Learn how real students and recent grads have navigated their way through the law school admissions process and law school itself with our What is Law School Really Like? series.
Meet Armín, a UC Hastings College of the Law ’22 graduate.
Armín, thank you for sharing your story with us!
Let’s start at the beginning… Where did you go to undergrad and what did you major in?
Armín: I went to UC Davis and earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Go Aggies!
What was your inspiration or epiphany for deciding to pursue a career in law?
Armín: The Travel Ban issued by President Trump solidified my decision to attend law school. For context, in January 2017, President Trump signed an executive order disrupting the pipeline of immigration and immigrant talent from seven countries – one of them being Iran, my parent’s native country. Seeing attorneys and non-profits volunteer at airports nationwide to offer legal aid to those affected played a pivotal role in my decision to pursue a legal career, because I saw how impactful a law degree can be.
During the application process, were you also working full-time? What did that look like and how were you able to balance it all?
Armín: During the application process, I decided it would be best to not work and really enjoy myself to the extent possible. I knew law school and soon, the bar exam would consume my life. I knew that I had to make sacrifices both socially and otherwise. With that in mind, I did everything I could to maximize my happiness and for me, that meant traveling and spending time with my friends and family. It was one of the best decisions I made because I would have been burned out if I did not take time for myself.
Which “tools” – such as an app, technique, lifehack, website, guide, mantra, or advice – got you through the application process and into your target school?
Armín: As a science major, my GPA wasn’t necessarily desirable upon graduation. One piece of advice I have is to capitalize on the metrics that set you apart from other contenders. And I did just that by focusing on my LSAT score and extracurriculars which ultimately contributed to my acceptance in my top law school of choice, UC Hastings!
There are so many factors that go into accepting an offer! Which metrics did you use and what was most important to you when selecting a school?
Armín: UC Hastings was my dream school for sentimental reasons. Firstly, I had several family and friends who attended Hastings during my childhood and young adult life. Second, I was born and raised in the Bay Area – so as a bay area native, it was a no-brainer.
Aside from that, UC Hastings offers a diverse spectrum of renowned professors and faculty and awesome clinics that ultimately solidified my decision.
Studying is a huge part of any law school student’s life – and studying truly never ends for law professionals! What is your approach to studying? What does an ideal study session look like for you?
Armín: Outline! Outline! Outline! And outline early! The first year of law school is a weeder year. You’re taking multiple doctrinal courses staggered together. It’s intense. It’s debilitating. It’s daunting. With that said, what I found to be the most successful for me was not necessarily focusing on “case briefs” or reading entire cases verbatim. That was a very inefficient use of time. What worked for me was outlining big-picture topics and seeing how those cases corresponded with each topic. That really helped with conceptualizing the black letter law. Beyond that, reading past exams and model answers was immensely helpful and it’s something I wish I implemented earlier during my law school career.
Law school exams are not like your typical undergrad persuasive exam or research paper. It’s very mechanical and you have to learn that style of writing. So seeing past exams– both from the professor and bar exam was a game changer.
Law school is intense, to say the least! How has it forced you to get outside your comfort zone?
Armín: Law school has definitely helped make me a better writer and a more assertive person in my day-to-day. By assertive, I mean concise. Often people will give you the run-around when you’re asking for specific questions. The lawyer in me needs direct answers. Law school has made it easier to get those answers!
Does the law school you attend have any traditions or superstitions that students participate in?
Armín: UC Hastings has a tradition called “Beer on the Beach”, once a month where students meet on the “beach” which is really just a designated location on campus, to socialize and enjoy some brews and pizza. It’s a nice way to meet classmates and interact with them in a way that the classroom does not permit.
Where can people follow your journey to get an unfiltered view of what it’s like to be a law student?
And finally… What advice would you give your younger self just beginning the law school application process?
Armín: Have the risk tolerance to bet on yourself & the puzzle pieces will align. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
Do you want to be featured in our next ‘What is Law School Really Like?’ post? Know someone else who you’d love to see featured? Are there questions you’d like us to ask our students in this series? LET US KNOW!
Are you setting out on your own law school journey? We can help you reach the finish line! Check out our Law School Admissions Consulting Services to team up with an admissions expert who will help you join the ranks of thousands of Accepted clients who get accepted to their dream schools.
For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top law schools and LLM programs. Our team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, lawyers, and professional writers who have guided our clients to acceptance at top programs including Yale, Stanford, Harvard, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Penn, NYU, and many more. Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!