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UT Brownsville Grad Shares her Experiences at UT Law School

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JANUARY 24, 2013 – Beginning her second Layshauni Rodriguezsemester at The University of Texas School of Law, Layshauni Rodriguez of Los Fresnos returned to her alma mater to speak with prospective students and share advice on applying to law school.

Rodriguez, a May 2012 graduate of The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, accompanied UT Law School Dean Ward Farnsworth, Assistant Dean for Admissions Monica Ingram and Director for Admission Programs Samuel R. Riley on their annual visit to talk with students interested in law school on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

After their short presentation, the team spent an hour talking with the students and answering their questions. They discussed the LSAT exam required of all law school applicants, application strategies and essay writing tips.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to develop your time management skills while you are undergraduates,” Rodriguez told the group of about 40 students that met in the Education and Business Complex.

Rodriguez, who received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in accounting, was an active student and a young mother while she was an undergraduate.

“In my time at UTB, I learned to balance 15-18 credit hours a semester, work at the STING office and be an officer in Sigma Psi Delta… all while raising my daughter,” she said. “As good as I thought my time management skills were, when I got to UT Law I still struggled with prioritizing my studies and other responsibilities to work as efficiently as possible. However, before too long, I got the hang of it.”

Students posed questions asking what classes they should take to prepare for law school.

“A lot of my classes were not what might be considered pre-law,” Rodriguez said. “As it turned out, one of the courses required for my accounting major was business law, and that really peaked my interest. I decided to take international law as an elective, and that sealed it for me.”

Rodriguez also expressed how fortunate she was to take classes with exemplary professors.

“I loved hearing Professor Mark Blakemore’s fascinating stories from his practice,” she said. “I also took an accounting research and writing course with Professor Colwell which proved to be very helpful in my legal research and writing course. Another good choice, I think, was my political theory class, which gave me an introduction to different schools of thought and gave me experience with reading classical writings.”

Rodriguez did not soft-pedal the reality that law school is demanding.

“But it is so interesting,” she said. “I knew going into it that it was going to be a lot of work so that part has not bothered me. UT Law also has a great society program, which basically breaks our class down into sections of 25 students and assigns us a mentor to guide us and plan events for us. So, I have already experienced a great sense of camaraderie and made really great friends in the short time I have been here.”

All areas of law seem interesting to Rodriguez at this point, and she has not yet decided upon a specialty. She takes advantage of the UT Law career panels that are offered from time to time to introduce the students to different areas of law that they might consider.

For more information on the new Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice Studies at UTB, contact Dr. Kevin Buckler at 956-882-7407 or kevin.buckler@utb.edu. For more information on UT School of Law, Samuel R. Riley, M.Ed. at 512-232-1206 or utexas.edu/law/admissions. 

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