Performance Artist Meets Entertainment Law Student: Meet Dellara Gorjian
Being a law student and eventually, a lawyer takes discipline, tenacity, and resolve. Future lawyers are logical, well-studied and attentive. A good lawyer is a compassionate listener and advocate for their clients. These are all qualities that come naturally to our most recent podcast guest, Dellara Gorjian.
To complement her natural abilities, Dellara embodies one particular characteristic that will help her to excel in law: a love of performance. Think about it, an effective advocate can convince the judge, jury and even the public of a particular narrative. This requires three components: belief in the narrative the client is telling; evidence; and confidence to convey the narrative. A good lawyer should have a convincing, effective stance when advocating on behalf of an innocent client.
On this week’s episode of the Student Influencer’s podcast, Dellara and I chatted about the connection between her experience as a successful performance artist and her transition to law. Although these seem like divergent career paths, Dellara connected the dots for us throughout our conversation.
Dellara was also kind enough to provide some insight into her experience writing the LSAT and the strategies she employed to raise her score by almost 20 percent. Read on or listen to the podcast to see how Dellara was successful in the pursuit of her ultimate goal to become a law student at UCLA, and, eventually an entertainment lawyer.
If you’re new to the blog, we host a podcast called Student Influencers, where we deep dive into the lives of current and former university and college students. We speak with young people from across the world about their wisdom and life experiences. Today we introduce Dellara, a tenacious, law student and performance artist who is carving out space for herself in the world of entertainment law in LA. In response to the social expectations, she witnessed in her early career as a singer/songwriter and YouTube wonder, Dellara made her dream of going to law school a reality through nothing more than hard work, strategy, and setting her sights on the bigger picture.
“I could sing before I could speak”
It is not difficult to imagine that Dellara has an incredible singing voice. Her sultry lilt came through the phone lines as we spoke. And she spoke with the confidence of a stage performer. Her journey as a singer/songwriter began as a young woman. Dellara’s mother tells her, “I could sing before I could speak.”
Dellara grew up as a “music kid”. Her passion for music is intrinsic: simply a part of her. Back in 2010, when social media was still very much in its infancy and Dellara was just 16, she decided to share her beautiful voice with the world by creating a YouTube channel. Overnight, she began getting close to 200k views on her videos, affirming her desire to perform.
Dellara was thrust into the world of performance art; record labels were offering her deals and agents were approaching her. At a young age, she chose to graduate from high school early and pursue a career on the stage.
What Dellara didn’t realize was that the music industry imposed expectations on young women in her position, despite their innate talent. Although Dellara believes she learned a lot from her experience in the industry (knowledge she carries forward into her law career) she has difficulty reconciling the injustice of show business.
Dellara’s agents advised her to lose 20 pounds and that her story was not interesting enough to account for her “ethnic” appearance. Ultimately Dellara decided that though she loved music, she was not in love with the music industry and set her sights on new horizons.
Law Student Music Kid Meets the Debate Team
Dellara was an unlikely kid to join the debate team. She had spent much of her youth in the limelight, performing, and had recently returned from Hollywood to attend college in her hometown of Irvine, California. Needless to say, Dellara didn’t consider herself “nerdy” enough to be a debater, until she was approached by her communications professor.
Dellara’s professor saw the confidence she radiated when speaking in class. One day after class he recruited her to the debate team, and she never looked back.
Joining the debate team was a formative decision in Dellara’s life. As a naturally competitive person, she excelled. Eventually, Dellara became captain of the team and led her colleagues to two consecutive championships. Debate team became a major part of Dellara’s life while assisting in her development of new skills: critical thinking, advocacy, and argumentation.
Logically, Dellara fused two of her passions (debate and performance) together in her pursuit of a law degree at UCLA.
Entertainer Meets Advocate
Dellara is of the mindset that her journey is constantly evolving. She had the wisdom to fuse two of her loves into a sustainable career path where she can help others to navigate the challenges she experienced in the entertainment industry. And she hasn’t written off the idea of being an international superstar yet either:
“Five years before I was in law school I was dead set that I was going to be an international superstar. You know, it’s not ruled out but now at least I know that I have a solid backup. If I were to hypothetically pursue the music industry now, I have so much knowledge and confidence knowing my rights and knowing how the industry works. I would be so much better equipped to pursue that now than I would have at 17 or 18 years old.”
