Why I Chose Carolina Law Part Deux

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I guess I will piggyback on Dania's first entry (which is spot-on by the way) and tell you a little bit about my background. I am Erika Nicole Jones and I am a 2L at Carolina Law. I grew up in Grifton, a small town of 2,240 in the eastern portion of North Carolina. I left small town living in 2003 to attend Carolina for undergrad and instantly I found a second home. I can honestly say those four years were the best four years of my life. I was not certain what path I wanted to take after graduating in 2007 with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Afro-American Studies. I did not know whether I wanted to work full-time or go on to a graduate or professional school. Because I was so torn, I decided to work and give myself time to figure it all out. I took an entry-level executive position with a Fortune 500 company and spent 1.5 years there before changing directions completely and teaching English at a local community college. After an unexpected layoff, I had to make some tough decisions and quick! I decided to revisit my plan of continuing my education and opted to go to law school.

After finally committing to applying to law school, next came another tricky part - deciding what law schools to which I wanted to apply. This is an individual choice - some applicants cast a wide net and apply to any school where they have a slight possibility of gaining admission and throw in a few reach schools. Others take a more targeted approach and only apply to schools to which they have a sincere interest. Because I was racing against several application deadlines by the time I started applying (BTW, do NOT wait until the last minute if you can avoid it), I took the more narrow approach and only applied to a handful of schools. I wanted to stay in North Carolina which obviously weeded out the vast majority of schools. I then started researching law schools online just to give myself a starting place. I also scheduled visits to potential schools which is a must. Reading about schools online can give you a general idea about schools but it does not replace physically visiting a school. Touring law schools is so important because it can give you a feeling for the school's vibe and its students as well as give you the opportunity to sit in on a class. Also take advantage of your friends who are already in law school! If you have friends who are in law school, be sure to ask them about their experiences and about the idiosyncrasies of their particular law school.

It should come as no surprise that Carolina Law was at the top of my list of law schools. I chose Carolina Law because of its commitment to public interest work and pro bono service, its reputation among practicing attorneys, judges, and firms, and that feeling of family you feel almost immediately after walking through the doors. Students smile and wave at each other in the hallways. Students wear Carolina gear even when it's not March Madness! There's a sense of pride at Carolina Law that fills the corridors and overcomes you. Carolina Law was also at the top of my list because of their affordable in-state tuition. Their in-state tuition is remarkable for a law school of its caliber. Carolina Law's out-of-state tuition is comparable to the in-state tuition at some public schools and significantly less than some private institutions with similar rankings. I love Carolina law and I can say without hesitation that I picked the right school for my particular interests and needs. I'm a proud Double Tar Heel and I invite any prospective students to contact me through the blog, through email: enjones@email.unc.edu, or to contact the Office of Admissions if you believe they can better direct you. I've been in your shoes and I know the application process, particularly the waiting game, can be stressful but please be patient. Good luck and take care!

Posted by Erika Nicole Jones on Mon. March 21, 2011 6:22 PM
Categories: Admissions, Admitted Students Day

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