Nicole Lafond ‘21
Hometown: Windham, NH
Undergraduate Major(s)/Minor(s): B.A. Psychology and Justice Studies
Graduating Class Year: 2021
Student Organizations: Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of Omega, and the Alpha Phi Sorority
Did you go to Law School directly after graduating college? No, I took a year off
What area of Law are you interested in? Sports and Entertainment Law or Medical Malpractice Law
Where are you in your legal career?
I am currently starting the second semester of my first year at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Mass. I have received my final grades from the first semester and am now in the process of applying and interviewing for 1L summer Internships.
What suggestions do you have for studying for the LSAT?
Looking back on my experience I have a lot of advice on what not to do. My LSAT score was very low due to not being able to afford the right resources and being afraid to ask my parents for money! As well as studying during my last semester of senior year, while working two jobs on top of that and not retaking it because I had travel plans the summer after I graduated. I let my ego get the best of me and was hoping that my high GPA as well as my work experience would make up for my poor LSAT score. Due to this I was waitlisted or denied from every school that I applied to and luckily Suffolk allowed me in through an Alternative Admissions Program, which is why I am here now. My advice is, adjust your study schedule based on your school and work life. If you know you have other commitments and priorities, then start studying at least 6 months prior and create a consistent study schedule that is realistic and that you can stick to each week. Although many schools are dropping the LSAT, and I can confidently say that I am proof that the LSAT will not determine your grades it is SO important if you want to get into the school of your choosing. Don’t make the mistake that I did and start studying 4 months in advance knowing that you have several other commitments. If you are starting your studying late as I did and are able to take time off from work or lessen the load of your schedule, then do that. Invest in an LSAT prep course if possible. Take the LSAT at least a year before going to law school so that you have the time to retake it if you need to. Take as many practice exams as possible so you are comfortable taking the exam when you sit down for it and don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Apply for accommodations if you struggle with ADHD or any other learning disability. I struggle with ADHD myself, but I didn’t apply for accommodations which I know now is a mistake. Also, if you don’t get the score you had hoped, do not let this deter you from going to law school or make you doubt whether you will succeed. I did very well my first semester and my LSAT score was very low so I can say myself that your LSAT does not determine your success!
What suggestions do you have for applying to law school?
Apply early! Email the school to see if you can get a waiver of the application fee so you can apply to many schools. Find a few professors in undergrad that you can build a relationship with or employer that will be willing to write you a strong letter of recommendation. When writing your personal statement, tell your honest story of why you are coming to law school and every decision or experience that led you here. Do not be afraid of being vulnerable in your personal statement because ultimately that is going to be your WHY of why you are going, and Admissions will be moved by that. That is what ultimately granted me into the Alternate Admissions Program because I told them my true and honest story and they saw potential in me outside of my LSAT score. Try to seek out any legal experience or transferable experiences that you can put on your resume.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in attending law school?
Don’t be discouraged by other people's opinions on not going. I remember letting these opinions get the best of me and making me doubt my decision to apply. Yes, law school is an investment, so you want to be passionate about going but don’t let your passion be swayed by others’ thoughts. Regardless of whether you choose to pursue a career as an attorney after law school, having this credential sets you apart from others in your future career. Also, law school (at least Suffolk) is not as scary as it seems or what people make it out to be. Suffolk has made me feel like I belong, the faculty is consistently providing us with resources so that we will succeed, and I have met the most amazing people. I have learned so much about myself so far and am so happy with my decision.