Thursday, June 21, 2007
Alumnus accepts Harvard’s law school challenge
|OU alumnus Peter Halabu will attend Harvard Law School next fall.|
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Peter Halabu, CAS ’07, has a new memento to add to his memory box — an acceptance letter from Harvard. Halabu applied to Harvard for his undergraduate degree, simply to get the rejection letter so he could save it. When applying to law schools this winter, Halabu was encouraged by Harvard to apply. After being waitlisted by the East Coast, Ivy League school, Halabu finally received the letter he has dreamed about.
Halabu, Oakland University’s 2007 Alfred G. Wilson award recipient, was encouraged by prestigious schools from around the country to apply to their law programs. Why? With an LSAT score of 177, Halabu ranked in the 99th percentile of test-takers. He was accepted to schools like Columbia, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Northwestern University, Virginia and the University of Michigan, which was his top choice.
“In mid-May, I made the decision to go to Michigan, which had been my first choice from the beginning. I applied to Harvard not really expecting them to let me in and not really expecting to go there,” Halabu said.
The day after he officially decided on Michigan, Halabu got a call from the dean of Admissions for the law school at Harvard. Halabu was on the waitlist and didn’t expect to be taken off. The dean asked whether or not Halabu was still interested in the school, and when Halabu responded that he was, the dean offered him a spot in the program beginning this fall.
“Michigan had been my first choice, but then I got the call from Harvard and I don’t know what happened to Michigan. Harvard is a big law school; it’s on the East Coast right in the middle of everything. It has some of the best professors. It has good job placement rates. And it’s Harvard,” Halabu said.
Since his official acceptance, Halabu has traveled to Harvard to see the campus, meet with the priest at the university chapel, visit Boston and look at a few apartments. He plans to move in the middle of August.
“In terms of the work, I think that it’s going to be new and I might struggle with it at first. I heard everyone struggles with it at the beginning because it’s like learning a new language,” Halabu said. “It’s more that it’s law school and it’s unknown. I’m sure that I’ll run into a lot of students that are smarter than I am but I don’t plan to let that intimidate me. I have a good ability to talk to professors and participate in class — that’s something that as an English major at Oakland, was amazingly encouraged. I think that will be something I can use to distinguished myself in law school. It’s very discussion-based and I feel I am prepared for that.”
Halabu also said his studying skills will help him get through the many hours of studying and reading.
“I was an English major. All of the reading and writing I did, well, that’s law school in a nutshell. I went to a great school for that and picked the perfect major for preparing myself for it,” Halabu said.
Halabu is currently a real estate agent. His dad, who is also a lawyer, would like to see him get into real estate law, while Halabu is focusing on constitutional law, but it could all change.
“Harvard turns out a lot of business-oriented lawyers. I could end up doing that, but right now, I think I’d like to do something with constitutional law. That’s one of the reasons I want to go to Harvard. Going there means I will have options and also the next couple of years to figure out what I really want to do,” Halabu said.
Halabu wants to come back to Michigan after graduating in three years.
“Going to Harvard has not changed my plans of coming back to Michigan after graduation. I can have a good business in Michigan. Three years will be hard enough for me to be away from everybody. I still plan to come back,” Halabu said.