Harvard Law Graduate, Sybil Sam, Explains How to Get into Law

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1.Tell us about yourself.

 I’m currently a corporate lawyer working at a firm in NYC. I usually work on large commercial cases, with clients that are in the financial industry .

 2. How did you get into law? 

I’ve always liked reading and writing and law provides the opportunity to do a lot of that. I decided to apply to law school and by God’s grace, I got in!

 3.What were your goals when you were 16?

 It’s hard to remember but I think they generally were: 1) to do very well in school and 2) to develop a community of lasting friends.

 4.How did you achieve these goals and what were your greatest setbacks?

I tried to study hard and kept motivated by studying with friends. But I was tremendously blessed by God; I can’t really credit myself with much. I struggled to believe in myself sometimes. I thought I wasn’t that smart. It can be hard to believe in your abilities and in what you can achieve; God blessed me regardless.  My confidence grew.

 5.What type of law are you involved in?

Commercial law.

6.What were your exact steps to getting into law?

I applied to law school, got in, and then applied for a position at my present workplace.

7.What do you enjoy about law?

A lot of time the law can seem rigid and uninteresting but it can involve creativity when you are making novel arguments in tough or unconventional cases. I love having to think outside the box/find a new method to achieve a particular end when solving a problem for a client. 

8.How did you find studying in the US?

The culture is very different here in the US: at school, my fellow classmates were so outspoken and confident. They also took the time to develop informed opinions about issues both inside and outside the classroom. (In Ghana we’re not encouraged to think or speak our mind as much). I’m still learning but I think I’ve come a long way from the shy, self-conscious person I once was.

 9.What attributes did you need to get into law?

 The willingness to work hard, to work through cumbersome and complex tasks. Paying attention to detail and some level of creativity!

10.What word of advice would you give a 16 year old who would like to get into Law?

Read up on it and decide early if it’s what you want to do. Then seek advice from someone already in the field on how to prepare. 




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