On Feb. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., a dinner and discussion was held in the Gilmer Room for members of the Guilford Community. This dinner and discussion focused on the experiences and advice of current and recent law students.
“This is the first dinner and discussion of the spring semester,” Director of the Honors Program Heather Hayton said. “We’ve been doing this now for five years. This is our fifth year of offering dinners and discussions, and they are co-sponsored by OSLE, the Office of Student Learning and Engagement and also the Honors Program. Also, tonight is co-sponsored by the Pre-Law Club.”
As part of the dinner and discussion, multiple current law students, as well as current attorneys, were invited to share their experiences with attendees.
“I am a full-time immigration attorney at Dummit Fradin, although we are a general practice law firm,” said Devon Senges, a speaker at the dinner who is current practicing law at a Greensboro firm. “I also do social security administration hearings now. I graduated from Elon University School of Law in 2015 and passed the July 2015 bar exam.”
The speakers each came from different experiences as law students, although they were also able to share some similarities in their experiences.
“I went to Wofford College and graduated in 2016,” said Colin Hayton, a current student at the Wake Forest School of Law. “My degree was in psychology and I minored in philosophy.”
The dinner and discussion aimed to serve as an informal conversation, and to give members of the Guilford community the opportunity to ask any questions they had about being a law student.
“What I thought we would do is have a more informal conversation about how folks get into law school, the things that are important such as how to be competitive, as well as how to find your passion once you are practicing law,” Heather Hayton said. “We would also like to talk about some career options in the field of law other than just litigating.”
While the speakers were able to share their experiences through a moderated conversation, the dinner and discussion focused on having a conversation with the attendees rather than speaking to them for the duration of the event.
“This should be about having a conversation, not about us talking and everyone else listening,” Heather Hayton said.
Senges began the conversation by discussing an experience she had at the University of South Carolina, where she went for undergraduate.
“Before I picked my major in school, I went a reception very much like this one, but it was for the University of South Carolina Honors College,” Senges said. “I went up to the pre-law advisor at the reception and asked him what his advice was.”
Senges went on to share the advice that she received, as well as her reaction to that advice.
“It turned out to be excellent advice as far as getting into law school,” Senges said. “He told me that law schools only care about two numbers, your G.P.A. and your LSAT score. So if you haven’t chosen your major yet, choose the one that you can get the highest G.P.A. in.
“I was torn between majoring in English and history, but I ended up choosing history because I knew that English would be a little more difficult for me to get a higher G.P.A. in, so in the end, I chose history. The interesting thing about that advice is that what you get the highest G.P.A. in also usually coincides with what you love the most.”
Colin Hayton also added that he was given similar advice and told students who may be interested in law school to begin looking at future schools early.
“In terms of how you interpret your G.P.A. and LSAT scores, it depends on what type of school you want to go to and what scholarships are available to you at that school, if that’s something that you are concerned about,” Colin Hayton said.
Colin Hayton continued by discussing the opportunity that students had to find more information about different schools and how to estimate whether they would be a good fit at a specific school.
“Each school is required to post their statistics every year, so you can go to any law school’s website and find out the statistics on how their students do in terms of G.P.A. and LSATs,” Colin Hayton said. “If you want to get admitted, I recommend looking at the 50 percent mark for that school. If you fit that mark, then it is a pretty good indicator that you would fit at that school. If you fall below that 50 percent mark, then try to get up to that mark and also make sure that you have good extracurriculars and recommenders.”