When you’re 16 or 17 it is difficult to know what you want to do with your life. You are just getting to know yourself within the context of life outside of high school. Dellara’s story shows us that we will have many different experiences throughout our lives, some good, and some that present challenges. It is in the midst of challenging experiences that we have the opportunity to move toward a new version of ourselves by using the knowledge we have gained.
In Dellara’s case, she is aware that the music industry presents difficulties for young women. She was empowered to take control of her life by developing a penchant for analysis and advocacy. She has honed her skills through education and practice and she can light the way for other young women who hope to pursue a similar path.
Dellara’s path could have gone many ways, however, she chose to take a risk and join the debate team, and she has been forging ahead ever since.
Dellara tells other students, “It is important to trust the process.”
Trust the Process but Work Hard Too
So, how did Dellara progress from “music kid” to being enrolled in one of the most prestigious law schools in the world?
Part of her success comes from her willingness to take a chance – and then another. But, we would be remiss if we failed to mention the diligence and hard work Dellara has put into her education and future career.
We were fortunate enough to gain some insight into Dellara’s top tips for applying to law school.
Dellara is humble when she speaks about her experience applying to law school. Many law schools require a GPA of 3.8 or higher before they will even consider an application.
With a GPA of 3.5, Dellara knew that the LSAT was where she had to shine. The LSAT is a test specifically designed for law school applicants in Canada and the USA. The test assesses a student’s preparedness and fitness for law school admission.
Dellara was aware that UCLA’s law school admission was heavily weighed on the LSAT score, and she knew that she had to do what she could to gain the highest possible grade in order to be accepted.
When it came to applying to law school, Dellara had the odds stacked against her:
She had not attended an Ivy League college.
She had a mid-range GPA.
She did not have many extra-curricular activities or much law-related work experience on her CV.
Dellara set her sights on one goal, to attain the highest possible score on the LSAT and gain acceptance to UCLA.
Dellara sought and perfected a strategy which helped her improve her diagnostic LSAT test score by close to 20 points her second time through.
To put this into perspective, it is highly unlikely that students improve their LSAT test score the second time around. Most people only manage to improve by between 7 and 10 points.
How did Dellara manage to attain something so statistically unlikely? Tune into our podcast to hear her discuss the blind review process and the strategies that lead to her ultimate success.
“Everything Makes You More”
Dellara is a true believer that every experience provides a tidbit of wisdom. Her story is a testament to her favourite quotation, “Everything makes you more.” Each life experience can be a chance to learn more about yourself. Troubling or challenging situations are hidden opportunities for growth, even if they do not seem to be at the time.
Dellara is a tenacious, talented, and confident young woman with a heart for advocacy. Throughout our conversation she left us with several morsels of advice:
Take a risk. Whether it is starting a YouTube channel, taking a course, applying to law school, or starting your own business, if you’re reading this, the time is now.
Challenges are an opportunity to learn. Difficulties provide depth and cultivate wisdom.
Seek out strategies. Even if something does not come naturally to you, there is always a way to reach your goals.
Your idea of success will change over time.
Work hard. Take luck out of the equation.
Our conversation with Dellara was impactful. The breadth of her life experiences from performance artist to entertainment law student demonstrate that we are never bound to just one career path. We have no doubt Dellara will do amazing things in the years to come.
Don’t miss out on Dellara’s LSAT prep strategy! Check out the podcast and let us know if you’ve implemented any of her tips. If you’re thinking of applying to law school, we can help! Let us know if you need assistance writing your CV or if you need an extra set of eyes on your application!
We hope you continue to join us on this journey of talking to successful student influencers who tell their stories of struggle and triumphs! To follow along, please visit our Anchor site and stay tuned for future episodes.
FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH DELLARA GORJIAN
Cath Anne: : [00:00:00] Hi guys. Today on the student influencers podcast we are happy to be joined by Dellara Gorjian. Dellarais a young woman currently attending UCLA and focusing her studies on entertainment law. Dellara shares the story of how she pivoted from a career in the music industry to pursue a law degree. If you’re considering law school you’re not going to want to miss this episode. Dellara shares her tips and tricks about how she raised her score on the LSAT by almost 20 points. Join me, Cath Anne, as I chat with Dellara about her journey.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:00:38] Hi Cath Anne thank you so much it’s a delight to be on your show.
Cath Anne: : [00:00:41] We’re so happy to have you and so excited to get into some amazing content here.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:00:48] Absolutely.
Cath Anne: : [00:00:48] Awesome. So let’s just start off with a few get to know you questions. Where do you live and where were you born?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:00:58] So currently I’m living in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. I moved here to be closer to school. I also was living here for a year before starting law school working at a law firm. But I was born in Canada actually, in Montreal. I am a Canadian citizen and I lived in Vancouver very shortly before moving to the states when I was five and I’ve been here ever since.
Cath Anne: : [00:01:28] Oh wow. So you’re a fellow Canadian. Yeah. Lots of Canadians listening to this show. We’re actually Canadian company.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:01:34] Yeah! I knew that it’s a wonderful place and the people are so incredible and it’s very beautiful.
Cath Anne: : [00:01:44] It is, we are pretty lucky. But I’m sure L.A. is absolutely stunning as well.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:01:50] We have our Perks. Surely.
Cath Anne: : [00:01:52] The sun being one of them.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:01:54] Yes, it’s actually a beautiful day out right now. But you know it gets a little erratic sometimes we have ups and downs but it’s great. Overall I’m very grateful.
Cath Anne: : [00:02:05] Nice. So that kind of leads me into what college or university are you currently attending?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:02:11] Currently I’m attending UCLA School of Law. I just finished my second year. It’s a three year program. So just one more year left before I graduate.
Cath Anne: : [00:02:22] So exciting!
Dellara Gorjian: [00:02:22] Very exciting.
Cath Anne: : [00:02:23] And so did you do an undergraduate degree before this?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:02:28] Yes it’s necessary before law school. I began at a community college in Irvine where I grew up for my first two years and then I transferred to Cal State Long Beach to finish off my bachelors.
Cath Anne: : [00:02:43] OK. And was it a Bachelor of Arts?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:02:45] Yes it was. My major was political science.
Cath Anne: : [00:02:50] Oh interesting. That would go really well with Law, I imagine.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:02:52] Yes definitely.
Cath Anne: : [00:02:55] So in law school I’m not- I’m a little bit familiar with the process. But do you have a concentration or a major in law school or how does that work?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:03:05] So it’s not something that’s required kind of in the same way that it is in undergrad. A lot of people of course decide what area of the law that they want to be practicing while they’re learning about the various aspects of the law. And they’ll have you know greater certainty in their second and third years the first year of law school across the board are always the same classes no matter which law school you’re at you’re going to be taking what’s called doctrinal courses and what those are is kind of the foundation for every kind of specialty that there is in law. So you’re going to be taking contracts, you’re going to be taking civil procedure, as well as criminal law. And then you have torts you have – I believe, there’s two more. 1L was definitely a traumatizing experience so I’ve kind of suppressed those memories.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:04:03] But the general idea is that everyone taking the same class. You can’t specialize you don’t even choose your classes. But in your second and third year that’s when you are able to specialize if you want to. Well there are business specializations, entertainment specializations, as well as public interest. Some people are interested in environmental law as well as immigration. There’s so many different ways to go. Personally I was most interested in the entertainment law program. And that’s why I chose to tend to UCLA because they have the top entertainment law program in the country. I’s a it’s a great destination too to practice but yeah you can choose to officially do that if you take a certain amount of courses or you can you know choose classes that you think that you’re going to learn the most from and not have it be as formal but still gain that skill set.
