Back during the beginning weeks of my internship, Erin and I realized that it was time to make some decisions about our future. This internship was the culmination of my undergrad experience, so it was time to start thinking about what's next.
I loved studying and practicing journalism, but all along I didn't really bank on having a future as a newspaper reporter. If it had greater stability, higher pay and normal hours, it would be great. But with the current state of the newspaper industry, I would only really be happy if I got to write sports or write editorials (essentially, the two jobs I had at The Daily Universe). And even then, it would have to be at a major establishment like the New York Post, Sports Illustrated or ESPN.
So, the question was, should I start the process of climbing up the career ladder until landing a big job like that? Should I endure the years of grunt work and low pay? Should I do like John Grogan, and earn my stripes by writing about methane leaks at the county dump?
Or, should I do something entirely different? Maybe journalism school? Or law school? I've always loved my political science classes, and my interest in journalism overlaps with an interest in politics.
Erin and I thought, prayed, and went to the temple. I won't get into too much personal details about the different bits of revelation we received. But what led me to the answer was this talk by Elder Robert D. Hales:
Preparing for the Decade of Decision
Which led me to this talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley:
A Prophet's Counsel and Prayer for Youth ("The Six B's")
When President Hinckley said, "You need all the education you can get," and Elder Hales paraphrased him by saying "Get all the education you can," it hit me. I needed more school. Of course, getting an education could mean on-the-job training, etc. But, for some reason, I knew that what President Hinckley and Elder Hales were telling me to do was to go to law school.
And as I looked more into it, I got more and more excited. I enjoyed coming up with a list of schools with Erin, and thinking about studying either immigration law, some sort of international law, or something to do with First Amendment/freedom of speech law.
The first question I always get asked when I say I'm going to law school is: "Are you going to BYU?" Well, yes, I'll probably apply there. And it's a prestigious place to go. But one of the great things about going to New York City was Erin, Allisyn and me being on our own, in a city we've never lived in before. We're excited to try a completely new place.
The short list I have in mind includes Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame (we spent a night in South Bend, IN, on our way to New York, and the campus and the town is just the sort of small town Erin would love to move to), Texas (close, but not too close, to Erin's family in Houston), Georgetown (I loved Washington, D.C. when we visited) ... and I'll apply to Utah and BYU too. Oh, and I would also like to try Stanford and/or Harvard, 'cause you never know.* I also need to think of some lower tier, smaller but locally renowned schools, something like Willamette.
Before I get too far into deciding on schools, I need to take the LSAT. I'll take it in both October and December, and I'll take an LSAT prep course through BYU. After I get some scores back, I'll have a better idea of what kind of schools I should be applying to.
This Saturday, my plan is to go to the library and give myself a practice LSAT test. I'll recreate the time limits and other rules as exactly as I can, and see what I come up with. That way, I'll know what my baseline is.
Wish me luck!
*My GPA is actually only two-hundredths away from the median GPA of first-year Harvard Law students. Either my GPA is more impressive than I thought, or Harvard is more attainable than I thought, haha.) So maybe with a good LSAT score I'll have a chance.