Diversity in Law School Admissions (Sydney Montgomery) (Ep. 415)

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Sydney Montgomery is the Executive Director and Founder of Barrier Breakers, a nonprofit that aims to increase access to higher education for BIPOC and other marginalized students. Sydney returns to Thinking LSAT to share her insights into what the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action means for applicants of color. She and the guys also discuss perils of student loan debt and Sydney’s work to help applicants secure their best possible scholarship offers.

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0:00 - Introducing Sydney Montgomery

Sydney Montgomery introduces her edtech software company, Outline It, Inc., which helps students organize and outline their writing projects. She then speaks about her admissions consulting work through Barrier Breakers and S. Montgomery Admissions Consulting. Sydney insists that anyone pursuing law school answer two questions: Why law school? And why now?

17:21 - Supreme Court Decision

Sydney reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action in college admissions. She believes that the decision will lead to much confusion in law school admissions and increase the burden on applicants of color. She maintains, however, that the elements of a strong application have not changed.

29:37 - Student Loan Debt

Sydney acknowledges that graduate students of color have about twice as much student loan debt as their white counterparts. Barrier Breakers aims to help applicants and students make sound financial decisions at every stage in their journey. Law school should be an opportunity to break cycles of generational poverty and debt—not to create more.

57:48 - Scholarships

Sydney encourages applicants to apply broadly to increase their chances of receiving excellent scholarship offers. She also steers applicants away from conditional scholarships, which Nathan and Ben dub “scams.” Sydney and the guys agree that the best thing for many applicants to do is postpone their applications and work on increasing their LSAT scores.