Representatives from the University of Kansas Law School came and held a Q&A session with law school hopefuls on Tuesday, 6Oct09, arranged by the Pre-Law chapter of Phi Alpha Delta at KU. Of course, there was pizza. On a side note, it seems like everything that happens on campus involves getting free pizza or free T-shirts. The pizza was Pizza Shuttle, but surprisingly good. Moving on…
I showed up at the Jayhawk Room on the 5th floor of the Kansas Union at 1800hrs for the session and tucked in to the pizza. There were six KU Law students there, and the Director of Admissions was refereeing. To start out with, the DoA talked about the personal statements that we are required to fill out as part of the application process. That was interesting, and I got a more in-depth take on it than I got at the Washburn forum, probably because the DoA is the one who actually reads them. Then the students introduced themselves. The questions from the attendees mostly focused on the admissions aspect, with some questions concerning what KU Law itself was like as a student.
The law students talked about their personal experiences, beginning with how they came to KU and why. Some had gone directly in and were comparatively young, though one had taken time off between getting his BA and going to law school, and was twenty-seven. A couple of people asked about the LSAT and test preparation, and specifically it was asked if KAPLAN was worth the money. Surprising to me was that there were similar resources that were free, and I intend to look into those.
Of particular interest to me was the atmosphere at KU and how I might relate to it as an older, “non-traditional” student. The statistics given by the DoA gave a median age of twenty-four, but it was also stated that older students are far from unusual, and the oldest recent graduate was sixty-two. My sister entered law school around the same age as myself, so after the forum I phoned her and got her perspective on that. On the atmosphere at KU, it was remarked by all of the students that it was very different from undergrad school. KU was described as being a place of “friendly competition”, and one student described the professors there as going beyond what undergrad professors had done for him. He listed that as one reason he came to KU as opposed to wherever it was he was from. Several of the students there were from outside KU.
All of them stressed that law school is a different kind of learning, and one that requires a lot of groundwork before attending each class. A couple of questions were posed as to what majors or classes would help in law school, and the consensus was that there was nothing specific or inherent about a major or class that prepared one for law school, with only the general exception that one should choose classes that prepare a student to do a lot of research paper writing. Reading comprehension was talked around, with it being noted that reading and understanding the different usages that law has for otherwise common words was very important. It was said that thirty or forty pages of reading was typically three to four hours or even more of hard reading. Which is very different from what I’m used to, and I suppose I could relate this to how much fun I don’t have reading through my science text this semester.
After the forum was over I went and asked the DoA more specific questions about my situation and picked up some information. All in all I think it was interesting and informative, and it doesn’t hurt that I get credit with PAD for attending. I’m looking forward to the next thing that PAD does like this.