Abigail Hartnett ‘19

Political Science Major | 1L Law Student

Hometown: Newmarket, NH
Undergraduate Major(s)/Minor(s): B.A. Political Science
Graduating Class Year: 2019
Did you go to Law School directly after graduating college? No, I worked from 2019 to 2022 as a paralegal
What area of Law are you interested in? Public Interest Law, Civil Rights Law, and Tax Law
Email: abigailhartnett@umaryland.edu

Where are you in your legal career?

I am currently in my second semester of 1L at the University of Maryland Francis Carey King School of Law.

What suggestions do you have for studying for the LSAT?

I am a big believer that the LSAT is important but it shouldn’t be your whole life or a three year long process. Everyone dreams of a high 170s LSAT score, but that won’t happen for all of us and it is unrealistic for most people to keep trying for that. Dedicate two to three months to seriously sticking to a study schedule. My schedule was every night from 7 to 930 during the week and then Saturday completely off and about 8 hours on Sunday. I was also working full-time as a paralegal at this time so anything more was just unrealistic. I took the LSAT twice and stuck to this schedule both times.

The LSAT is important but so is your GPA, your essays, and your recommendations. If after two to three times of taking the LSAT you are not getting the high score of your dreams, my controversial opinion is to just accept your highest score and focus on the other aspects of your application and getting those applications in early!

What suggestions do you have for applying to law school?

Apply early! I had a goal of applying to all of my schools by the first week of October. For the most part, I had heard from everyone by the end of January regarding admissions and scholarships. I then had a lot of time before the deadline to commit to tour schools, negotiate scholarships, and asses all my options.

What advice do you have for students who are interested in attending law school?

Take some time off between undergrad and law school! Don’t feel like you need to rush into law school and just take time off to study for the LSAT. Take two to three years, study, get work experience, and then reconsider law school. You will feel much more comfortable when you start law school and confident in your decision to attend, given it is quite the financial investment.