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Hi All!

Recruitment travel season has come to a close, and while our travel team loved getting out all across the country to meet prospective students I know I speak for all of us when I say we are happy to be home at California Western.

Standard winter weather in San Diego - this is just a few blocks from campus!

Standard winter weather in San Diego – this is just a few blocks from campus!

We in the admissions office are therefore thankful to be home in San Diego, thankful to have met so many interesting prospective students across the country, and thankful for the pumpkin cheesecake that met its demise in our office this morning to celebrate the start of our long Thanksgiving weekend.

However…I also wanted to highlight some of the things that the broader CWSL community are thankful for here on campus.  Here in the office we’ve been producing a series of webinars covering a variety of topics we believe would be of interest to prospective CWSL students.  In the live webinars, students can listen in as we conduct our discussion and participate themselves by submitting questions to the speakers.  These webinars have touched on everything from CWSL Clinics and Internships to our Yellow Ribbon Program to our Spring Start and Career Services Resources and so much more.  Our students as well as faculty and the greater legal community are thankful these programs exist because they have been proven to produce graduates who are practice ready, who have had rewarding academic experiences in law school, and who have been able to find careers that they enjoy and excel in.  Let’s see a round up of all these awesome programs, presented in webinar form below!

Click on a link to listen to that webinar and learn more about what we are thankful for here at CWSL:

The basics first – Why Law School, The Application Process, and Why CWSL?

To start in this whole law school journey, you have to decide to go!  Listen here to find out why our students decided to jump into the legal field:

Now you’ve decided you want to go to law school, but first you need to apply.  We sat down with Assistant Dean of Admissions Traci Howard as well as other admissions representatives to discuss tactics and tips for building the most competitive application you can, as well as common mistakes and how those are easily avoided:

Once you apply and decide to take the plunge, you need to decide where to…well…plunge!  Listen here to why a group of our current students chose CWSL to begin their legal careers:

 

Our Scholarship Programs and Financial Aid Programs – Scholarships for Competitive Candidates and Law School for Veterans

California Western sports a robust scholarship program, the purpose of which is to attract the most competitive candidates for law school that we can.  In this webinar we spoke with Shawnessy Negrotto in the admissions office as well as current and alumni scholarship students from CWSL to hear about what makes you a candidate for scholarship offers, and how being a scholarship student at CWSL can open even more doors for you in the long run.

San Diego is a major military town, and it goes without saying that we are most thankful for the sacrifice of our veterans and members of military families.  CWSL tries to acknowledge and thank our veterans and their families by participating 100% in the Yellow Ribbon Program.  Listen here as we discuss that and many other financial aid topics with our Assistant Director of Financial Aid as well as a current student and veteran of the U.S. Navy.

 

When Should I Start Law School?  Perhaps the Spring!

We at CWSL as well as our students are thankful that admitted students have the option of starting law school in either the Fall or the Spring.  Listen to this webinar to learn more about the student experience in our Spring Start Program:

 

California Western’s Preparation for Practice and Job Search Resources

Finally (for today, anyway!) we are thankful for the multitude of clinics, internships and practicum courses offered at CWSL.  For this webinar we met with Associate Dean of Experiential Learning Linda Morton to discuss the wide array of clinical programs, internships, our STEPPs program and practicums.  We also included input from current and former students who took part in many of these programs to learn about their experiences and how important it is to come to school where you are truly prepared to practice:

California Western sports a phenomenal Career Services Office with a fine array of resources available to both students and alumni.  We had a conversation with Matt Lab from Career Services as well as a current student and a recent alum, Agustin Pena, who just landed a job at the San Diego County District Attorney’s office.  Hear all about how our students are developing their professional networks during school and putting them to work after graduation:

 

We hope everyone out there has a fantastic Thanksgiving.  We’re giving thanks for the health and happiness of our friends and family, for the great programs CWSL has to offer and for passing the bar (yay!)

Hello from the road!  I’ve had so many adventures in the last two weeks and met SO many students from here and there I can hardly keep all of the memories straight.  I wanted to recap some of the awesome places I’ve been and some of the cool people I’ve spoken with!

NorCal!

