By Melissa Lobozzo,
ASA Director of Communications
This fall, Harvard Law School is gaining one of All Saints Academy’s best and brightest when All Saints Alumnus, Kwame Newton (2013) settles in for his first semester. I sat down for a Q & A with Kwame to retrace his steps from here to Harvard.
Q: Why Harvard?
A: I really like Harvard’s focus on constitutional law and appellate litigation; plus the Harvard Alumni base helps with post-law school employment. I have a friend who goes to Harvard now, and loves it so I feel good about it. I did apply to Yale but I received an interview with Harvard just one week after submitting my application so I chose to stay on that path.
Q: What do you feel made you attractive as a Harvard Law candidate?
A: I would say the diversity of my life experiences. I’ve had a unique life course living in Germany as a child with my father in the US Army. We left Germany when I was 7 and moved around a lot. I’ve lived in New York, California and Florida, which gives me a different perspective than most. I also had a high GPA at Cornell and a high LSAT score that helped.
Q: Tell me about taking the LSAT.
A: I highly recommend the LSAT test prep that I worked through with Testmasters. It was a great program that greatly contributed to my high LSAT score. (http://www.testmasters.net/)
Q: Looking ahead, when is your next visit to Harvard?
A: “Admitted Students Weekend” is during All Saints Spring Break in March, so my little brother Kwesi, who is a senior at ASA, will join me for that. It’s cool that Kwesi will graduate from ASA a week after I graduate from Cornell!
Q: Have you thought about your housing plans for your big move to Boston?
A: I will probably live in student housing at Harvard. My friend who’s there now lives in student housing.
Q: When did you first start thinking of Harvard as a goal?
A: I started thinking about going to Harvard when I became interested in law in Middle School here at ASA. I worked hard to take the classes I needed to get into a top university that would be considered by Harvard Law.
Q: How did All Saints Academy prepare you to reach your goals?
A: In addition to the tremendous teachers who helped me succeed in each class, the ASA College Advisors helped me with course direction. I knew I had to take AP Economics and AP Government to cement entrance into Cornell. I was also active on the ASA Academic Team including being President of the A-Team my senior year.
Q: What choices did you make as a college student at Cornell University that also prepared you for acceptance into the Harvard Law program?
A: I joined Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law professional fraternity, which helped with LSAT preparation and my area of law choice. I also worked through several summer internships. As a freshman, I worked on the Mayoral Campaign for the DC Mayor, which was a political internship where I learned that I’m open to the process of politics. My sophomore year, I interned at Peterson & Myers Law here in the Lakeland/Winter Haven area. Then during my junior year, I interned with the D.C. Court of Appeals. For the fall semester of my junior year of college, I went to Cornell in Washington D.C. where I spent 3.5 days a week interning in the House Judiciary Committee while also taking courses. It was a heavy load but it was invaluable experience that prepared me for my next step at Harvard Law.
Q: What advice do you have for ASA students interested in attending Harvard University?
A: Harvard is looking for students who have non-traditional backgrounds and/or more than one area of interest or skill.
Q: Now that you’ve achieved your goal to attend Harvard Law, what new goal are you working towards?
A: Just as I met with the College Advisors at ASA, I plan on meeting with the Career Advisors at Harvard to determine the path I need to achieve my goal of working in constitutional law or appellate litigation.
After spending time with Kwame, it is clear that he leads an intentional life, beginning with the end in mind and striving to be proactive as he continues toward his lofty goals. With tremendous support from his family and the All Saints community, Kwame appreciates the building blocks in Middle School, Upper School and College that successfully led him to fulfill this life dream. May we be inspired by Kwame’s planning, preparation and hard work to fulfill his dream of attending Harvard Law.