Cath Anne: : [00:05:00] Sure. And so what drew you to that entertainment realm? Yeah I’ll leave it at that.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:05:08] Yes. So that’s a great question. I actually grew up wanting to be a singer. I had no idea that I wanted to practice law or do anything really academic oriented. My mom told me that I actually yes sing before I could speak. So yeah I was a music kid my whole life I played guitar and piano and was very passionate about being a singer. When I was 16 I started a YouTube channel and that’s when you know I really decided that it was something that I wanted to pursue because it my channel had gained so much traction on YouTube. I you know got over a million views in a short period of time. And especially you know being someone young. Kind of during the inception of that phase on the Internet where gaining notoriety doing YouTube was something that was not even so common. So it was so exciting and I was getting reached out to by various record labels and agent and I decided then because of my success on YouTube to graduate high school a year early and moved to Hollywood to pursue it. [00:06:30]Yeah and it was a very interesting experience. I learned a lot about the industry and actually I ended up kind of being a negative experience for me because although I loved making music so much I was told by a lot of labels that I needed to lose 20 pounds, that I was too ethnic looking that I didn’t have an interesting enough story. Yeah this was around 2011-2012 so I think socially we were kind of in a different moment. And a lot of the contracts that I was presented with were 360 contracts which is very kind of unfair to the talent side. And so I realized that although I loved music I wasn’t in love with the music industry. [47.6s]
Dellara Gorjian: [00:07:19] So that is when I decided to move back home and enroll in a community college and kind of start back from square one and one of the first classes I happened to take was a communications class. And of course that’s just you know a lot of a lot of students in their freshman year of college will take a communications very general and one of one of the courses I needed to take to check off essentially to graduate but my professor happened to be the head coach of the speech and debate team.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:07:52] And I don’t know if it was my background in publicly performing or being on stage but I really found a lot of comfort being in that position of giving speeches and my teacher noticed that and so he asked me at the end of the class to join the speech and debate team. And at first I was like speech and debate team like that’s so nerdy I’ve been a music kid I just got back from Hollywood like I’m this hot shot cool you know and but I decided you know I’m here I’m going to I’m going to school regardless if I don’t like it I can always quit but might as well try because I do enjoy it and maybe it’ll be good to have on my resumé and I’m a naturally very competitive person so I like the I never made any sports teams in high school I’m very not athletic or coordinated so I was like OK this will be a cool place to exert that competitive side of me anyway I ended up falling in love with it and I became the captain of my team we won two consecutive national championships it became my whole life I was best friends with everybody on my team it was such a rich such an amazing experience that I really highly recommend to anybody whether on the high school level or on the college level but [00:09:15]it was huge kind of in forming the person I am today and I definitely wouldn’t be in my position now if it wasn’t for my experience on the debate team but I then decided OK like where can I apply all these newly developed skills of public advocacy argumentation critical thinking and then naturally I thought the law and that’s when I. And then I thought you know entertainment law because it would be this incredible synthesis of my previous experiences in the entertainment industry and in having that creative side to me as well as marrying that to the more analytical tools and academic side of me that wanted to be an advocate. [43.2s] So that’s kind of how it all happened.
Cath Anne: : [00:10:02] That’s an incredible story. Thank you so much for sharing all that. That’s so inspiring.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:10:10] Yeah and I think it’s really a testament to show you’ll never know where you’ll be five years from now. I had like five years before I was in law school I was dead set that I was going to be an international superstar and you know it’s not ruled out but now at least I know that I have a solid you know backup and it’s really something that has informed the person I am today and I think that if I were to hypothetically. Pursue the music industry now, I have so much knowledge and confidence knowing my rights, and knowing you know how the industry works and all of the underlying, foundational aspects to it that I would be so much more well equipped to pursue that now than I would have you know at 17, 18 years old. So it really ended up working out in a way that I appreciated and I’m very happy about.
Cath Anne: : [00:11:05] Well I agree it certainly is a testament to- you’ve been so successful at fusing those all over brand experience in life. And you know some I think it’s a really good take on I think some people might be discouraged if they had your experience at first.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:11:27] Oh yeah.
