felt odd and still feels odd right now as I type this. It’s like taking off that 50 lbs mountaineering backpack after a long trek. Like I’m suddenly so light I can almost fly, but the warmth on my back and the familiar weight that has been grounding me is gone. There’s not a chance in hell I want to put that giant pack back on, but there’s a sense of uncertainty without it.

So for those who have been rejected from law school and are reading this: Rejection from law school is not the end of the world. Reapplication can work. Sometimes, if you dream it hard enough, and work toward that dream just as hard, it does happen. You no longer only know someone who knows someone that this happened to.

Posted in Law School Application, Personalwith 1 Comment →

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