Pre-Law and Mock LSATs at SHSU

Sam Houston State University is one of the top law-school feeders in North American. Indeed, it ranks in the top 200 nationally (out of almost 3,000 four-year Universities/Colleges) in sending students to law school. The LEAP Center helps with this, offering dedicated pre-law advising, numerous pre-law activities, and also providing students the opportunity to take a Mock LSAT every semester.

This semester, we had 20 students sign up–and 19 students show up–for a Saturday morning test.

While many may think this is an activity for juniors or seniors, we actually encourage freshmen and sophomores to take the test. One of our goals is to get an idea for how close they are to getting the score they want, so that we can help them develop a study plan to get into an acceptable school or, even better, the school of their choice.

Such tests are supplemented by summer workshops we offer and occasional scholarships we offer so that students might pursue additional help for getting the score they want. This process, in fact, is one of the ways that PLS member, Kaylea King got into Washington University in St. Louis!

PLS: Wrapping up the Fall

Jordan Long, Historian

Welcome back! Today’s November 17th meeting was the last meeting of the semester, and it was a pretty fun one if I do say so myself.

Our President, Heather, started the meeting with some quick housekeeping: members should all have their t-shirts and any upcoming graduates will be receiving cords. The minutes from last meeting were approved.

Next, we started the games, leading with a legally-themed crossword puzzle. Crosswords and puzzles are good for the brain, and, accordingly, they help prepare your brain for the logic portions of the LSAT. While winning was motivation enough, the winner of this contest actually won a scholarship. And Morgan Robertson was the winner! Congratulations Morgan! (You know your Pre-Law Society, girl!)

Heather next spoke on the LSAC Forums offered physically across the United States and digitally on Zoom. Heather advised everyone to go to at least one. She attended the one in Atlanta, and she found it amazingly helpful. In these forums you get a chance to get application waivers, which are very useful when those fees start racking up. Prospective students attend from all over, and law schools come from all over to get in front of the students. Networking is important, and the admissions officers will help get any questions you may have answered and help in the application process. And it is FREE!

After that she introduced another game: “strike a juror.” We were divided into groups of six and our goal was to strike jurors based on the scenarios provided.

This game was very fun and informative, especially with Ms. Loveall participating and in putting her very helpful perspective!

There was a drawing for members who were very active this semester in the events that Pre-Law Society has hosted or partaken in. The winner of this drawing was our very dedicated member Ashley K! Ashley won a scholarship as well. Thank you for your consistency and congratulations Ashley!

Lastly, upcoming events will be the M*A*S*H Toy and Food Drive on December 1st and 2nd. To kick next semester off, the next meeting will be January 19th following our Ice Cream Social! And elections will happen soon after, so be on the lookout for another busy and rewarding semester in the Pre-Law Society!

The LEAP Center and Pre-Law Society will kick off the spring with a panel on crime in mid-to-late January! Stay tuned and keep up with our “upcoming events” page:

Old Town Theatre Clean-Up 

Jessica Cuevas 

On Saturday, October 23rd, members of the Pre-Law Society and the LEAP Ambassadors volunteered to deep-clean Huntsville’s Old Town Theatre. Before the cleaning began, Professor Yawn gave us a tour of the interior…

Students are clearly mesmerized by the tour

…including the backstage, dressing rooms, and exterior of the Old Town Theatre, where we also learned about the works of the artist Richard Haas.  The dressing rooms, with large bathrooms and soft lighting, were clearly the favorite of the tour.

As we embarked on the fall cleaning, we assessed what needed to be done and strategically coordinated our cleaning. 

We separated into three groups to tackle our tasks more efficiently, focusing on the main auditorium, balcony, and stage. 

Each group worked in an assembly-line style, with someone vacuuming, cleaning, and disinfecting the backs and bottoms of every seat.

Our advisors, Stephanie and Professor Yawn even joined in the fun, and we also got the windows at the front of the theatre.

 As each task was being accomplished, there was a drawing for prizes such as snack packages, power banks, candles, cups, and throw blankets. Everyone was able to get a prize as a thank-you for their help.

After cleaning, we were satisfied with all our hard work, Professor Yawn headed upstairs to show us how the lighting and sound systems work as he began My Cousin Vinny, a fan favorite. We enjoyed a clean theater and cautiously ate the popcorn we were treated to. 

After the movie was finished, those of us who had not seen it clearly understood why it is favored by so many attorneys.  

Pre-Law Society Entertains Alumni (and they educate us!)

By Jordan Long

At this week’s meeting Heather (President) made a quick but concise introduction, introducing us to some upcoming events, issuing some reminders, and confirming minutes. But the real order of business is the introduction of Alejandra Galvan and Lexi Gonzales, who were introduced by Professor Yawn.

Yawn asked a few questions to get the discussion started, the first being “Are you both first generation students?” They answer yes, and Lexi mentions that she is a first-generation graduate student.  

What was the biggest change from Sam Houston to law school? 

In response to this, Alejandra urged us, “DO NOT SHOW UP UNPREPARED!” In law school, the expectation is that students will be prepared, know the material, and will speak clearly and loudly when called upon. That’s not always the case in our current classes…

What were some classes that were helpful from Sam? 

exi noted that her Pre-Law class with Professor Yawn, her theatre class (which helped her with speaking), and her other political science classes were helpful. Alex noted that, while some classes were helpful, Moot Court was probably the most helpful.

How did networking and relationships you built help get you into law school? 

To this, Alex mentioned her internship in the Texas Senate, where she made friends with other staff and professionals. These types of relationships helped her build her resume and get internships during law school. She also advised, “do things that make you uncomfortable: that’s how you grow.”

Lexi reminded us that, “Everyone in the room is part of your network.” Our fellow organization members are interested in law, all are likely to go into the field, and, accordingly, all could help us land a job.

When it was our time to ask questions, President Barodi led off by asking whether working after graduation helped or hindered. Alex noted that she would have liked taking a gap year, but she urged us to make the most of a gap year, suggesting that take on an interesting job or enjoying unique experiences.

Lexi noted that she tried to make the most of her experiences even before her gap year(s). She recalled her volunteerism during spring break her senior year, which involved waking up at five am each morning, making milk and cheese, and, on one occasion, cutting the umbilical cord of a goat. She, too, encouraged us to get out of our comfort zones.

Jackie Galo asked a question many students have: do you need to go into law school knowing what kind of law you want to practice? The answer to that, is “no.” Lexi, in fact, still isn’t sure what type of law she wants to practice. For Alex, the decision came organically. She was involved in eminent domain issues while interning in the senate, then took a course on property law, and she ended up being interested in it.

Max asked about internships, a popular topic. Alex, who had three internships as an undergraduate, discussed getting her internships through the organizations she was in (LEAP Ambassadors). She didn’t always do well in the interviews, but she stuck with it, and encouraged us: “Don’t be afraid of being rejected.”

Lexi also got her undergraduate internships through LEAP, working at the Wynne Home and, later, at the State Legislature.

In closing, Lexi encouraged us to read, “How to Sort of Be Happy in Law School” and Alex just left us with two pieces of advice: (1) Read, and (2) Be kind to everyone.

Afterward, they were surrounded by students interested in more of what they had to say. All of us were grateful for their time and, at least for the moment, felt the urge to go home and read.