Episode 86: A Happy Beginning

Nathan introduces guest Chantal Renta, a Chinese-speaking, freelance-accounting, tax-law-loving 3L at Southwestern Law School. The show begins with Chantal, a self-proclaimed “tax queen,” warning students about the downside of federal loan forgiveness, an issue previously discussed on the Thinking LSAT podcast in episode 83. (1:30)

Chantal discusses the mistakes that she feels she made in preparing for law school and shares tips on how to avoid them. Nathan asks about her unique path to law, a journey that includes Chantal teaching herself accounting, studying postmortem medicine, traveling through China, and playing drums in a technical death metal band. (12:45)

Chantal describes the high and low points of her 1L experience at Southwestern Law, including her less-than-awesome first semester grades and what she did to turn them around quickly in the second semester. Nathan is awestruck by the long and impressive list of extracurricular activities Chantal has been involved in while at Southwestern. Her passions are varied and span from acting as President of the Tax Law Society to hosting  a panel on the Muslim Ban. (30:01)

As the interview winds down, Nathan asks his guest what she thinks her future holds. Chantal plans to take the bar this summer, to become a CPA wherever she ends up, and to continue her legal education by earning an LL.M. in tax law next year. She hasn’t applied for any legal jobs as of yet, but she isn’t worried about her prospects in the market; we aren’t worried about them either. Chantal has no current plans to tour with any death metal group, technical or otherwise. (50:40)

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