Who am I?  ::  How did I get to Law School?  ::  What can I offer you?

Who am I?

Donna M. Mancusi
Admissions Consultant

Hi! My name is Donna M. Mancusi. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in May 2001, and I can honestly say that I loved law school. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Law school provides an amazing opportunity to challenge yourself socially and intellectually.

 I enjoyed my first semester so much (believe me, it is not as bad as you're imagining) that second semester I began volunteering in Penn Law's Admissions Office. I spoke to dozens of prospective students answering questions about life at Penn specifically and law school in general.
I looked forward to the weekly lunches where I had the opportunity to meet new students and share my experiences. I remembered how confusing and frustrating the application process was for me (I had been out of school for 4 years when I applied in 1998) and now that it was over, I wanted to help the next wave of applicants get through the process as painlessly as possible. I developed such a rapport with the prospective students that the Dean of Admissions, Janice Austin, asked if I would be interested in a part-time paid position with the Admissions Office.

In July, 1999, I became the "Prospective Student Coordinator" and attended my first Law Forum in Washington D.C. as a representative of Penn Law. During my second and third years, I continued my involvement with the Admissions Office recruiting nationally in New York, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. National recruiting gave me the opportunity to meet and speak with students and Admission Deans from law schools throughout the country. Their advice and suggestions were invaluable in helping to guide my decision not to practice law and instead to embark on a consulting career culminating in the creation of "Law School Connections."

How did I get to Law School?
I graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a BA in Communication. While completing an internship during my senior year, at the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, I realized that Barbara Walters' life was not as glamorous as I had once imagined. My search began for a new career. Contemplating a career in law, yet hesitant to jump headfirst into a new profession, I took a job as a legal assistant at a small firm with a civil concentration. After a few years, still unsure about pursuing a law degree, I moved to a firm specializing in criminal law.
I enjoyed my time at both firms immensely. As a legal assistant/receptionist/gal Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to clients all day, every day. After a few months at both positions, clients began calling the firms asking to speak to me as opposed to their attorneys. I found their lives and their stories fascinating. I spent many nights at the firm after-hours researching case law. I was not allowed to discuss legal issues with the clients but I felt compelled to at least try to solve their problems. For many, it was the most vulnerable time of their lives and what I offered made all the difference: a sympathetic ear and emotional support.

One fateful summer day, my boss made an off-the-cuff remark that went something like "get out of my office and back to your desk, you're not a lawyer, you're a secretary." Since we had a very good working relationship, I knew that he was not as condescending and pretentious as he sounded. I also knew that he was (half) joking, but that was the day, the exact moment, that I decided to take the LSAT and attend Law School. The rest, is "my" story...

What can I offer you?
First, let me tell you what I can't offer you. I can't offer you an admission guarantee. I cannot, I will not and if that is what you are looking for, then I am sorry to disappoint you.

What I can offer you is my advice, support, experience, knowledge and expertise about the law school admissions process. I can help you write and edit a personal statement that will get you noticed, but I will not write it for you. We will work together to choose the law schools that are best for you, considering a variety of factors such as: geographic region, financial aid/grant options, lsat/gpa averages, clerkship opportunities, faculty research areas, etc. I can assist you in designing and editing your resume, and I will review your applications offering suggestions on how to create the most attractive candidate "package." I will also track down answers to the questions that are important to you.

Applying to law school is a time consuming and extremely individualistic endeavor. I will offer advice and support making the law school application process go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

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