Release Date: 11/30/2012
On Dec. 1, University of the Ozarks senior Morgan O'Neil, from Carbondale, Ill., will take the LSAT (law school admission test) as the first giant step toward her future.
O'Neil is a triple major in political science, environmental studies, and English. To finish three such diverse majors in four years is in itself a huge accomplishment, but O'Neil is nothing if not driven.
Just this year O'Neil has served as Student Government Association president, the student representative for the university's presidential search committee, and captain of the Lady Eagles' soccer team.
"To finish three majors in four years is a lot of work, but I love them all," said O'Neil. "I just added the English major, but I think it's my favorite. But, I also really love law and environmental studies. People ask me all the time how I manage everything, but the answer is simple. I really love what I do, so it's not a hassle to do any of it."
Ozarks senior Morgan O'Neil plans to graduate with majors in political science, environmental studies, and English, then go on to law school next fall.
O'Neil plans to pursue a career in environmental law, but first she must get past the LSAT. Despite months of preparation, O'Neil still expects a challenge during the test.
"My biggest hurdle with the LSAT is to be calm and do things slowly," O'Neil explained. "I'm so used to the answer just popping out at me when I take tests. The LSAT is not designed that way, and I get frazzled when I don't have the answer right away. The toughest part for me is to get into the mindset that I don't know the answer, and that's ok. I have to work it out."
For O'Neil, the LSAT marks the beginning of the end at Ozarks as she'll begin preparing for a future far from her Ozarks family. O'Neil plans to study environmental law in the Pacific Northwest and hopes to have all of her law school applications completed by Jan. 1.
"My first choice law school is Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Right now, it is ranked as the number two environmental law program in the nation. It's small, private, in a beautiful location. Actually, it's scarily similar to Ozarks," O'Neil smiled.
Her second choice is Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, another small, private university like Ozarks. She is also considering a few larger state schools in Oregon and Washington.
"I'll study environmental law, wherever I go, but I haven't decided what to do after law school. I could work in the private sector, I could work with the government, or I could work for a non-profit. There are a lot of different avenues for environmental law," O'Neil said.
While O'Neil may be undecided about her final career path, one thing is certain: If her law school applications are able to convey just a fraction of the work ethic she displayed at Ozarks, she should have no problem having her pick of law schools, and whatever career path she chooses after that will be lucky to have her.