Koryn: An LSAT Success Story of Dedication and Balance
Meet Koryn Thomas, an extraordinary young woman with an exceptional work ethic and unparalleled ability to balance the academic with the interpersonal. Koryn is possessed with an innate intelligence that sets her apart and an ineffable exuberance that draws absolutely everyone in.
Koryn is currently a student at the University of Alabama who will graduate two years early after completing 85 college credits while still in high school. During our time preparing for law school admissions and the LSAT, Koryn has helped me stretch my own teaching boundaries and has inspired me with her steadfast optimism and unflagging spirit.
Adjusting to campus life isn't easy for anyone — least of all a student who is younger than most of her peers. But Koryn navigated the social challenges with aplomb, bonding with classmates and joining multiple campus organizations.
Unsurprisingly, she quickly emerged as a campus leader and embodied a "work hard, play hard" mantra in the best possible way. Not only is Koryn a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, but she is also the Director of the Crimson Village philanthropy project, which coordinates volunteers to provide access and advocacy for people in the blind or visually impaired community at a local senior living community.
Koryn's climb to the top 1% of LSAT-scorers was fascinating in its utter simplicity. In my 27 years of teaching, I cannot remember a student who followed my instructions so closely, who showed up so consistently, and who challenged themselves so continually. As a result, Koryn's score simply went up, up, and up. She suffered neither setbacks, nor crises of confidence — and not only met, but exceeded her personal goals.
It wasn't all easy...
In the world of will-be lawyers, Koryn stands together with the tiny subset of students who actually like math, but avoid reading comprehension. Together, we put Koryn's math-brain to the test and developed techniques for her to use instinctive analytical ability to translate tough questions and passages into formulaic, structural pieces.
A mentor's perspective
The road to law school can be challenging, even for academic powerhouses. Koryn's pre-LSAT successes meant she already had a successful formula for grades, tests, and accomplishments — and it was my job to ensure that the LSAT did not become a frustrating speed bump in her otherwise smooth academic ride.
As I observed Koryn's unshakable commitment to a solid study schedule, I was impressed.
Even in success, she never lessened
the intensity of her focus. She rose to every challenge, whether it was a 6AM study session or Zoom tutoring done in a hotel lobby as her family slept in the room next door. As a result, Koryn saw dramatic results over a condensed period. What's more, Koryn kept up her enthusiasm.
When she told me, "test prep did not feel like a chore," and, "I still had a fun summer even though I was studying for the LSAT," I was thrilled. If anyone deserved to enjoy the usually grueling process, it was Koryn. Of course, I loved our time together; the fact that she did too continues to energize me.
Like all educators, I learn from each of my students. From Koryn, I discovered new ways to approach reading comprehension that work for those who tend to get distracted by abstract content. Moreover, I expanded my personal concept of what "focus" means for an LSAT student.
Oh, and I learned about the Rainbow Bridge National Monument at Lake Powell in Utah. It's Koryn's "happy place" and we built her personal statement around her deep connection to this natural treasure. I'd never heard of Rainbow Bridge before, and it now has a place on my must-see list.
Koryn's dedication and determination — both in the LSAT context and far broader ones — have left an indelible mark on me, and I am confident that she will make an equally lasting impact in the legal world. I eagerly anticipate the day when we can transcend our current roles and proudly call ourselves colleagues.
In Koryn's own words:
What message or advice would you like to convey to others who may be considering a similar journey?
Put in the work. You are either going to pay now or pay later.
Your law school application is the first step of your career, and it will determine what schools you get into and what scholarships you get. Good grades and solid LSAT prep will translate into far less stress later. However, if you don’t put in 100% effort, your results are sure to suffer.
You will never regret putting your best foot forward, so do your future self a favor and put in the work now to give yourself the best opportunities.
When Koryn isn't practicing Logic Games or working on her personal statement, she is:
Boating, Wake Surfing, Traveling, Snow Skiing, Hiking, and Crafting
Koryn's favorite guilty pleasure:
Rainbow Goldfish (Yes, they taste different than the standard ones!)