Last week I scooted around the northern end of our beautiful golden state.  I started with a few minutes at Santa Clara University (thanks to a terribly delayed flight!) before moving on to UC Santa Cruz.  What a beautiful campus!  Sorry in advance, that’s a comment you will read many times throughout this post.  UC Santa Cruz sits atop a wooded hill with views of the Pacific Ocean – the perfect mix of forest and beach.  Typical California!  I hung out at the Grad School fair and met lots of students who had participated in the UCDC program.  As an alum of the program myself (throwback Fall 2008!) it was fun to chat with students not only about their time in DC at various awesome internships, but of course about law school as well.  Plus, I got to hang out with this hunky slug:

Sammy the Slug, UCSC mascot, dressed up for the Grad School Fair

Sammy the Slug, UCSC mascot, dressed up for the Grad School Fair

After UCSC we all jetted off to wonderful UC Berkeley.  Cal holds a special place in my heart as my sister just graduated from here, so I always love to visit the campus – feels like home!  I started my day at Caffe Strada with a big delicious latte (and some breakfast pumpkin pie!).  The law fair here was HUGE and I was lucky to meet many fantastic students who were so excited about law school.  One or two had already applied to CWSL and were ready to roll, just stopping by to say hi and ask about what life is like as a law student.

A shot up Bancroft on my way back from the UC Berkeley Law Fair

A shot up Bancroft on my way back from the UC Berkeley Law Fair

We rounded out the NorCal swing with a trip inland to UC Davis.  Davis felt like an oasis in the middle of the vast central CA countryside – it is an adorable college town with some AMAZING restaurants, fun students and tons of bikes.  The law fair was a fantastic success as I made connections with many more students.

traffic jam!

traffic jam!

MAPLA – An Adventure through the Midwest!

I was home from Norcal for what felt like 10 minutes before I whisked off again to the beautiful midwest.  I started out my trip at Indiana University Bloomington.  Again I say – this was a gorgeous campus!  The town of Bloomington felt like the equivalent of UC Davis out west – quintessential college town.  Lots of fun little eateries, most spots are walking distance from campus, and a VERY proud town it was!  IU pride everywhere!  I got lots of questions about entertainment and sports law, so I encouraged students to check out a variety of programs, including our New Media Rights and Trademark Clinic .

The beautiful Memorial Hall building where our law fair was held

The beautiful Memorial Hall building where our law fair was held

Then began the long trek to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Despite the gloomy day I was able to meet with several fantastic students who sounded interested in leaving the quiet countryside of Illinois for the sunny beaches of southern California.

The gym building where this year's fair was held

The gym building where this year’s fair was held

Today I’m at St. Louis University.  It is chilly here!  However, the day started out great and just keeps getting better.  With a fellow seasonal recruiter I visited a famous (#nerdtourism) legal spot in history – the Old St. Louis Courthouse where Dred and Harriet Scot filed suit for their freedom in 1847.  They won their case there but unfortunately after appeals to the United States Supreme Court, their case was defeated and they remained enslaved.  However, this site we visited was the jumping off point for a major historical event that helped spark the Civil War, 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, and a century long civil rights movement.  It was an incredible way to start this law filled day!

 

Outside the Old Courthouse in St. Louis where Dred Scott filed his suit for freedom in 1847

Outside the Old Courthouse in St. Louis where Dred Scott filed his suit for freedom in 1847

Dred Scott and his wife Harriet helped spark a century long civil rights movement here.

Dred Scott and his wife Harriet helped spark a century long civil rights movement here.

The gorgeous original interior of the Old Courthouse

The gorgeous original interior of the Old Courthouse

I’ll say goodbye to St. Louis this afternoon and head off to the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  I’m SO excited to go back to Madison, if only for a day.  I visited several years ago for about a week and loved the city, so I look forward to visiting again and meeting UW students!

Gateway to the West - perhaps to California WESTern School of Law!

Gateway to the West – perhaps to California WESTern School of Law!

 

 

 

 

 

Career Fair Quandry

October 22nd, 2013 by

I recently visited two great career fairs in Norcal.  The weather at both fairs was perfect, everything at each fair was very well organized, and each fair was bustling with students.  The only problem I observed was this:  students seemed far more inclined to visit career booths over law school or grad fair booths.  Be it the promise of a job immediately following graduation or the fear of more school, or even the inclination to start paying off any existing undergrad debt without incurring grad school debt, it was pretty quiet over in law school land.

