The magic of believing – Chicken soup for the pre-law soul


A couple of weeks ago I was giving a presentation in a group of businessmen. One of them asked my opinion on a the possibility of a change in the law. I answered that I thought the government would do the right thing.

He replied by saying: “You’re an optimist.”

I replied by saying: “No point in being anything else.”

This post tells a story  that is a combination of perspiration, motivation and self promotion  (my own).  It’s also a good reminder of the importance of setting a goal, believing in the goal and sticking with the goal. Enjoy!

My understanding of the supreme value of an education as a requirement to meaningfully contribute to society will assist me in the pursuit of my legal studies and future legal career.

Volunteering and contributing to the McMaster community was important to me.  During my time at McMaster I participated in student government such as the McMaster Students Union’s First Year Counsel and numerous clubs such as the McMaster Pre-Law Society and the McMaster Students Union’s Fundraising Initiative Team.  The social justice trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico was my most meaningful volunteer experience. I worked to improve the homes of local families and reflected on the intersecting forms of oppression in Latin America. It was in Le-Station, a squatters’ settlement where families were living in old abandoned train cars, that I began to ask questions. Why was this family of ten living in a train car? Why was their standard of living so different from the standard of living in Canada? Even though I was in a better position to address these questions, uncertainty remained. I became inspired by the generosity and spirit of the local families, as in such deprived circumstances they had very little to give. Although I had gained awareness of my capacity to make change through activism and community involvement abroad, I wanted to learn more about how to bring about substantial change in the lives of the families that we had helped.

In my senior years of study, I took advantage of the opportunity to explore my interests in human rights and international relations. Since then, I have developed an interest in the relationship between international relations and human rights and how the international community can better protect human rights through policy development. I am interested in specializing in public international law to help shape policies that govern the interaction of international bodies with national governments to help make substantial change in the reinforcement of human rights.

Arriving in fourth year, I began to fully realize my dream of going to law school.   I invested my time and energy in studying for the LSAT.  My preparation consisted of participating in two LSAT courses, reading countless LSAT books and seeking advice and guidance from other students who have written the LSAT. I was determined to earn the LSAT score I needed to receive an offer of admission from several law schools.  The most difficult aspect of the test was anxiety I experienced while preparing for the test and writing the LSAT.  I struggled with overcoming the pressure associated with the LSAT.  I knew that I needed to perform well to be considered as a competitive law school candidate.

I will always remember the first time that I wrote the LSAT.  Although I had taken an LSAT course and written several timed LSAT tests, I did not feel prepared.  Instead, I became overwhelmed with the tension of the testing environment and the strict time constrains of the LSAT.  Leaving the LSAT that day, I knew that I did not do well.  Once I received my LSAT score, I was devastated as I realized that I would not be given acceptance to the six law schools that I had applied to.  Despite the disappointment, I was not going to give up.  I was not going to let the LSAT become a barrier to my dream of attending law school. I did not think that the LSAT score was truly reflective of my academic capabilities. As part of the Deans’ Honours List in my third and fourth year of my studies and having graduated Summa Cum Laude in Political Science at McMaster University, I was confident that I could improve my score. I realized that my preparation for the test needed to change.

I reached out to John Richardson, one of my mentors that I met through the McMaster Pre-Law Society.  John taught me the fundamentals of the LSAT.  Through his LSAT course and his guidance I learned aspects of the test that I did not focus on the first time I wrote the test.  John taught me how to better understand and break down logic games and logical reasoning questions.  John emphasized the importance of taking the time to read and understand the information presented before me on the LSAT.  Most importantly, John helped me realize that the LSAT was just a step in the process of fulfilling my dreams, rather than an immense obstacle.  Letting go of all of the pressure associated with the LSAT and focusing on reading the material presented before me helped me improve my score.  I am grateful to have had the support and guidance from John.  To this day, he remains one of my mentors.

After taking one year off to work after graduating from McMaster, I have now received an acceptance to one of my top choices for law school.  I could not be more excited to embark on the next chapter of my life and to experience everything that law school has to offer.  I look forward to pursuing my interest in public international law as well as learning about other types of law.  I am excited to be one step closer in fulfilling my dreams.