3L Reflection: Kimberly Wein

Kimberly Wein

After finishing my undergraduate education in 2004, I knew I wanted to pursue law school someday, but it seemed like an insurmountable task. Time passed, and I kept putting off applying.

Fourteen years later, I moved to Missoula, Montana, without contemplating attending law school here. I moved to pursue my passions of hiking, biking and riding horses. Little did I know that I would be taking the LSAT and attending law school a little more than a year after my arrival, sacrificing much of the time that I would have spent hiking, biking and horseback riding for studying, studying and studying. 

The LSAT was particularly ominous. I tried studying on my own, starting and stopping at least a dozen times. I felt like I would never be able to teach myself the intricacies of the logic puzzles, and I was right.  It was only upon discovering the LSAT prep course that University Montana offered, under the tutelage of Professor Soazig Le Bihan, that I gained the confidence and skills necessary to take on the LSAT.  Not only did Professor Le Bihan teach the skills necessary to take the LSAT, she spent office hours tirelessly revising my letter of intent and other components of my law school application. Without her assistance, I would probably not be where I am today.

Law school was not what I expected it to be. I knew it would be challenging, but I severely underestimated the task ahead of me. Unlike my undergraduate experience, I was suddenly surrounded by people who had a stern sense of purpose, varied and commendable experience and the wits to succeed. I knew that my effort would have to be substantially greater if I was going to keep up. 

Regardless of the tough competition, I experienced unending support from both peers and staff. Although it is within our nature to be competitive, my fellow students were always available to lend assistance and advice. I admire all of my classmates for their commitment to one another and this educational experience. 

Professors were enthusiastic about their topics of study, and their enthusiasm created engaging content and vibrant discussion. I was consistently surprised by the availability of professors to give their support and advice, regardless of whether it was directly related to class content or a legal matter that I was engaged with outside of their particular classes. Their encouragement allowed me to feel comfortable in navigating law school, to push through my shortcomings, and feel confident in my decision to pursue a legal career.

I only applied to one law school. I moved to Missoula because I love Montana, I love the community, and I want to remain in this community. In the four years I have resided in Missoula, it has become my home. In some ways, I feel like this move was meant to be because, although it has been a difficult and tying experience, every goal that I have set for myself has materialized. 

I look forward to a long summer of studying for the Montana Bar Examination, and I am excited to begin my career as a criminal defense attorney with Stevenson Law Office after passing the bar.