Of course, I did get the chance to talk to several fantastic students who were passionate about law school and who were excited to apply.  However, I wanted to address some of the lingering concerns that college seniors in particular may be facing as they make the choice between finding a job immediately after graduation or continuing to build on their academic (in particular their legal) careers.

MONEY

It makes all the sense in the world that students are concerned about money.  Most undergrads have at least a small chunk of loans they used already that will need to be paid so the thought of taking out more loans for law school is understandably a bit daunting.

However it is important to remember two things about a law school student’s monetary maneuvering:  scholarships and other various forms of financial aid and loan repayment are available AND investing in law school is investing in yourself.  Let’s break it down:

Scholarships, Financial Aid and Loan Repayment

First and foremost I would always counsel a student concerned about money to contact the financial aid office of their choice law schools.  They are best equipped to discuss their particular school’s scholarships, financial aid packages and loan repayment options.

Here at California Western, every applicant is considered for merit based scholarships.  This means that the students with the higher LSAT scores and GPAs are more likely to be offered scholarships, and of course the better your numbers the better your scholarship offer.  However there are numerous other scholarship opportunities available to CWSL applicants based on diversity, career transition students, the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans and several others.  Further, scholarships aren’t solely available to incoming first year students.  There are many scholarships devoted to upper-division students as well.

WORK LOAD

Especially as college seniors are concerned, the idea of leaving four years of college only to walk straight into at least three more of law school can sound tiring.  It may sound appealing to leave the academic world, if only for a year or two, and begin creating your professional persona.

Even if you decide to take a gap year or two between college and law school, the work load is entirely manageable.  Let it be known that law school was never a walk in the park for anyone, but the vast majority of students who decide to take the plunge are made well aware before school starts that they will have to work hard.  I always tell interested students that if they treat their first year of law school like a full time job, there is no reason why they can’t succeed and manage the work load.  This means coming to school to either attend class or study in the library (or your location of choice!) from 8:00am – 5:00pm every week day, with a few hours added over the weekend.

What??  A full time job that I am paying for?  Don’t worry.  There are so many resources available to you during your time in law school that all this work will not be done all by yourself!  When you’re deciding where to apply, be sure to check out academic resources available at your choice law schools.

Here at CWSL, there are many academic resources available that I found particularly helpful while I was a student, and I wasn’t the only one by far!  During your first year here, each of your substantive classes is attended by an upper-division student who was a top performer when they took the class.  They provide weekly tutoring sessions to review material from that class, as well as making themselves available to you for any extra help you may need.  The school also provides an Academic Achievement Workshop, which is a free 8 week course that helps students develop necessary skills they will use in law school from note-taking to study habits to exam answer writing.

JOB PROSPECTS

Why enter into more school when you can just find that job straight out of college?  It depends entirely on where you want to go in life, so perhaps this part of the decision is the most personal.

It is very important to know whether a law degree is something that is required or at least recommended for our choice of career.  Being a law school graduate can often lead to a higher rate of pay, even if you decide not to seek a job as an attorney (although that choice of career is, of course, vastly more popular than any other!)

Students may be concerned about the current job market.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you should definitely consider contacting the career services office of your choice law schools to ask about job placement and programs that focus on particular areas of practice.  There is a stronger need for some types of practice over others, and even at that the demand for different specialties may change from region to region.  Get to know the career culture at your choice of law schools – it helps!

 

Hey, Utah!

September 30th, 2013 by

Greetings from Admissions! I’m just back from a couple of days in Utah. Every year, seven of the universities in Utah get together to present a week of graduate school recruiting fairs for students. Last week, I attended these events at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University.

I always enjoy my trips to Salt Lake. This may seem silly, but I love visiting the gourmet grocery stores there – especially Harmon’s at City Creek (where I picked up dinner both nights this trip) and the big, gorgeous Whole Foods not far from downtown. It’s also nice to see some mountains rising over the city. Coming from Alaska, these peaks remind me of home. When I got to SLC on Tuesday, it was quite warm – and seriously windy! Then, BLAM! The temperature dropped the next day – maybe low 60s? Brr! Coming from San Diego where we were having one of our late summer heat waves, it was a little bracing, but welcome!

