Seniors at Loyola Marymount University have been preparing for life after LMU all year. In our Beyond the Bluff series, liberal arts seniors reflect on their post-graduate next steps and the experiences that shaped their career plans.
Allison Houston ’17
Majors: political science, philosophy; minor: Asian and Pacific Studies
Next step: Columbia Law School
“Start earlier than you think you have to.” That is Allison Houston’s advice for students planning to apply to law school. “And apply to reach schools, because you never know!”
Houston applied to 24 law schools last fall, working closely with faculty mentors across the university to help her craft her personal statements, write letters of recommendation, and hone her list of schools. She finished the grueling application process while also working on two senior theses, one for her political science major and the other for her Asian and Pacific Studies minor. Her politics thesis studied voter alienation in the 2016 United States presidential election, and her Asian and Pacific Studies thesis studied the role of race, colorism and religion in sex trafficking in Asia.
Houston entered LMU as a political science major, where she realized her interest in policy. She wasted no time seeking out real-world experience, joining an internship-based politics program at George Washington University the summer after her freshman year. She came back to campus with her hunch confirmed: law was her passion, and law school her goal.
Though the pre-law path ahead of her felt clear, she wanted to explore other interests. She added a philosophy major and an Asian and Pacific Studies minor, and sought out an abroad program in Japan last summer. “Because I’m in college, you know?” she said. “I want to explore perspectives beyond what I already know.”
Her hard work has paid off. Houston was accepted to 16 law schools, including 3 full-ride scholarship offers. She has chosen Columbia Law School, where she is looking forward to studying constitutional law, civil rights law, cybersecurity, and consumer protection. “I am interested in policy,” she said. “But my mentors tell me that I might discover my specialty in law school, so we’ll see!”