Cath Anne: : [00:11:28] The music scene and not quite working out the way you what you envisioned did right. But just taking that and moving forward…
Dellara Gorjian: [00:11:37] Totally. [00:11:37]And knowing that there’s a grander scheme of things and if it were to have worked out the way I wanted it to I would never have probably gone to law school and that’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything. So it’s important to trust the process. [14.8s]
Cath Anne: : [00:11:52] And also you taking the chance to go on the debate right. Really. Your professor saw something so that maybe yeah. Even know that would connect with what you’re doing.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:12:07] Absolutely. Absolutely. I had no idea.
Cath Anne: : [00:12:10] That’s amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that. I love that story. And as a side note I was looking at your Instagram and you are amazing at singing and playing guitar.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:12:21] Thank you. That’s so kind of you.
Cath Anne: : [00:12:22] Oh my goodness you’re incredible.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:12:24] Thank you. Thank you. Yes it’s definitely a passion of mine and I gain a lot of joy and fulfillment by still incorporating that creative side in my life.
Cath Anne: : [00:12:36] I think it’s a very important to have that balance.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:12:40] Yeah definitely I agree.
Cath Anne: : [00:12:43] The academics and the creativity.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:12:46] Sure and even if it’s not creative it could be you know something athletic something that you’re passionate about. [00:12:53]I think what makes people and things interesting is always a combination of things that wouldn’t, you know- you wouldn’t naturally come across. And it’s really important and we learn so many new things by connecting to things that are not you know what would meet the eye as far as being compatible. And it’s always good to just become a well-rounded person in that respect. [26.0s]
Cath Anne: : [00:13:20] Absolutely. And that kind of ties into a conversation I had with another person I was interviewing just this past week and we were discussing he was suggesting that sciences are quite different from creativity.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:13:33] Oh yeah.
Cath Anne: : [00:13:34] However our conversation kind of led into the idea that creativity in a way is needed in the sciences or disciplines like that because you don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over again.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:13:50] Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s so funny you mention that actually because one of the big papers that I wrote in law school is the title of it is computational creativity and whether it’s possible for machines to possess creative abilities and what and what we have found is that just last year there was a painting sold at a New York auction for $450,000 that was created independently by an artificially intelligent machine. But then the question that arises from that is, who owns the rights to that piece of art? Is it the robot? Is it the programmer of the code? Is it the person who is using the algorithm? And its actually-
Cath Anne: : [00:14:36] The person who is funding the machine?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:14:38] Right. Right. Right. Yeah and also it analyzes the questions of what creativity actually means. And is it something that is more algorithmic and a derivative of all of the things that we are exposed to as humans. And is that something that a computer could possess because at the end of the day they are able to go through information at a much higher rate than humans are and kind of going back to the idea that creativity comes from a connection of two unfamiliar ideas like for instance a cartoonist you know depicting a politician as a type of circus animal. It’s like there has to be a certain knowledge of politics and a certain knowledge of animals to draw that connection. If, if machines will be able to do that. But my larger point is that it’s something- that idea that creativity is something that is actually very much something that is analytical and it is very married to science is a very relevant topic as we’re experiencing so much technological changes at such a rapid rate today.
Cath Anne: : [00:15:51] I agree and I do- there’s something about, I’m not I haven’t quite formed my thoughts around it, but there is something about this moment of people feeling a bit more open to and flexible with their creativity and feeling like they have a platform.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:16:06] Absolutely.
Cath Anne: : [00:16:06] Like you mentioned with YouTube and I think we’re going to see an interesting connection. Yes even more of an interesting connection between technology and creativity as we go on.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:16:19] Yeah. Absolutely. That’s a great point.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:16:28] I was just going to say that social media I think is also something that is influencing that pattern as well where now people have a platform to demonstrate and an incentive to demonstrate their you know the different aspects of them and that we aren’t one dimensional but we can possess many different ways of expressing ourselves.
Cath Anne: : [00:16:50] No I think it’s very interesting because you get you do often see so much kind of people are challenged by social media. Yes in certain ways. But I think if you look at it in the way you just described as a tool to be used to express creativity and different facets of your personality it can be really helpful.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:17:12] Definitely.
