- Tom Weishaar One More Shot Photography
Class of 2021 | Albany, NY
Notre Dame Law School
Why did you choose this law school?
I chose this law school for a variety of criteria: the Law School’s recognized quality and placement ability are both strong factors. But what set Notre Dame apart from other schools is its trying to inculcate in its students a sense of greater purpose. While I am not religious, I strongly resonate with the desire to dedicate myself to service and communal endeavors for mutual fulfilment. Notre Dame is unique in its capacity to realize this desire of mine, and I hope that it takes this desire and channel it into a legal education that most enables me to succeed in the areas of law about which I am most passionate.
Where else were you accepted?
I have been accepted at only one other school, Emory. It’s been a rather competitive admissions cycle this year with COVID. However, I have been waitlisted at most of the schools to which I applied. Those schools are as follows: The University of Virginia, Georgetown, Boston University, Washington University, Vanderbilt, Duke, Northwestern, and Fordham.
I am keeping myself open at this point, though I hope to try and incorporate my humanitarian education, and passion for service, into my being whatever kind of lawyer I end up as. The more ambitious parts of me would love to get also get a Ph.D. in philosophy for the sake of diving deeply into subjects such as jurisprudence, human rights (the main subject of my honors thesis), and ethics, and then use both my J.D. and Ph.D. somehow within the academic context. I will probably end up settling for remaining a reservist in the Army (and likely pursue JAG after law school) in addition to practicing law in some way that excites me.
How has Ursinus prepared you for law school?
It has done everything to prepare me. From the faculty mentors, to my actual education, to my fellow students. I could go into great detail about the nuance of how I have been prepared. But because that won’t mean much to many who read this I will say this: it has prepared me not just academically but in the very way I think, feel, and envision myself and my place in the world. My real and ideal self are informed by my experiences here. And it is for these experiences that I am forever grateful.
I am fortunate to be a part of many organizations on campus: The Bonner Leader Program, The Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good, and The Pre-Law Society are the ones that I have had the most involvement in, and they are the ones that have had the most profound impact on me. These are all organizations that wrestle with their own respective questions, but they all share a common theme: mentorship, philosophical intrigue, and service. These organizations taught me, in their own ways, what it meant to give, and the power of what a gift can do for someone.
I am an enlisted soldier in the United States Army Reserves, serving as a Paralegal Specialist, with the rank of Specialist. I’m also a musician. I love spending time playing drums, piano, guitar, and especially bass, which I have had a blast learning the past few months.
Favorite Ursinus Memory
I remember, vividly, the moment in my CIE-100 class, where we discussed matters of ethics, political philosophy, and the classics. I realized that there was something missing in my educational journey. I I wanted to be a philosopher, at that moment, and no other intellectual pursuit would compare in its potential to excite my mind and make me feel a deeper connection with my own humanity. If not for that class, in addition to the lessons I have learned from Bonner, in particular. Its hard to say where I would be today without those two things.