Melissa Cinicolo, June 8 2020

How I got accepted into Law School at the University of Ottawa

Only a few exceptional applicants are admitted into law school before completing their undergraduate degree. I am grateful to say that as an undergraduate business student, I have been accepted into the Juris Doctor program in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. My story is living proof that no matter what, there are no limits to your aspirations. Below I will highlight the three golden rules which allowed me to get into law school and thrive academically, athletically and in life. These three rules include: identifying your passions/core values, actively planning and staying dedicated. Here's how you can succeed. 

Passion and Core Values

Growing up, I learned that no matter the goal, whether personal or professional, giving it your all will help you achieve anything.  All it takes is passion. Passion drives success and provides you with the fuel to achieve your ultimate goal. The first step towards success is discovering your passion. What creates passion? Value. Identify your core values and allow them to shape your passion. This will ,make you passionate about your ultimate goal. My core values are built on determination, work ethic and justice. These core values drove my passion for success. This made me flourish academically and led me to achieve my ultimate goal of being accepted into the Juris Doctor program at the University of Ottawa. To be successful, remember to always stay passionate about your dreams. 


My second golden rule in the pursuit of success is planning your ultimate goal and laying out your objectives. Finding a healthy work-life balance is key. Everyday has twenty-four hours and the way in which you use your time is your pathway to success. Developing your time management skills and staying organized will take you to the next level.

As a student athlete, my ultimate goal for this year was to successfully balance academics and athletics. To achieve my ultimate goal, I created a plan of action by outlining my objectives, such as: making the dean's list both semesters, allocating time to workout daily and competing as a varsity athlete. Not only did I achieve my ultimate goal but I was also rewarded with my long term ultimate goal of being accepted into law school at the University of Ottawa. 

Time management skills and priority management is the recipe for success. Carefully managing your time is crucial. Figure out your most important task and what matters to you most. Fitness, studying and spending time with family is my priority and matters most to me. On a daily basis, I always make time for the gym, to stay physically fit and mentally strong. Also, I allocate a few hours a day to stay on top of my studies. Lastly, I always make time to spend with family and friends as they really matter to me. Making sure to find a work-life balance schedule that fits your desired lifestyle. 

To be successful,  build your ultimate goal by utilizing tailored objectives. You may also use SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) as your building blocks. Develop a healthy work-life schedule and lastly, focus on executing your plan and sticking to it.


How do I stay motivated? Dedication. Waking up at 5:00 a.m. for swim practices or early morning runs in the freezing cold is not easy. When you invest your everything into something, even the toughest of goals are achievable. I could not be more grateful with how my school year went this past year, and I owe it all to my self-discipline. The third golden rule that has shaped my success and helped me get into law school at the University of Ottawa is dedication. 

Playing several competitive sports allowed me to value the power of consistency, focus and devotion. Dedication stems from accountability, tenacity and commitment. No matter the circumstance, no matter the challenge, I stay motivated. I will never forget the day I ranked top 10 in the city for my track meet. Following my track meet, while on my way to my soccer game, I was notified that I won an $8,000 scholarship by placing 2nd in Canada for a French video competition hosted by the University of Ottawa. Full of excitement, I arrived at my soccer game and scored 5 goals. What a day! Not only was I devoted to my teams, but I always performed to the best of my ability. The mindset I have is “All or nothing”. If I put my mind to something, I do it. If you want to be successful, honour your word. Keeping this in mind will pave your path to success. 


Success is always possible. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. You hold the power. Now that you've learned how I was accepted into law school. I hope you now have the motivation to follow your dreams. I challenge you to reach for your dream and pursue it, using the three golden rules of : following your passions/core values, plan and develop your time management skills and mastering devotion. Keep this is mind and watch your door of opportunities open. Give it a try.

Written by

Melissa Cinicolo

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