The BYU graduate schools fair I attended was a great event, as always. For a recruiter, attending an event that is highly organized and well-advertised is wonderful. Thank you for the internet access (nice to do a little work from the road during a lull) and the cozy booth! At this always well put-together event, I met quite a few very strong law school candidates. There was a lot of interest in International Law, as usual, and a few people mentioned an interest in Intellectual Property or more specifically, media law. This presented a great opportunity to tout the New Media Rights program!

The next day, I attended the fair at Utah Valley University. I hadn’t been there before but I was excited to visit the school where the dynamic Eileen Crane works! (If you’re a UVU student interested in law school, you really must seek out Ms. Crane. She’s one heck of a pre-law advisor!) This event was also well-organized and, as someone with a slight (understatement of the year) addiction to Diet Pepsi, I loved walking in and being handed a cup for free sodas at the soda fountain! I managed to keep it to one, though.

While I spoke to more students at BYU, the UVU grad fair gave me the chance to talk to some strong candidates. Dean Howard (the Assistant Dean for Admissions at CWSL) is finishing up the Utah grad schools tour this week, with stops at Utah State and University of Utah. We’ll be back in October to hit all of the law fairs – be sure to come see us!

After the fairs, I made sure to reach out via email to everyone who stopped by my booth to fill out an info card. California Western will  be holding a prospective students’ reception in Salt Lake City on October 30th, hosted at a firm owned by two of our graduates. This event presents an opportunity for students who’d like to learn more about CWSL to meet  members of our alumni community as well as speak to some of the law school Admissions staff. Shoot us an email if you’d like to receive an invitation to this event! I hope to see many of the folks I met last week at this event.

For me, the next stops are nearer to home – I’ll be at UC San Diego’s grad fair on October 9th. Check out our recruiting calendar to see where you can meet a CWSL Admissions representative next!

 

 

The LSAT.  It really is a bummer.  However, it’s also a necessary evil as one of the main components of a student’s application to any law school.

Stressed Girl with LSAT Books

What is the LSAT?

In real life, LSAT stands for Law School Admission Test.  It is offered 4 times per year throughout the US and Canada as well as several other countries in February, June, October and December.  The LSAT consists of five 35 minute sections of multiple choice questions, but only four of the five sections contribute to the applicant’s score.  The unscored section (you don’t know which section this is when you’re taking it – what a mystery!) is used to pretest new questions for future administrations of the LSAT.  There is also a 35 minute writing portion at the test that is not scored, but which is still sent to the law schools where you will apply.

That sounds about as fun as running laps through the Saharan Desert wearing a parka.  Why do I have to take this test?

The short answer is this:  admissions offices use your LSAT score to measure skills you’ll need to be successful in law school.  You must be able to read and comprehend lengthy passages of text accurately, organize and manage large amounts of information, draw reasonable inferences from that information, think critically and analyze/evaluate the reasoning and arguments of others.  And that’s straight from the horse’s mouth.

There are three types multiple choice questions on the LSAT:  Reading Comprehension (read a lengthy passage of text then answer between five and 8 multiple choice questions about it), Analytical Reasoning (also known as the “Games” section where you must draw logical conclusions from the stated relationships between people or things), and Logical Reasoning (read a short passage and answer a question about it by coming to a supported conclusion, drawing an analogy, or applying a rule).

study-stress

Well when you put it that way it sounds like loads of fun.  Can I take it more than once?

Sometimes students receive LSAT scores that are lower than they would have hoped.  I know when I got my first LSAT score back I was pretty bummed that I didn’t do as well as I wanted.  However, I’d left enough time before my applications were due to give the test another shot.

“Be aware of school policies about taking multiple LSATs.  Some schools will average the scores, while other schools will take the highest score attained,” says Christopher Baidoo, Assistant Director of Admissions (and a graduate) at CWSL.  Christopher advises that students “retake the exam only if you strongly believe that you will do better.  Whether your law school of choice averages multiple scores or takes the highest score, that school will see you LSAT performance over time, including the low-scoring exams.  It is helpful to ensure that you have done something differently to prepare for the next exam.”

