Scoring in the 97th percentile on the LSAT exam is no easy feat. Even for political science and legal studies senior Jacob Walsh ’20.
To call Jacob Walsh an overachiever would be an understatement. The senior political science major readily admits that he “sets the bar extraordinarily high” for himself.
“I do not like to settle,” said the Bridgeton, N.J., native who is minoring in legal studies with the goal of attending law school after graduation.
An overachiever like Walsh doesn’t aspire to attend just any law school, however. He is aiming for a top-tier school, preferably Harvard or Yale.
Although the verdict is still out on the specific school, scoring in the 97th percentile on the LSAT is sure to give him plenty of options. Walsh credits the success to the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., where — at the encouragement of Albright pre-law advisor Suzanne Palmer, J.D., L.L.M., — he spent two summers exploring the legal field and preparing for the notoriously rigorous entrance exam.
Walsh and Palmer plan to help future Albright students to navigate law school pipeline programs like the Brown prep program through a pre-law information session in the spring.
“Much like Albright, I think my success was owed to the support system we had [in the program],” he said.
Having a strong support system is a recurring theme in Walsh’s college experience. From the birthday card he received from Albright while still a prospective student to the welcoming environment on Move-in Day, Walsh said, he knew instantly he was home.
Atmosphere for success
Walsh attributes the familial atmosphere to Albright’s nurturing faculty and ample opportunities to get involved on campus. Soon after arriving, he joined the Pre-Law Society, for which he now serves as president. He also took a tutoring job in the Writing Center and ultimately became its tutor manager. In both cases, he was able to hone his professional skillset while also helping others to grow.
Walsh said the tone for such a mutually-supportive environment is set by Albright’s faculty, whom he calls his “biggest supporters and cheerleaders.”
One such “cheerleader” is Michael Armato, assistant professor and acting chair of the political science department. He describes Walsh as an ambitious, hard worker — a student who possesses “raw intelligence” and who is “intellectually curious” and “unfailingly kind.”
“I think Jacob is one of those students who would succeed at any institution,” Armato said. “We are lucky to have him at Albright, where he enriches our community with his intelligence and interpersonal skills.”
Walsh said faculty encouragement and support is his biggest takeaway from the Albright experience. “You will leave Albright with a support system, a network of people that want you to succeed.”
His gratitude to Albright’s faculty is matched only by his gratitude to its donors. “Without aid, I would not be able to afford to come to Albright College, period! Thus, in brevity, I simply say ‘thank you.’ Thank you for a chance to succeed and thank you for the chance to change the world.”