Boonsboro student gets glimpse of career in law

April 06, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - While describing herself as a go-getter, Lauren Low was worried that her aspirations of a law career would never be more than just dreams.

But after six days at a National Youth Leadership Forum on Law in and around Washington, the Boonsboro High School senior said she is convinced she can do it.

"After all, I'm a cheerleader ... and how stereotypical is that," Low said. "This forum really showed me what I could do, and now there's no stopping me."


Low was one of 350 outstanding high school students nationwide to qualify for the Feb. 24-29 forum on the law.

Low, 18, was nominated for the spot at the forum by her physics teacher, Ralph von Philp, last year.

"I found out I had made it last year when I was a junior," Low said.

A combination of factors precluded her participation until this school year, when she reapplied and was accepted again.

In her junior year, Low was the student representative on the Washington County Board of Education, which took up a lot of her time.

"And then I broke my nose playing basketball and had to miss some school," she said.

This year, she was determined to make it to the forum.

Through intensive simulations, Low was given the opportunity to exercise the skills used by U.S. Supreme Court justices who rule on key issues and the lawyers who argue those issues.

"I was elected a Supreme Court justice and got to participate in a mock trial. I even gave a speech," Low said.

She said there were only two students from Maryland at the entire forum.

The group toured the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court during the event.

The curriculum was based on actual events, allowing the participants to learn from the examples set by attorneys and court officials and to develop perspective and resolve.

Professors and other legal experts were at the forum to add their knowledge and help participants map out their futures in the law.

Even before attending the forum, Low was clear on her goal to become a corporate lawyer. How to best prepare for that was unclear.

"While in D.C., I spent time at the law firm of Baker Botts," Low said.

In conversations with the attorneys there, she got some good advice on the direction her undergraduate education should take.

"They said I should go into finance and then concentrate on corporate law in law school," Low said.

That's what she plans to do at whichever law school she attends among the eight major universities to which she has applied.

"I'm really hoping to be accepted at Harvard. It is, after all, the best," Low said.

She carries a 3.8 grade point average, is president of the Boonsboro Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society.

Low said if her goals are achieved, she will be the first lawyer in her family. Her father, Pete, is the owner of Money $avers Direct Mail, and her mother, Ann, teaches third-grade at Emma K. Doub Elementary School. Brother Ryan, 15, is a sophomore at Boonsboro High School.

While academics are uppermost in Low's mind, there are other areas in which she is active and anxious to excel.

"Ironically, the day I was to report to the forum, my cheerleading squad had a big pep rally where we performed the new routine we are taking to nationals," Low said.

She participated in the pep rally and then had her father drive her to the start of the forum.

Low said she first heard about the forum opportunity from Bethany Windle, a senior at Boonsboro when Low was a freshman. Another Boonsboro student, Dan Harman, also had attended one of the forums.

The Herald-Mail Articles