Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Beyond Numbers

By Kira Zuber

Defining Points in Trying to Get Into Law School:
I went to _______ college – that college is ranked _______ in ____________.
My class rank was ____________.
My GPA was ___________.
I did _______ number of extra curricular activities.
My LSAT score was _________.

In Applying for Jobs After Law School:
I went to ________ law school – that law school is rated ________ in the U.S. News rankings.
I am ranked _________in the class of ________.
My GPA is __________.
I wrote onto law review, which had _____ number of applicants and only
accepted ________.
I was accepted onto ________ moot court team, which had _____ number of applicants and only accepted ________.

Sometimes I feel like the world will think it knows me by merely filling in the blanks above. I am afraid that it will think it knows my level of intelligence, drive and dedication. During times like this the sun seems to rise and set according to these numbers. I worry about being a mid-grade student at a lower-tier law school. If I get a bad grade, I see a dark future before me. In this state of mind I see my GPA plummet, which in turn will affect my class ranking, which in turn will ultimately affect my desirability in the hiring market. Said grade has now affected my entire future.

It is this attitude which fosters competitiveness in law school. Ivy League law schools are notorious for the race to be in the top 10 percent. If you are not in that top percentile you are considered inferior, not “smart”, not worthy. Even schools like University of Baltimore School of Law, a law school that is not known for competitiveness, sometimes succumb to measuring worth by numbers. They send out e-mails to students about prospective job opportunities. Those opportunities?
You guessed it. Are only geared toward the top 10 (okay maybe 25) percent.

This is bullshit. I write this to remind myself, and remind you (whoever you
are), that we are more than these numbers. I will not deny that these numbers do affect us, yet I will vehemently argue with anyone who says that they are “who” we are. I am also my passion, my work ethic, my people skills, my network, my hometown, my creativity. We are all our own compilation of unique skills and talents. Intelligence goes beyond those skills demonstrated in the classroom.

So as finals approach, please remember this. I am not saying don’t try. But I
am saying that if those grades come in and they are not what you had hoped for - do not despair. Remember that you are worth more than these numbers.

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