Law Pre-Grad Intern Paulina Sosa

Paulina SosaIntellectual Entrepreneurship: The Impact on My Life

A mentorship, an opportunity, a gift has been selflessly offered to the students at the University of Texas at Austin. No matter what particular field they are interested in, each and every student has the chance to further their experience and education in a field of their interest. One of the best ways for any aspiring psychologist, archaeologist, or, in my case, attorney to reach their goal is to see how others before them have reached that same aspiration. A mentorship is perfect for such guidance. Through this mentorship that I have so graciously attained, I have learned how to pursue law school effectively, what law school is like, and different ways I can use law school to reach my dream career.

My mentor, Omar Ochoa, has helped me in enormous ways and I am ever so grateful for his willingness to jump on board with this mentorship with me. I feel like I, not only, attained a great mentor, but a wonderful friend and advisor. Omar is currently a 3rd year in law school and is the head editor for the UT Law Review. In addition, after talking to him numerous times about his passions, experiences and goals- I have learned just how involved he was in his undergraduate years in college and have been utterly fascinated. His passion and activism in college has only inspired me to continue on the path I am on, because in the end, college is not merely about the grades or the classes, but about the friendships, experiences and passions you further develop. For, as I have so notably seen through Omar, it is the latter three that truly help contribute to your personality, vigor and determination as an individual- something that law school truly does take notice of.

This mentorship has given me a glimpse into what the path leading to law school looks like. I feel that I have learned how to effectively pursue law school and it seems, that I am currently on the right path. As stated in the paragraph before this, I noticed something grand in Omar's undergraduate experiences: life and college is about pursuing your passion, loving what you do, and enjoying what you learn. So I shall continue to pursue my passion: do what I can in Austin and Brownsville to fight against both local and global poverty, stay involved with the political arena by interning at the state capitol and assisting candidates (or incumbents) for political races, and travel to different states, countries and continents to expand my knowledge on culture, history and news. What I have learned so far in my undergraduate career is only the tip of the mountain- I know there is so much more for me to learn, cherish and share with others and I truly look forward to doing so to help me stand apart in my law school application.

Furthermore, I have learned several logistical pointers to help me prepare for the rigid law school application. I have learned that though grades are important- they do not make your application. However, the LSATs are desperately crucial to the application. So I completely understand that preparing and practicing for this exam is absolutely and utterly necessary for the goal I have to get accepted into dream law schools, like Stanford Law School, New York University Law, and UT Law. So right now, my plan is to do the best I can with my grades between now and the end of next spring, then to start practicing for the LSATs in the spring to take the test in October. And, on top of this guidance, I have been advised time and again to choose a law school not for its name, but for its fit with my personal interests, passions and personality. If I can do everything I can to keep my grades high and do more than well on the LSATs, then I can make myself stand out in the application pool to be accepted into the law school that will serve perfectly for my overall goal.

On top of all this amazing guidance Omar and other sources, like law professors and attorneys, have provided me, I have gotten a keen insight into what the law school experience is all about. Law school- first year- the most intense of the three years there. The reason is because it is such a drastic difference from the regular regiment of college. Along with this, is the fact that the first year is also the time where the school weeds out those students that are really meant for law school, and those that are not. Omar did attest that the amount of reading and writing is more than comprehensible, seemingly, but after the first year- you become so used to that type of work that the rest of the years, though busy and quite draining, are much easier to handle than before. Just as we have to acclimate to the atmosphere of college work after dealing with high school work for so long, we have to do the same in the first year in law school. I was also able to sit in several classes and get a good idea of what the class regiment is like. Although it is at a much higher level than most classes we take now in undergraduate classes, I was still able to understand the intensity, the importance and the relevance of many the classes I was able to sit in. It truly was quite an experience.

And, lastly, I saw firsthand what attaining a law school degree could enable you to do throughout your life. Firstly, I met many attorneys and law school students that use their expertise to help underprivileged populations. For example, at the Shaking the Foundations Conference at Stanford University, I met many attorneys and law professors that are using their law degree to make a difference with a social justice issue that they are extremely passionate about. The different causes these individuals helped advocate for ranged from religion to race to sexual orientation. It was so fascinating seeing and reading what many of these attorneys and professors have been able to accomplish through the skills they attained in law school. Furthermore, I can understand how having a law school degree educates you within different sectors of law- and more particularly- the types of law that appeal more to you as an individual.

I, one day, would love to use my law degree to help different causes and organizations I am passionate to help. Organizations that I would help would be The ONE Campaign, the global fight against poverty; Safeplace, local domestic violence shelter, and others. There is so much any law school graduate can do with the law degree, and it is great to know that others have been able to utilize that to further the progress of a cause that they hold deep to their heart. I hope to, one day, be that example for others that will be standing in the same shoes I stand in right now.

Overall, this mentorship was undeniably an experience that furthered my insight and desire to become a law school student and attorney. I really do look forward to maintaining contact with Omar and all the other attorneys and professors I was able to meet through this mentorship. Meeting people is more than just meeting them to see what they can do for you, but rather to foster relationships and friendships with them to see how you can learn from them and how you can help them with anything they might need. I am so happy I took the opportunity to learn more about the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program last semester, because if I hadn't I would not have had this wonderful experience I speak so highly of. I highly recommend this program to any student that may be looking forward to graduate school, law school or any other graduate program. Take every opportunity that is offered to help build you up to that goal you dream of becoming. Life is about taking new opportunities, meeting great people, learning through exciting experiences and enjoying that process of learning.