Cath Anne: : [00:17:12] So great conversation.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:17:17] Absolutely. I could go on about that for hours- my paper I think was like 30 pages long I’m like, Dellara Gorjian: , don’t go on. Don’t go on about the paper. I always have to hold myself back because it’s just such a fascinating concept and topic.
Cath Anne: : [00:17:32] It is. It’s been coming up a lot lately, so I find it is an interesting kind of ongoing dialogue.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:17:41] Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s also paired with this moment in time right now where I think people are more self reflective than we’ve ever been kind of as a generation and questioning the things that we do and why we do them. Sometimes I’ll watch TV like from the 2000s and I’ll and I’ll just think like how, how did we not question this? Like this is so unrealistic and silly and like hyperbolic, I don’t know. And now everything is a lot more, I think we’re kind of gaining this desire to reach a point of authenticity, more and more we see that kind of on the social media movements as well as just you know the way that we interact in society. People are searching for more and more authenticity in a world that is you know pushes us to kind of go in the opposite direction.
Cath Anne: : [00:18:36] Absolutely. Yes. So we’re in a neat we’re in an interesting moment right. Sure. Definitely. So I guess just to switch gears a little bit. So you’re in law school right now. Yeah. And I know you did quite well on the set. Yeah. So I think it would be great if you could share any tips or suggestions for people who would want to pursue law as a degree. All right. Here and how you would go about studying for the SAT. Yes. Any information you’d like to impart would be great.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:19:16] Definitely I would love to talk about that. In my personal experience I was someone who I knew I wanted to go to UCLA and because again I was I was very gung ho on their entertainment law program. I knew that it was a very difficult school to get into. And I also knew that my GPA wasn’t necessarily in there you know high percentiles as far as being a perfect candidate. Typically you know they require like a 3 8 and above and I think my GPA was closer to a 3 5 or 3 6. And so I knew that the l sat is where I really had to shine because in the law school context your admission is very heavily weighed on your LSAT score I would argue probably 70 percent I would say 20 percent probably is based on your GPA and your undergrad and then 10 percent is going to be what is coined as your socks which is you know your experience and work as well as extracurricular activities in school and I did have a debate. But again I didn’t really have a lot of. Wait because it was lumped in that 10 percent category. So I knew I had to do whatever it took to get the highest LSAT score to make myself competitive with those really highly achieving students in college. And mind you in that 10 percent is also which undergrad institution you’re coming from. So you will be more favorably considered coming from an Ivy League vs. a smaller you know local or state school. So I also had that factor working against me as well but I knew I had to really figure out how to get the highest LSAT score I possibly could in order to love like put me on that playing field right. And even my GPA wasn’t something that was consistent through college. Again because in the beginning I was still involved in music and I just wasn’t like very academically oriented it was really debate that got me in that frame of mind. And over time I even repeated some of my classes that I had been taking when I was pursuing music that I wasn’t you know putting I wasn’t doing my homework I wasn’t. I had the analytical ability but I just wasn’t disciplined at all. I would just not care. And that put a strain on my GPA. But what I what I want to say you know to the people who are interested in pursuing law school that are listening to this is that there’s always kind of a way that you can recalibrate and figure out a strategy to get to where you need to be because I- I… Some people I’ve really found through my conversations with prospective law students is that they feel like that there’s only a limited amount of schools that they could get in to based off of their GPA or what they think that they can achieve on the LSAT realistically. And I really believe that anything is possible and where there’s a will there’s a way and it’s just about taking effective strategy. So in regards to the ls that what really changed the game for me I think when I took my diagnostic and a diagnostic means the first time you ever take the L sat without any knowledge of how the exam works I THINK I GOT SOMETHING I THINK I GOT LIKE A fifty nine or something and maybe even lower mean like a between a 155 and 159 and where I wanted to be was a 170 minimum and that’s a very big jump in terms of the l sat because on average people don’t increase their score by more than seven to 10 points so I knew that it was going to be quite the challenge. And I initially had taken a LSAT Course to begin learning the foundational strategies and I had I had taken blueprint and I and I had a really good experience because they communicated the information in a way that was very digestible and like made it fun and incorporated jokes and stuff. I did the online program a lot of people I knew did the in person one but I just I appreciated the online program because if there were things that went too fast I could slow down and if there were things that I felt like I understood I didn’t have to hone in on and waste my time essentially at your own pace.