Julissa Ranchor


Reflecting on these first few weeks of my 1L semester has brought me to the conclusion that I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to take a course in Criminal Law over the summer. Doing so allowed me a chance to get my feet wet in the law and shorten down my course load for fall semester to just four classes, which means I will only have three finals come the end of the semester. So, if there is any advice that I can impart onto prospective students it would be that they consider taking criminal law over the summer, if possible.

Fortunately, I was admitted to Seattle University School of Law through the Access Admission program that is headed by the Academic Resource Center. This program makes an effort to admit a small number of students whose undergraduate GPA or LSAT scores may not be a true reflection of the student's potential to succeed and ultimately practice law.

If you are admitted through this program you are required to take Criminal Law over the summer, along with participating in various workshops and opportunities to meet with alumni of Seattle U Law, as well as the opportunity to meet with various members of the Court and legislative branch on a trip down to the Capitol, in Olympia, Washington.

Being a first-generation college graduate and a non-traditional student, this program proved beneficial and crucial to my success in beginning my 1L Fall semester. When I started in the summer, I struggled with finding a study schedule that worked best for me, balancing my studies with my life outside of school, and finding ways to maintain healthy habits. Luckily, I found a great group of friends from the program, along with having an amazing professor who through his words of affirmation continued to inspire and give us hope that we belonged here, and we were chosen.

Taking Criminal Law over the summer prepared me on how to brief a case, how to respond to cold call's, and how to ultimately prepare for finals. I owe a lot to the Access Admission program for preparing me for the Fall semester and while these last few weeks have not been exactly easy; they have definitely been much more manageable.

My last piece of advice to any future students or prospective students is to get involved, ask questions, and learn about the great opportunities offered by the Academic Resource Center.


October. It is a time in the semester where everything felt manageable, but by the last week felt as if every professor was cranking up the speed in all of my classes. By this time, most 1L's began feeling the anxiety creeping through as deadlines loomed for drafts of their second memo, and fears that they were not as prepared for finals as they thought they be.

However, the good news is that there is still five weeks left in the semester, which means that we as a 1L's have officially completed two thirds of the semester and still have plenty of time to prepare for finals in December.

With these next five weeks, it means that I along with the majority of 1L's need to buckle down and really make some headway on outlining for each class, memorizing key terms and codes, and making time to meet with professors.

I cannot stress how important it is to meet with your professors as soon as you can in the semester. It may seem daunting or even terrifying but trust me when I say that they want you to do well and want to ensure that you're understanding the material. The only caveat I have to scheduling a meeting or dropping in for office hours, is to make sure you have written down at least three to four questions you have regarding the material. Walking into a meeting saying you don't know where to start is not a good use of your time, or theirs.

And now as I head into November, I have my trusted Outlook calendar to keep me focused, accountable, and sane for the next two months ahead of me. Key factors as a 1L to keep in mind as I go into November are preparing for networking events, scheduling time to outline for classes, reading for classes, and preparing my materials for applying in December for my future 1L summer internship.