By Jibran Abbasi
The College’s Pre-Law Society organized a Q&A session between students interested in pursuing law and alumnus Aaron Conyer via Zoom on Sept. 9.
Conyer graduated from the College in 2019 with Phi Beta Kappa distinction and is currently attending the Howard University School of Law as a first-year student.
Dylan Chidick, a member of the Pre-Law Society and organizer of the event, kicked off the conversation by asking how Conyer tackled compulsory components of the law school applications, such as the LSAT.
“As a general rule of thumb most students take the LSAT in the fall of their junior (year), so they have time to retake the test as needed, but I believe that your case is unique,” Chidick said.
Chidick was right. Conyer began studying for the LSAT in the fall of his senior year, which is later than most students.
“(This) put me in the position of either getting the score I wanted to get or be forced to take that dreaded gap year,” Conyer said.
Although this was the case, he said that the timing of when a person takes the LSAT is not as important as preparing for the test at one’s own pace.
“Study well and with dedication and you could be done with the test on your first try,” Conyer said. “But even then, at the end of the day, don’t let it define your entire law school package, regardless of your score. I actually took the test twice, the second time in my gap year, and I did better than my initial attempt.”
If a student must take a gap year for the exam, just as Conyer did, he assured the attendees that there is no shame in doing so, and that the majority of first-year students at his law school are older than what he expected.
“A lot of the people you see in law school are at least two to three years removed from college on average, and if you do go to law school right out of college, you’re one of the younger students in class,” Conyer said.
In his case, he said that it was not his LSAT that set him apart from other applicants, but rather the lessons and connections he shared with the College’s philosophy department. He said that he made connections with professors in the College’s philosophy department, which led to strong letters of recommendation when applying to law school.
He also spoke about the workload of being a student in law school. For him, it was like a “baptism by fire.”
“They throw as much work as they possibly can,” Conyer said. “You’re supposed to absorb all of it and you’re tested on all the (course material) at the end of the year. It’s all about figuring out how you learn and how to best prepare for that.
When it comes to the decision to apply to law school, Conyer said that every person must take their financial situation into consideration and, if necessary, consider taking a gap year.
In his closing remarks, he said in his gap year he held a full-time job at Dechert LLP as a conflicts analyst, which resulted in him being able to save money for law school, and the experience acquired at this company was the decisive factor that led to his acceptance at the Howard University School of Law — a school he is proud to attend.
“For the first time in my life I had the opportunity to be surrounded by like minded people, and people who look like me, and who are extremely intelligent,” he said. “I’m really appreciative of my experience in law school right now.”