Further, taking the LSAT a second time doesn’t guarantee that you will score higher.  Shawnessy Negrotto, Assistant Director of Admissions suggests that you should only retake the test if, based on your practice scores or a bad first time experience, you are fairly certain that you will score higher.

Here at California Western, we only consider your highest score (though again, we can see all of them).  One important thing to consider is that low scores could result from circumstances beyond your control and when that happens, your law schools should know.  Did you get in a car accident on the way to the test and then got a low score?  Let us know.  Did your family suffer a tragedy a week before the exam?  Tell us.  Did you take the test at the same time that you were battling food poisoning?  Bummer, let us know.

Why do you care about my unfortunate LSAT food poisoning?

For example, when an applicant takes the test twice, receive a 131 the first time and a 157 the second time, that is an unprecedented jump. Admissions committees will wonder how that happened.  Here at CWSL, if you would like to explain a similar jump in scores you will have the option to submit an “addendum.”  This means you can write the admissions committee a brief letter explaining the difference in scores.

Similarly, if you try more than once and still do not feel that your LSAT score accurately reflects your skills and abilities, you can likewise submit an addendum explaining this to us.  If you simply feel you are a “bad test taker,” feel free to elaborate on this in an addendum to your application.

It is worth reminding the reader:  these are CWSL policies!  Please check with any school you apply to on their score and addendum policy.

What good is any of this info if I’m signed up to take the test in 3 weeks?

You may already know all about the LSAT, its purpose and how it functions.  Whether or not that may be the case, the one thing you need to remember as you head into the test is to relax.  Our admissions directors at CWSL always remind students that this is a test of aptitude, not of knowledge.  As such, you are likely to do your best when you are well rested, you’ve given yourself breaks, eaten your brain food and done as many practice runs as possible.  Assistant Dean for Admissions Traci Howard tells me “This is a skills based exam, so as with any skill it takes time to develop.”  She recommends that students plan to spend three to four months preparing for the first time you sit the LSAT.

I recall that over the course of both LSATs I took, the most useful tool was to take practice tests frequently, and I’m not talking one set of questions every few days.  Some students tend to do practice questions at their leisure and project practice test scores from that.  Don’t depend on leisurely preparation alone!  You owe it to yourself to prepare as much as you can so that you only have to take this test once if possible.  Sign up for as many formal practice tests as you can – they are often if not always free!  This way you practice in a room full of students, under timed conditions, with the same amount of breaks and ideally at the same time of day as the real test.  The more practice runs you get in, the less mystery and worry you’ll feel on the day of the real test.

You can definitely be successful on this test so long as you prepare!  As always, if you have any questions about how the LSAT will factor into your application to CWSL you can call us here in the Admissions Office at (619) 525-1401.  Best of luck to you!

Around this time of year we find our coffee tasting of pumpkin spice and our TVs invaded by all too early Christmas advertisements…that can only mean one thing:  Recruitment Season is here again!

 

Iris at Chico

 

This week I participated in my first event of the year at CSU Chico’s Graduate School Fair.  It was the perfect event to begin the year with – Chico is a beautiful little place, kind of an Oasis in the middle of a sparsely populated portion of the state.  I had some time to think to myself and reflect on the beginnings of this new adventure on the drive into town from Sacramento.  Once I arrived, I found myself in the middle of a fantastic little college town chock full of coffee shops, bars and burger joints (shameless plug for the place where I had the best burger ever:  Burgers and Brew!  Ask for Gary!) and crowds of students.  There’s nothing like the feeling you get from a college town at the beginning of the year.  Students have a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm that is just contagious.  I had this impression from each of the students I met at the fair.

 

CSU Chico

 

The impression I had of Chico students was a sense of creativity and unique perspectives on the study of law.  Many of the young men and women I spoke with actually had paralegal work experience, which brings a great edge to your law school experience in my opinion.  The paralegals I knew while I was a student at CWSL had a different outlook on the practice of law than those of us who had only ever been legal interns (not that this is anything to sneeze at, mind you!) so I’m excited for what these students from Chico could add to CWSL’s atmosphere.

