INTERVIEW: TING LIU (JHU ’16), DUKE LAW 1L

Ting Liu is originally from a small coastal city in southern China. She moved to New Jersey when she was 14 and attended high school there. At Hopkins, she double majored in Public Health and Economics and double minored in Entrepreneurship and Management and Financial Economics.

Ting was very involved with event planning. She was the community organizer of Spoon University and the marketing chair for Relay for Life. She was also on council for her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and held the position of treasurer during her junior year. Apart from her active role in student organizations, she was on the fencing team and enjoyed practicing and hanging out with her teammates.

She graduated Hopkins in 2016 and is now a 1L at Duke University School of Law.

Questions

Describe a typical day as a 1L at Duke Law.

1L year at Duke Law is typical of top 14 law schools. My day consists of preparation for classes–reading and briefing–attending classes, and I squeeze in my schedule meetings with professors or upper classmen, speaker panels and other club activities.

To date, what has been your favorite law school class, and why? What classes are you looking forward to taking after your first year of law school?

I really like my property class with Professor Blocher, because he is an amazing professor who is extremely passionate and animated in class. I am looking forward to taking classes related to corporate law, for example with Professor Cox who is the expert in securities regulations.

What made you choose Duke Law? What do you see as the primary pros and cons of law school?

I chose Duke Law because of the faculty and alumni network. Professors here truly care about teaching and about their students. It is easy to build a personal relationship with professors, and they are also willing to help. Duke alumni are also extremely valuable resources for students. They always love to come back to Duke and love to meet current students and give advice. I think the one con I see for Duke Law is the location. Even though students mainly end up in New York, DC or CA post-graduation, it is not as convenient as being in those cities in terms of interviews and meeting attorneys in the firm or practice area you are interested in.

What types of undergraduate opportunities did you pursue that led to your decision to apply to law school? Were there any experiences that you felt were particularly helpful in strengthening your application to law school?

Being a public health and economic double major, I was very interested in social studies and wanted to further my study with law, a blend of economics, history, government, philosophy and English. I think my summer internship in New York with the Commission on Judicial Conduct was very valuable for both deciding to attend law school and also strengthening my application.

What did you pursue during your interim year(s)/before beginning law school, while in law school and during your law school summer(s)? How did you go about researching these opportunities?

I did not take a gap year, and I used the summer before law school to relax and travel.

How would you compare the reality of law school and the ensuing job search to the picture you had of it while an undergraduate?

I think the image I had for law school was accurate for what it is. My peers are extremely intelligent and devoted to their studies. Everyone is career oriented and proactive with their work and potential opportunities. Law school is difficult. However, it is a great training opportunity for me to be more professionally oriented and to broaden my network with Duke Law faculty and alumni.

Do you have any advice for an undergraduate interested in pursuing law school and a career in law given your experience in today’s legal market and now as a current law student?

Start preparing early. The market is doing well currently (first year associate salary in NYC has increased to $180K). If you decide on attending law school, make sure to start early with all the materials and score well on your LSAT. The weight of LSAT for your law school application is even greater compared to SAT for college application.

Ting is happy to answer questions and can be reached at ting.liu@duke.edu

 

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