Hometown: Long Beach, California
Branch/MOS: U.S. Army, Infantry (11B)
Duty stations/deployments: Chosen Company 2/503rd PIR, 173rd ABCT; Vicenza Italy; OEF VII-VIII
Rank upon separation: Sergeant (E-5)
What were you concerned about after being accepted? How has being a HLS student addressed those concerns?
I was concerned that (A) I wouldn’t be smart enough to thrive, that HLS admissions made a mistake, and (B) that the student body would be an obnoxious mass of people with famous last names. I could not have been more wrong. The student body here has been supportive, kind, fascinating, and largely humble. I find that the law challenges everyone, from PhD students to former paralegals. However, HLS, as well as the study of law more broadly, has made room for my strengths, which has allowed me to thrive in unexpected ways. HLS is just like the military in that you get out what you put in.
What advice would you give to other enlisted veterans looking to apply
Do it. My girlfriend persuaded me to apply to HLS, which was no easy feat because I felt like I knew the stats. But admission to HLS is more than just a numbers game. The Admissions Office takes your whole character into account. The military has prepared you for law school in many important ways. Enlisted life teaches you discipline, maturity, team-building, and the ability to embrace the suck. These qualities make you stand out. Believe in yourself. Most importantly, make sure you use your resume and personal statement as tools to express more of who you are. Oh, and stay off the forums. They’re garbage.