the day I got into UW Law

I’ve been waiting to write this story for a while now. I thought I was waiting until May when I planned to tell my department manager (who reads and comments here from time to time) but last week an opportunity arose to tell said manager what was going on earlier… so here goes…

It’s early March, and I’m at a routine doctor’s appointment on a Monday morning. While I’m chatting with the doctor I mention that in fall I will start a part-time law program at Marquette University, which has some vaccination requirements. They decide to test me for varicella immunity so I don’t have to get needless vaccines.

The doctor leaves me alone for a few minutes and I wait for the nurse to come back and give me a Hepatitis B shot to finish out my series. I’m not good at waiting sometimes. I get bored and antsy. I dug my cell phone out of my purse and turned on the web browser, scrolling on the tiny screen to find any e-mails that had come in in the 45 minutes I had been away from my computer at work.

I see the sender name “Marilyn Johnson” among the new messages. I’m not even sure who Marilyn Johnson really is (because I now know the real Dean of Admissions for UW Law is a funny guy named Mike Hall, but Marilyn Johnson just might be his e-mail alias). But at that moment I knew she had something to do with the University of Wisconsin Law School. Marilyn had previously thanked me for my application and confirmed that the school had received my letters of recommendation and transcripts to complete my student profile. While I waited for my clunky three-year-old phone to do its message-loading thing, I was actually guessing it was either a generic mass e-mail sent to all applicants saying a) get that FAFSA completed, or perhaps b) thanks for applying, you are on our waiting list, or even c) thanks for applying, better luck next life.

To my shock, it actually said:

“Dear Laura,

I am pleased to inform you that the University of Wisconsin Law School Admissions Committee has voted to admit you to the entering class of 2008. In the next few days, you will receive the official letter of acceptance as well as a packet of additional information about the University of Wisconsin Law School.”

And then I said, out loud (loudly), as the doctor walked back into the room: “HOLY $#!%! It’s a good thing my doctor is cool.

Now, let me say that I am not being modest when I say I really didn’t think I was going to get into the UW Law School. I don’t think I am unintelligent or unworthy of attending into the school, but it’s the 30th best law school in the whole country for goodness sake. It was a very. long. shot.

During the whole process of deciding to “go for it,” studying for the LSAT and preparing my applications, I wanted to be as realistic as possible. I don’t believe that I can do anything I want if I try really hard, and I didn’t particularly like when people who knew nothing about the process would say things like: “Oh, but you went to UW for your undergrad,” or “but you have such an interesting personal story,” or “but you are such a good writer.” The thing is, those things usually don’t matter. The two main issues are GPA and LSAT score. But apparently at UW, it is actually more than that. And apparently those things are the reason I became possibly the last regularly admitted student to the 2011 class of the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Next up: Why I decided to go there.

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4 Responses to the day I got into UW Law

  1. Nasir says:

    Congratulations! You should consider sharing your blog entries about law school in a community law student site, contact me if you are interested.

  2. Lisa says:

    Congrats Laura! That is great news. (you dr. is cool apparently lol) I’m so glad that you are following your dream and I hope that you do really well. I know that you will because you seem to be realistic with all of your expectations. I have a close friend that way and usually things turn out the way she wants ’em to. I haven’t been around for awhile but peep in from time to time. Keep it up.

    -Lisa 🙂

  3. Rachel says:

    CONGRATULATIONS LAURA! You will make a phenomenal lawyer because you are analytical but sympathetic at the same time. I am so glad you are putting all of your experiences (career, life, etc.) into ONE field of study. That is truly amazing as not a lot of people get that same opportunity.

    I can’t wait to hear about all the stuff you learn. My favorite law class has always been about tortes that is until I learned that it is not about pastry but actually about suing people. Oh well.

    You and Fermin must come down asap because it is ridiculous that you haven’t been to our house yet. Call me so we can schedule a time.
    Cheers,
    Rachel.

  4. laurafern says:

    Thanks guys!

    Rachel – I have been thinking about the ridiculousness of not having seen you in forever for weeks…. We’ll talk soon! Promise.

    Nasir – I am browsing your site. I plan to blog in law school, about the experience, etc. It keeps me sane. I may be in touch.

    Thanks Lisa for the encouragement. 🙂

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