Culture of Care Newsletter

Pre-Law Edition: November 2020 Vol. 4 (1)

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Student Spotlight

In each newsletter, PHPL Advising highlights an accomplished UCF Pre-Law student or alum who has demonstrated the highest level of initiative, skill, and resourcefulness. Our student spotlight this semester features Padmavathi Ganduri (see picture). She is a current UCF student majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Leadership Studies and Political Science. The PHPL Advising office has asked Padmavathi a few questions about her Pre-Law journey.

1) How did you pick your major?

I decided to major in Integrated Business (IB) because I wanted to gain a better understanding of business practices and concepts! The IB program is designed to give us real-world business experience and help us develop a holistic understanding of how businesses operate. I gained many transferable skills like public speaking, data analysis, and interpersonal communication through my IB classes, and I have no doubt that these skills will benefit me greatly in my future legal career!

2) What is the single most important piece of advice you would give to undergraduate Pre-Law students?

Take advantage of the variety of resources UCF has to offer and don’t be afraid to try new things! By pursuing leadership and service opportunities, working and interning at different organizations, and gaining new skills and interests, you will become much more well-rounded.

3) How did you prepare for the LSAT?

I was very fortunate to receive a Kaplan LSAT prep course scholarship through PHPL so I used this course to prepare! Later on, I also studied using the LSAT Demon. The most important thing I kept in mind while studying was to learn something new from each question I attempted. The LSAT is a very learnable test if you go in with the mindset of learning and improving on the skills you are being tested on. This approach also made it easier for me to stay motivated throughout the process of studying rather than getting stressed out about my score.

4) What activities were you involved in?

I am currently serving as the President of Honors Congress, as an Associate Justice in the Judicial Branch of UCF Student Government, and as a Hearing Officer with the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity! I have also held leadership positions within the Burnett Honors College, Relay for Life Executive Board, and I graduated from the LEAD Scholars Academy. I have worked/interned with the Biden-Harris campaign, Public Spend Forum in Washington D.C., Lockheed Martin CWEP program, Housing and Residence Life at UCF, and the 2018 Second Chances Florida campaign. Lastly, I have sang with the Knights Kahaani a capella group and played flute in UCF’s Concert Band!

5) What do you feel you did to “stand out” in the application cycle?

I think that being a having a variety of work/internship experience, leadership and community involvement, and hobbies definitely helped me stand out!

6) Why did you choose Law?

I believe that law and legal system have great potential to create equality and fairness in our society. I have always been fascinated by the role law plays in catalyzing social change and social justice, and I hope to be a part of this process in the future!

7) What fields of Law are you most interested in?

I am interested in Intellectual Property and Personal Injury law!

AccessLex Institute Online Resources

AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to a fulfilled professional. In partnership with nearly 200 Member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of the company's mission since 1983. Below are a few of the resources they offer:

  • MAX Pre-Law – An online suite of resources that provides aspiring law students with interactive lessons, webinars, worksheets, checklists and access to free financial coaching from Accredited Financial Counselors® and other financial aid experts.

  • – XploreJD is a free, online search tool offering aspiring law students a data-based approach to finding law schools that best meet their criteria.

  • AccessConnex – One-on-one free financial coaching calls with their team of accredited financial counselors®.

  • LEX Talk Money! – A podcast series on the financial matters that matter most to graduate and professional students.

Highlighting Diversity In Law

Charles Hamilton Houston, (born September 3, 1895, Washington, D.C., U.S.—died April 22, 1950, Washington, D.C.), American lawyer and educator instrumental in laying the legal groundwork that led to U.S. Supreme Court rulings outlawing racial segregation in public schools.

Houston graduated as one of six valedictorians from Amherst College (B.A., 1915). After teaching for two years at Howard University in Washington, D.C., he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in field artillery and served in France and Germany during World War I.

Following his discharge in 1919, Houston enrolled at Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1922; D.J.S., 1923), where he was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. He went on to study civil law at the University of Madrid. After being admitted to the bar in the United States in 1924, he practiced law with his father until 1950.

As vice-dean of Howard University Law School (1929–35), Houston shaped it into a significant institution. The school trained almost one-fourth of the nation’s black law students, among them Thurgood Marshall. During Houston’s tenure the school became accredited by the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association.

Houston made significant contributions in the battle against racial discrimination, challenging many of the Jim Crow laws. In 1935–40 he served as special counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), arguing several important civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In State ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938), Houston argued that it was unconstitutional for Missouri to exclude blacks from the state’s university law school when, under the “separate but equal” provision, no comparable facility for blacks existed within the state. Houston’s efforts to dismantle the legal theory of “separate but equal” came to fruition after his death, with the historic Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, which prohibited segregation in public schools.

Houston’s contributions to the abolition of legal discrimination went largely unrecognized until after his death. He was posthumously awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1950. Several public schools bear his name, as does the main building of the Howard Law School, which was dedicated in 1958. A law professorship and several student organizations also honor Houston.

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Thinking About Law School?

Each year, LSAC Law School Forums serve as invaluable opportunities for candidates to learn about law school and connect with law school representatives. Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, LSAC is shifting the 2020 forums to a convenient online format. By attending an LSAC Digital Law School Forum, you’ll be able to safely connect one-to-one with law school representatives from across the country and get important information and answers to any questions you may have.

If you’re thinking about law school, we encourage you to attend one — or all four! — of these engaging live events. From the comfort of your own home, you’ll have the opportunity to meet law school admission professionals from 200+ law schools, ask questions about financial aid, and learn about the LSAT directly from test developers.

Digital LSAC Law School Forums are free to attend. Register for one — or for all four — through your LSAC account.

Please note: An LSAC account is required for forum registration.

What To Know About LSAT-Flex

To allow aspiring law students to continue their journey towards the JD during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) developed the “LSAT-Flex”. The LSAT-Flex is an online, remotely proctored, LSAT exam that test takers complete from home. The LSAT-Flex made its debut in May 2020 and is still currently available. The Law School Admission Council will continue to offer the LSAT-Flex into 2021 if they feel it is necessary. To say up to date with updates from LSAC regarding the LSAT-Flex, please bookmark this webpage on your browser.

If you are scheduled to take the LSAT-Flex version of the LSAT exam, here are some important things to know:

· The LSAT-Flex exam is remotely monitored by live proctors through the test takers’ computer camera and microphone.

· The LSAT-Flex is shorter than the traditional LSAT exam. The LSAT-Flex is composed of three 35-minute sections, compared to the five 35-minute sections in the traditional LSAT.

· Despite the shortened test, the scoring method for the LSAT-Flex is the same scoring method that is used for the traditional LSAT exam. There are no changes to the scoring method.

· Test takers continue to take the LSAT Writing separately from the multiple-choice portion of the test. Beginning with the August 2020, LSAT-Flex candidates were required to have a completed writing sample in their file in order to see their test score or have their score released to law schools.

If you have additional questions about the LSAT-Flex we encourage you to review the information published by LSAC on their LSAT-Flex webpage.


Pre-Law Fall Reading/Podcast List

Amidst COVID-19 it can often be difficult trying to engage in extracurricular activities to grow your resume. Reading and listening about current issues within the justice system is one way to stay active in the pre-law community from the comfort and safety of home. Investigating and keeping up to date on current events or informative books is an essential asset to be an overall multi-culturally aware student and future lawyer.