Law Pre Grad Intern Catalina Galindo
"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Internship program this semester has truly been one of the most amazing experiences that I will leave college with. Coming into the university, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue in terms of a future career. When I decided that social work was the best fit for me being that I love to help others, there was still something missing. I began to think about law school when I thought about my personal past experiences. Being an attorney was something I always wanted but always thought it wasn't for me. I had the idea that all attorneys were criminal defense attorneys but once I found out that I could do much more than that, my interest in pursuing law grew. When I heard of this internship, I knew it would be a great way to determine whether or not law school would be the perfect fit for me.
My mentor, Juliana Mulholland, is a second year law school student at the University of Texas School of Law. Juliana has been guiding me and has taught me all of the essential information I need in order to prepare to apply to law school and to be a successful law school student. Some of the most significant things that I have done have been to attend law school classes, meet law school professors, go over LSAT problems and tactics, resume workshops, help with my personal statement, and attend events at the law school. The law school classes and professors I met helped me think about law school in a different way. Also, going through LSAT problems will help me approach the tests in a different way. Before this program, I took an LSAT practice exam and I was terrified. When my mentor went through an exam with me, I realized it is not as bad when you have tactics. She taught me how to go about working out logic games and now that I do them, I am able to work them out faster and more effectively. The LSAT score is one of the important factors that determine law school admission and I feel more confident about it. Juliana also helped me write a draft of my personal statement. I was able to tell her all about my personal life and me. With that, she helped me determine what topic to write about and with word choice. It was great to be able to talk to someone in such a personal way and to be able to receive the help that she gave me. She gave me great feedback and also great advice. Juliana made me feel really comfortable with her and I was able to ask her and talk with her about everything and anything.
The most surprising thing that I have found about law school is that the students are not all competitive. I have watched movies of students in law school and I had the idea that all students in all law schools were all competitive. I thought that students would do horrible things to each other in order be on top. I was surprised to hear that not all law schools are that way. My mentor told me that things are not that way at UT law. She mentioned that there have been many times were she has shared notes with others and others have done the same for her. I also heard from an attorney that those who are the most competitive are only those who want to work in a big law firm upon graduation. This finding helped me feel a lot better about being in law school. I was also surprised to hear that in law school most of your classes are electives. The first year of law school, you take all the required courses and after that year, you take whatever courses best fit your interest. To me, this was one of the most important findings. With two years of electives I will be able to know what area in law I would like to practice.
In this internship, I have learned many details about law school that I had no idea of. First of all, I had no idea law school would be so expensive. I asked my mentor to give me an approximation of how much the expenses would be while attending law school for three years. She sat down with me and made a detailed budget list. This helped me think through what it was that I wanted to do and whether I should take a year off after graduation in order to work. This budget also helped me plan out and decided what I could do to save money. Although the budget was a little scary to see, it was very realistic. Now I know that I must apply for as many scholarships I am eligible for. I also did not know how much dedication one must give as a law student. I knew that getting into law school required a lot of studying for the LSAT but I thought that was the hardest part. When I asked my mentor about finals, she told me that she goes missing for about a month. She said that every semester around finals time she spends all of her free time studying. She also mentioned that since she has been in law school, she has given up most of her personal life. I feel that this finding can make someone decide they do not want to go to law school. As for me, I thought the exact opposite. This motivated me to work harder and will motivate me to stick to my goals. The most important revelation I had in this internship was that law school classes could be very fun and not as hard as they seem. The law school classes that I attended were all family law classes, which is the area that I interested in. Some of the topics covered in those classes were child support, domestic violence, and child neglect. When the professor was asking the students questions, I had the answer for most of them. The class was very fun and interesting. Although the professor used the Socratic Method, it was not as intimidating as I thought.
The IE experience has changed me in many ways. I was terrified about even applying to law school but now that I have spent so much time with my mentor and many attorneys, I feel a lot more confident than I did before. Going into this program I was a little unsure of whether I truly wanted to pursue law. My goal in life is to help as many people as I can by changing their life in some way. I thought that I could only do this through social work but now that I know that I can also live my dream as an attorney, I am more motivated and determined to pursue my dreams. Overall, this internship worked in my favor and made me realize that law school is the perfect fit for me. I learned that I had a lot of misconceptions about law school. Most of the things about which I was scared turned out not to be so frightening. IE is an experience that everyone interested in graduate school should have. One might feel like they are sure of what they want to do. But this program taught me that the only way to be sure of what you want to do is to experience it first hand and have someone guide you."