Further, so many of them had more to say about the practice of law and the general use for a law degree than in the past.  While of course many students are interested in putting their communication and arguing skills to the test with careers in litigation, I found many students who were interested in a diverse range of legal practice.  From public interest to sports agency to immigration policy and much more, the students of Chico had certainly given some thought to their legal futures.  That being said, everyone had a refreshingly open mind about career options for newly graduated law students.  The students I spoke with were well informed and aware that it isn’t as easy as it once was to walk straight into a cushy corner office spot fresh out of law school.  As a brand new graduate of CWSL myself, I know this to be the case.

Therefore, as the students from Chico did, it is always important to ask the law schools where you plan to apply about their jobs numbers, and what types of career services and support are available to students at that law school.  Here at California Western, of the roughly 92% of graduates who report their employment status, about 60% of them are employed in law firms.  Most of those graduates are working at mid sized firms of between 2 and 10 attorneys.  From there on down, students most frequently find jobs with the government, various business entities and public interest programs.

I can speak from experience that our career services office has a fantastic presence on campus.  While I was a student here, there was never a shortage of resume workshops, career fairs or practice interviews to attend.  Further, my career adviser was so friendly and accessible – she even had time to keep track of all the developments to my resume throughout my three years here.  Graduates are embraced by a wonderful alumni community as well – our alumni practice virtually every area of law you could imagine in all corners of the country, even internationally!

So, to round out this post, Chico was a blast.  It was a bit of a whirlwind trip up to NorCal and back, but I loved meeting the Chico community and getting to know the next class of applicants.  Even though I’ve just started up the blog I’ll be taking a little hiatus for the next two weeks (I’m gettin’ hitched, y’all!), but I’ll be back again to review my next set of events at the University of San Francisco and St. Mary’s College!  TTFN, ta ta for now!

 

Iris

Recently, I had the opportunity to represent California Western at graduate and law school fairs throughout Northern California.  Of course, given the average Californian’s affinity for abbreviating words, most would simply say I went to NorCal.  Fair enough.  From the Golden Gate Bridge to the East Bay, and from the Napa vineyards to Sacramento – NorCal is rich and diverse.

When I heard the cable car conductors rhythmically clang-clang-clanging their bells (thank you Judy Garland), and I smelled the salty (and slightly fishy) air from the Wharf, I knew I had arrived at my first destination – San Francisco!  What a great city!  Over two days, I visited the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University.  At each event, I spoke with some very interesting students.  Whether through environmental law or international human rights law, many students shared the common goal of making a positive impact on the world.  In a city where so many people supposedly leave their heart (thank you, Tony Bennet), meeting these students was a heartening experience.

Talking to so many students that wanted to make a difference reminded me of the several clinics and institutes at California Western.  There is, of course, the California Innocence Project, which is a clinical program dedicated to freeing the wrongly convicted and that has, in fact, freed eight wrongly convicted men.  With a more international flair, Proyecto ACCESO – an arm of the Center for Creative Problem Solving – is a program dedicated to establishing the rule of law in the Americas.  Beyond the clinics and institutes, California Western also has a strong international law program, spearheaded by international human-rights experts like Associate Dean William J. Aceves.

As you might imagine, then, it was easy for me to interact with those passionate, motivated, and idealistic students in NorCal.  In fact, I was happy – and perhaps somewhat proud – to talk about California Western, to talk about what California Western has to offer.  Indeed, talking to these students reminded me strongly of the interactions I had with my colleagues and professors when I myself was a student.

Needless to say, NorCal was a success.

One of my most anticipated trips this recruiting season was to Toronto, Canada. I mostly recruit nationally but this year, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) organized the first ever Canadian Forum.  

Packing is my least favorite part about a trip. You’d think I had the packing down to a science with all the travelling I do, but unfortunately that’s not the case.  It’s still a work in progress; and checking what the weather’s like accross the country is something I always forget to do.  Except this time. For this trip I made sure to pack accordingly. It’s no fun walking around in flip flops and a thin sweater in Northeast (fall/winter) weather.  As soon as I landed and was greeted by the cool Canadian wind, out came the gloves, scarf, and heavy coat. It was only 49 degrees but for Southern California standards, that temperature calls for all the winter accessories =).

Toronto is a beautiful city with a diverse and cosmopolitan population. It is very clean and well organized. I can’t imagine what the winters are like there but I can imagine they can get very chilly. And the city seems to be well prepared for the rough winters. There’s  an underground walkway full of shopping, services and all sorts of entertainment. I guess winters in Toronto are not so bad afterall.

