By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)
Written Dec. 2003
I went to law school as revenge. I was a street performer, endlessly hassled by cops. Before that I was a homeless teenager, terrorized by police. I went to law school as revenge. I thought, "What would be "The Man's" worst nightmare?" Then decided the answer was, "Street performer/attorneys!" The straw that broke my back, and made me decide to actually attend school, with vehemence and purpose, was my receiving 8 obscenity tickets for my feminist comedy/street performance. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended me, and I began to realize I needed to become an attorney to protect access to free speech. But the road to school as revenge was not easy.
I was a homeless teen without a high school diploma. I had been abandoned by my family, working minimum wage jobs just to survive. I went to the nearest community college and asked if I could get a law degree there. The community college counselors, administrators, and teachers, literally laughed at me. They tried to route me into low-status, low-paying, vocational training, to be a legal assistant, a legal secretary, a paralegal, instead. They insisted I could only afford an associates of Arts or Sciences degree (A.A./A.S.), which is a two-year vocational training certificate, basically. I kept insisting I was smart, and I wanted to be an attorney, not an assistant. Administrators actually said that for me to ask for counseling on how to go to law school, was like asking for guidance on how to be a professional football player. I insisted all I wanted was information on how to transfer to an undergraduate program at a university, and how to go to law school. A low-income mother/street performer, without family or spouse, I made an appointment with the president of the community college to complain. After that meeting, a Latino activist with farm worker roots, who was also an affirmative rights activist, Rudy Ortega, took me seriously, and counseled me. He sent away for law school catalogues. He showed me how to transfer to 4-year universities. Without Rudy, I may have been successfully funneled into 2-year vocational school, losing out on higher education, being sold vocational training as a "college degree," to meet the demands of the business community.
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How to Apply to Law School (With Tips for Low-Income Students)
Description: Often the other side of the "big door marked "Law"" intimidates students. Written by a low-income law student, this book walks future law students through the law school application process in plain English, reducing the anxiety usually inherent due to mystery. The book consists of 3 articles which describe the law school application process, materials necessary for applications, LSAT and admissions fee waivers, admissions processes and the standard first year of law study. The book is written from a personal point of view, with many true stories, and is based on the experience of applying for and attending an ABA accredited law school program in the United States.
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Kirsten Anderberg. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint/publish, please contact Kirsten at email@example.com.