by Emmanuel Agyemang
As a child, there would always be a smile on my lips whenever I was asked what I wanted to become in the future. When I was 12, I wanted to be a doctor, though I was uncertain, and later that year, an astronaut. At 15, my friend told me that perhaps I could not become a doctor or an astronaut. He was my best friend and he pointed out that my talents were better suited to the law profession. I pondered on it and decided he was right. I was the best writer in class. My reading skills and command over the English language was commended by teachers.
The journey has been long and arduous since then. I went to Bradley University, majored in political science, graduated magna cum laude, passed the LSAT and applied to law school. I was accepted to numerous law schools but I chose UIC Law and began in the Fall of 2022.
Law school is entirely different from undergraduate school. In undergrad, there are generally assignments due every week to keep you on your toes from falling too far behind on readings. Even if you do not perform well on a final exam, grade points for participation, attendance, extra credit, and weekly assignments may prevent a total defeat. There is no such protection in law school. There is usually one final test that comprises 100 percent of one’s grades throughout the semester, with no salvation from quizzes, participation or attendance.
The readings are extremely dense and there is almost no time for anything else other than constantly reading to understand the materials. Though undergrad and law school both test for memory as well as understanding of the materials, law school requires much more memorization. Also, even though professors will try their best to aid your understanding, most of the time you will be teaching yourself. Professors come to class expecting students to have already learned the material and they usually only supplement your understanding or add nuance to the readings.
Law school is graded on a curve where only a certain number of people can get an A in any given class. Hence, your answers have to be more precise and accurate compared to your peers’ answers in order to stand a chance of achieving an A. Due to this, the environment is very competitive and can be hostile.
Yet, with perseverance, I was able to endure the first semester and I ended on a good note. Even though law school is such a challenge, I still feel that my talents are well suited to the profession and a smile still comes to my lips when I think about what I want to become: a lawyer. As the new year starts, I brace myself for another semester, and hopefully, a better one. Good luck to me, and congratulations to my younger self for attaining the heights he dreamed of!
About Emmanuel Agyemang
Emmanuel Agyemang is an international student from Ghana
and a recent graduate of Bradley University with a degree in Political
Science. He has an interest in pursuing law in the near future.