Kate Wakeman realized she wanted a career in the legal field while attending a magnet high school, which focused on legal studies. “I then attended Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA for undergrad. There I dedicated myself to a pre-law track of studies,” she said. “Upon graduation from Briar Cliff, I began working on a Master's degree in Applied Sociology at Old Dominion University and found work as a legal assistant at a solo-practice law firm, which specialized in estate planning & administration.”
She decided to attend MSU Law after attending an Admitted Students Visit Day. “Meeting with current students and faculty allowed me to see, first-hand, that MSU Law was a place I could succeed academically and personally,” she said. “After going to a small undergraduate institution with only 1,000 students, it was important for me to have the same opportunities in law school. A major draw for me is the fact that MSU Law is a separate institution from MSU, yet we still have the ability to experience everything MSU has to offer.”
To prepare for the LSAT, Kate took practice exams, checked what she needed to work on, and read more about how to succeed on those portions of the exam. “I just kept repeating this process until I felt comfortable enough with the timing and format of the exam,” she said.
Kate’s undergrad did not offer a set pre-law track, so she created her own course of study. “I chose to double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice, and double minor in Legal Studies and Sociology. I also took several writing, and logical thinking courses, which helped with LSAT prep and, so far, in law school,” she said.
"I read a lot of the materials on the MSU Law website and the materials that were sent to me. I was impressed with the amount of experiential learning opportunities at MSU Law; clinics, externships, study abroad programs, etc…yet the program also has a strong emphasis on traditional classroom learning. This was very important to me, as that was the type of education I had in undergrad. I also researched MSU Law on other websites, where I was able to compare it with the other schools to which I applied. MSU Law appeared to have everything I was looking for, and the scholarship I received made it a viable option.”
Kate attended the MSU Law admissions and the Summer Career Jumpstart webinars. “[Webinars] were a great way for me, a student applying from a great distance, to get a feel for the school even though I couldn't necessarily see it for myself,” she said. “I liked that the webinars were recorded, so I could always watch them on my own time. The webinars were highly informative without overwhelming me with information.”
She also came to the Admitted Candidate Visit Program. “The experience was my deciding factor in attending MSU Law,” she said. “Everyone was very welcoming and the program was very informative. I was able to talk with current students, faculty, and other prospective students. It was very important for me to find a place I could call home for the next three years, and I definitely found that when I visited MSU Law.”
“It was important for me to find a law school with a strong sense of community and I found that at MSU Law, both during the admissions process, and now as a 1L,” Kate said. “I definitely recommend that prospective students visit a few of the schools that they are considering. When selecting a law school, it's important to remember to choose somewhere you know you can succeed academically, socially, and personally. For me, that school is MSU Law.”