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:23:50] Yeah and I did find an increase an increase in my score but just not at all where I think I was still scoring in the low and 60s and I just didn’t. I was taking the l sat over and I was studying really hard but I just wasn’t seeing a difference in my score and if I was it was either an increased by one to two points or a decrease in one to two points I couldn’t find a consistent incline which was very frustrating and what I think really changed the game for me and what I recommend to everyone and it’s not like a plug or anything because I don’t even have a affiliation with them.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:24:25] [00:24:25]But the company seven sage came up with this studying method called blind review [5.0s] and the way that it were and it’s something that I took notice of because I would spend a lot of times on like the top law school forums which have a unique reputation for being like a little bit like elitist and people like cry like scores that would get them to NYU and these like very highly ranked schools but. But I know I thought it was really important to be able to understand the lingo and the strategies that these really high performing students were taking. And at the end of the day it’s an online forum so you can essentially just lurk. You don’t have to engage with what’s going on. But so the blind review method is a unique method and taking the exam and what students typically do is they’ll take the practice elsewhere which is a four hour exam and then right after the exam they will check their score and that is essentially the biggest waste of time of your four hours that you just spent taking that exam because all you’re doing is you’re giving yourself a pat on the back for the questions that you got. Right. And then you’re bombing yourself out about the questions that you got wrong.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:25:41] And you’re not actually learning anything from that process.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:25:44] You think you are you’re like OK now I know to do this next time but you aren’t internalizing it the way that the blind review method works is that you when you eat when you’re taking your practice else out you’re taking it in time conditions which is I believe four hours and 30 minutes or twenty five minutes and while you’re taking it in time conditions you circle the questions that you don’t feel 100 percent certainty about.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:26:10] Yes. And it doesn’t take much time to do it you just if you don’t feel 100 percent sure you just circle it and then you move on. And when I say 100 percent certainty I mean not ninety nine percent not nine point nine percent 100 percent certainty that you have that you’ve got the right answer. If you don’t have that feeling you circled the question and then you move on. And what that means it’s not just that you have 100 percent certainty that that answer is right but also 100 percent certainty that the other four answer choices are wrong because there’s five answer choices for every question and the reason why the when the line review method advocates for this is because there’s two ways to get to the right answer on LSAT. And one is immediately knowing you know the right answer but two is soundly eliminating four incorrect answers and having a reason why it’s incorrect because I have found that through my experience LSAT a lot of the times they write five correct answers and then we’ll tweak four of the answers to make them wrong. So it really looks like you’re looking at five correct answers and you just have to figure out how. Yes. Which can be very challenging but once you implement this method what you’ll realize is that through almost muscle memory in your head you’ll very much easily be able to identify what the right and wrong answers are. OK. So kind of going back. So you’re circling the questions that you’re not 100 percent certain about. Yes. And then once the exam is over you do not check your answers. What you do is you go back in on time conditions with all the time in the world you go to those answers those questions that you circled and then you take your time and get to the right answer with 100 percent certainty. So you’ll either keep the same answer that you eat that you input it during time conditions or you’ll change it based off of you know grappling with it and what that looks like is talking about the question out loud talking about the question with other people reading or you know looking at your textbooks and seeing like how do you get to the right answer in this type of a question. Yeah for some. Sometimes in the blind review post test period when I would go to those circled questions it would take a minute for me to get to the right answer and sometimes it would take 30 minutes sometimes they would take an hour just on one question. Right. But grappling with the question and really listening to your mind and the way that you’re getting to the right answer through your reasoning is where all of the learning takes place and attend the return. Absolutely. Absolutely. And so what you do at that point once you’ve gone through all the circled questions Seventh Age actually has this really useful website where you can input all of your original answers and then you input all of your blind review answers.