The LSAC Canadian Forum attracted many students from local colleges and universities.  I had the pleasure of meeting many prospective applicants and seeing many friendly faces.  I learned that the increased competition for the limited number of Canadian law schools have caused many Canadians to consider an American legal education.  If there are any Canadians reading this blog that would like to experience warmer winters and learn more about what law school ought to be, click here!

Well it’s that time again…I am back on the road (cue Willie Nelson). This time I am heading to the Midwest; to the great state of Minnesota. Actually, I am pretty excited about taking this trip! Having grown up in the Midwest, it is always nice to be able to get back to that area. Farmland, wheat and corn fields, harvest moons, fall foliage… Who am I kidding? I didn’t grow up in the country… but I still appreciate it. Seriously though, tomorrow will be my first time on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. I think it will be a good day though. Each year anywhere from 5-8% of our entering class come from the Midwest and Great Lakes area.
As excited as I am about being here, I could do without the 40 degree “chill’ in the air tonight. It is quite a long ways from the 90 degree sunny weather I left in San Diego earlier today. I cannot help but think about what my strategy will be tomorrow when I talk to people about California Western. Of course I will talk in depth about our amazing faculty and their exciting research and accomplishments. I’ll tell them how impressive and collegial our students are and how they’re always willing to help each other out. I will, with sincere excitement and respect, tell them about the Innocence Project. PROYECTO ACCESO. STEPPS. I know we will talk about all of these things and more. As for what it’s like to live in San Diego…I will let this picture of a the San Diego coastline speak for me.

Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, CA

Oh, the gLaMoUr!!

October 5th, 2010 by

Recruiting in BuffaloAhh the life of a jet-setter! Traveling as a recruiter isn’t *quite* as glamorous as traveling as a rock star, but it’s still pretty great. I got home Friday night from 7 days in Manhattan and upstate NY, and left yesterday early morning for the Bay area. After a relaxing and laundry-marathon weekend at home, I’m in Berkeley, collecting my thoughts about NY and hoping to meet some strong candidates for our spring and fall 2011 terms.

The upstate NY trip is one I look forward to every year. It starts with a fair in Buffalo on Monday, followed by stops at Cornell, Binghamton University, Colgate University, Syracuse University and finally University at Albany-SUNY. Whew! What a whirlwind.

I usually spend three nights in Ithaca, which I adore. The college town and surrounding areas remind me, oddly enough, of my roots in Alaska. Lots of little shops, great hiking,  green trees, beautiful lakes, friendly people and good food! Usually I visit a local winery or two but this year my colleagues and I were on a quest to find the best pumpkin ice cream, which we found at the Cayuga Lake Creamery. In fact, I was on a quest to find pumpkin anything, and I pretty much had it all: pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer at the Ale House in Ithaca, pumpkin ice cream… upstate NY is a pumpkin heaven! We made our annual stop at the Iron Kettle Farm to say hello to the goats and chickens, and buy baby pumpkins to take back home.

For our last night in Ithaca, about 8 recruiters decided to hit The Haunt for some karaoke. It was fun – we burnt off some road tension and loosened our muscles dancing and laughing – the local guy who sang “Footloose” had the entire bar on their feet, and it was so much fun to have a blast with the locals. Thank you, Ithaca, for another great visit!

Driving from Syracuse to Albany late on Thursday night was… interesting. It was super dark and we weresurrounded by tons of giant trucks on a tiny highway in a monsoon! I am pretty sure I saw, in the passing glare of a semi, a man on the side of the road building an ark! After finally making it to our hotel, we were awakened at 4:30am to the fire alarm. Luckily it was a false alarm, but it still got my heart going. 

Despite all these extra-curricular adventures, I didn’t forget that I was in upstate NY to represent my school and meet prospective candidates. I met a couple of excellent candidates at Cornell, several folks at the fairs following Ithaca, but I must say that this year, Albany was the biggest success for CWSL.  I’ll be following up with all the folks I met at these fairs, so be on the lookout for my emails!

Reporting live from  Berkeley, California, this is Agent Westcott signing off. Whether you come visit me on the beautiful California Western campus or we meet somewhere on the road, I look forward to meeting you!

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