Tag Archives: law school

Color-Coded Accompaniments: Tori’s Map to Law School

I made it tonight.  That list. The big one. The one with percentiles, LSAT scores, and GPAs, all broken up by geographic region of the country.  The bulleted list of everything I have to do for every season between now and winter 2013, including number of study hours per week, test dates, and times to research schools too.  I charted my current academic benchmarks and goals, and it hangs to the left of the agenda just to serve as reminder of all that I have to do to get where I want to go.

I do realize that I openly stating this online, I am admitting that I am in fact 100% geek, but I have no problem owning up to that.  My little color-coded charts might just be enough to label me a nut, but it’s like this.  It’s the only way I know how to handle it.

It– the pressure.  I’m yet to start my junior year, and I already feel as though I am out of time.  The summer’s half over, and while it is a great honor, I’ve committed myself to several hefty additions to my reading list by participating the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Honor’s Program. In August, it’s off to Spain.  When I get back, I’ll be devoting myself to putting together a conservative lecture series for the fall of 2012.  Wesleyan might not be abundant with folks of my political persuasion, but I’m not going to leave without having done everything in my power to express my thoughts to my peers.  That’s been an up and down adventure, but I want to leave having done it right.  My mind has been spinning with senior thesis topics since I was a freshman, and you can bet that I’ll soon be completely sold out to some micro-specific topic that almost no one else will have any interest in at all, but I’ll get a total kick out of it.

My crazy charts and lists are there to prove that the fear that I will not have time to prepare for the LSAT ever becomes a realization.  It’s there to prove that while I might not be sleeping, I’m not sleeping with purpose.  And I think that makes all the difference in the world.


I am going to law school.

Last night, I took the Indiana team to the Getz’s for pizza and ice cream on the rooftop. They do this with every team.  It’s a way for his family to spend a little time with every group that comes and for them to hear about missional living in the city.  While they talked, I listened and stared out Jeff’s window at the Queensboro Bridge.  I didn’t mean to start praying, but it was just like I was quiet and God started talking, not like with words, but with peace, order, and sense.

Queensboro Bridge at sunset

For a long time law school has been a short answer to the question “what do you want to do with your life?”  It takes a enough time to explain to someone what the College of Social Studies is (my major).  If they listen to that, they usually don’t have the attention span for a 4 minute well-if-I-move-back-to-DC-I-might-do-this or I-know-what-I’m-skilled-and-passionate-about-but-not-sure-how-I’ll-be-using-them-yet speech.  So law school works, but it was more of a default then anything.

I know a few important things about law school.

1) It’s mighty pricey with little to no financial aid.

2) It requires a significant time commitment (before to study for the LSAT, during to graduate, after to pass the bar, and after to pay debt)

4) It will compromise time that I could spend building important business contacts that I could get if I just went for my Masters in Public Policy instead.

5) It will affect my relationships.  I will not have the time to build as many strong friendships, limit when I can see my family, and very likely delay when I will get married and have a family of my own.

But I know several other things too, more important than anything on the above list. My decision to go to law school has nothing to do with how many checks I have on a pros and cons list.  I only want to go if I can get in a top tier law school, but this has nothing to do with pride either.  I am fully capable of spending my whole life taking out the trash and cleaning restrooms in public schools.  To be honest, I think I would make a wonderful custodian.  I would do a good job and use it as a place to live out my faith missionally.  I don’t feel like going to fancy law school makes me any better or gives me the ability to influence any more people than a custodian or a bus driver has.  I just feel like law school is place where I will better be applying the specific talents and interests God’s given me.

It’s like this.  I have certain skill set.  I love reading old books on history, government, and political theory.  I love the CSS (College of Social Studies) set up- making my own arguments, defending them, and writing about them.  This year I am fellow in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s undergraduate Honors Program, and I just received my first shipment of books.  It’s amazing.  It’s like doing CSS, but only with books that I love.

When I think about education and knowledge, I always think about that parable in Matthew 25.  It’s the one where the three servants receive a certain number of talents from a man.  The servants do different things with the talents, but the man who only received one buried it in the ground.  When the master came back, he was the only one that did not return more talents to his master than what he had originally been given.  His explanation?  “I was afraid.” (vs. 25).

This morning, I joined the team on the prayer walk around New York City. We go to various locations, discuss their significances and what they symbolize, and use that symbol to pray for the city.  The New York Public Library symbolizes knowledge.  There are a lot of intelligent people here, but very little wisdom.  I have the interest and ability to acquire the knowledge and bring Godly wisdom to places that would otherwise be inaccessible.

At the South Asian Community Center, they breach language barriers to reach people who otherwise would never come in contact with the Gospel.  I’m going to do that at law school.  I don’t imagine language will be an obstacle there, but there are mighty high barriers to entry.  I know I can cross those barriers, and once I’m there, I will let my approach to my studies glorify God.  I didn’t understand how to do that for a long time, but I think I figured it out this year.  I was stressed, very stressed, but I learned the difference between stress and fear and fear and worry.

I pray that this explanation doesn’t come across as a mere Christian platitude.  If you’ve heard me talk about law school, it might not even seem like a big deal, but it was, because now law school isn’t just something I’m thinking about.  It’s something I’m going to do, because it’s the place I’ve been called.


Table for 1?

I think I’ve figured something out.  I’ve been operating on a seriously messed up sleep schedule.  At first, I couldn’t sleep because I was using different pillows, which I realize sounds a little strange, but to me it’s no different then other people saying they need to get used to sleeping in a new bed.  Now, three weeks here, I’m drop-dead tired, and I can’t sleep.  I went to bed at nine, almost too tired to walk, and woke up at midnight.  Anyways, I think I finally resolved that the reason I’m not sleeping is because I’m thinking too much about the past day.  I can count on one hand the number of people I speak to on a daily basis, and that’s something that I’m not quite used to or fully comfortable with.  Since I usually don’t fall asleep without having detailed the events of my day to someone, I figure that’s why I drift off each night drafting some kind of letter (or in tonight’s case, a blog post).  Anyways, I figured I might actually rest better if I just turned the light on and wrote it.

I know the work I’m doing here in New York is for the kingdom and will have long-term implications, but like I said, the short-term solitude is getting to me a little bit (important side note: quietness to end shortly because of certain activities this week).  This morning I woke up a little late, but not unreasonable.  It was slightly awkward though, because a bunch of people were at the church (again, speaking Portuguese, which is why I don’t go to the church I live in).  I ducked out of my room when the hallway sounded quiet, because I hoped to avoid running into anyone on my way upstairs to the shower.  I slept late because of my crazy exhaustion and because I was going to an evening service, which kinda throws off your Sunday morning routine, but I was okay with that.

I spent most of the day reading at Union Square, which I discovered earlier in the week.  I have to say, so far at least, it’s my favorite spot.  Can’t totally articulate why, but it’s a comfortable place.  I sat outside and read Little Women until it got cold.  Afterward, I spent a good three or four hours researching law schools at Barnes and Noble’s.  That was certainly an experience in and of itself.  If I am going to go to law school, I want to start studying for the LSAT now, while I have some time.  However, I really don’t want to put that investment in unless I know I want to go, and right now, it sort of just seems like a good path to pursue.  I’ll do some more focused research this week, but I can say at this point that it looks like I’ll be investing some resources in some LSAT study materials.

view from Filene's Basement at Union Square

It really was all fun though.   When I woke up this morning, I resolved that I was going to go on a date with Jesus like how my dad took me out on dates when I was a little girl.  That feels a little funny and cheesy when I write it out, but it made the day fun.  It also made the awkwardness of eating alone in public less embarrassing, which is something else that has been challenging.  I’m here in the city and I know that I should be trying more restaurants in different parts of the city, just to experience it, but to be honest, I’m a little intimidated by the whole process.  Think about like the first time you walked into a Chipotle or a Starbucks and you didn’t know how to order.  It kind of feels like that.  Today though, today was better, because of my whole today-I’m-going-on-a-date-with-Jesus deal.  We hung out, read classic literature, researched law schools, and ended the day by going to (a new) church– a whole great and totally new experience unto itself.  Unfortunately, not a story for 2:09am, but I have a lot of thoughts on it, so I’ll definitely write again soon.

Central Park, another good reading spot