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:29:09] So that is with untimely conditions I actually highly recommend this because what it does is once you’re finished and you press submit you get your time condition score and then you get your blind review score. The difference between those two scores is your room for improvement in that moment because what it indicates is for those questions that even in the blind review method that you got wrong that’s an opportunity to learn. That’s an author. Exactly. And what it also does really conveniently is seven sage organizes the types of questions that you’re getting wrong most often. And what I would add because there’s about 15 to 20 different types of questions for like logical religion reasoning portion of Elsa. So for instance if I notice that I was getting a disproportionately amount wrong for must be true questions what I would do before I took my next practice else that is I would drill must be true questions and only must be true questions and that’s something that you can buy or that is provided through your company that you’re using to prepare for the exam but you’re essentially like it’s like it’s like going to a fight it’s like you’re boxing and then losing and then realizing that you lost because of your uppercut and then going and practicing your uppercut until it’s. Perfect. And that way when you take your next exam then it will show what’s the next weak spot for you now that that is taken care of that weakness is taken care of. So essentially repeating this process over and over again where I was doing the blind review and then seeing what type of answers I was getting wrong in particular drilling that type of question until I was getting no questions wrong on that category of question and then take him and next else that I noticed my score going up and up and up and up and I noticed it was consistent there. There were and I and I were the people that I have recommended this method to have told me the exact same thing and you’re taking luck out of the equation because there is never not a right answer on an exact question. I mean that out the out the law school admissions committee spends a lot of time and resources to very carefully craft these questions you have to trust. There is a right answer and it’s there’s a reason why it’s the right answer. And when you practice identifying that reason over time you’ll realize that the time constraint is the kind of the only thing that’s holding you back and you just need to improve timing. You just seen it once you get your accuracy right then you are able to invest the appropriate resources in getting your timing faster so that you’re getting correct answers within your allotted period of time. So pretty much it identifies like whether you have a lack of understanding with the concept or if the issue is the constraint of time and that’s what the blind review method really highlights. But it also allows you to really engage with the question and be mindful of your thought process when getting to your answer so that that whole.
[00:32:22] There’s also like articles on it so I highly recommend people do you know to do their own research and read why it’s so effective. But I can definitely contest that it was extremely effective for me and I ultimately got the score that I wanted and it’s so important because one point on your l sat can literally be the difference between getting into a school or not and it can also be the difference between getting a scholarship or not.
[00:32:48] It could be the difference between getting a small scholarship versus a full ride and that’s the reason why it’s such an important investment of time and money to make sure that you can are achieving the highest LSD score that you can possibly get a part of me kind of wanted to wait one more year and just keep implementing this method until I got like a one seventy nine and just gone to Harvard or something. But I but I knew that that’s not that wasn’t my goal my goal was to stay in Los Angeles and to and to go to UCLA because of their program.
[00:33:23] So that’s just something that I think is hugely beneficial. It was for me and I and I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t be for anyone who is prospectively taking the exam.
Cath Anne: : [00:33:33] [00:33:33]That is very helpful and something that I’ve drawn from what you kind of like the theme I would say that I’m hearing from you throughout this conversation is yours. You’re suggesting that we should take a luck off the table. Yeah. Just said a bit earlier and you are doing the hard work. Mm hmm. You’re taking the time you’re investing the resources. Yeah. You’re coming out strong the other side. [25.8s]
Dellara Gorjian: [00:34:00] [00:34:00]Absolutely. And kind of to that point. A huge thing that kind of affects people on the outside is their confidence while they’re taking the exam they get a lot of nerves and putting in this work. What was really helpful for me is while I was taking the exam and sometimes I had experienced moments of anxiety or confusion is I put in the work like I know I’m prepared to do this. So there’s no reason to doubt myself right now. A huge part of doing well on the LSAT is having that confidence. And so whatever you can do to build that confidence up is very important and you just have to trust that you put in the work to be prepared to do to perform well on your exam. [39.5s]
Cath Anne: : [00:34:41] Absolutely. I love. And you it’s clear that you value your time.
Cath Anne: : [00:34:48] Yeah. You’ve everyone I know I find.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:34:53] It’s the most important and valuable resource that the world can offer us. The one thing you can’t buy is time. So it’s so important to be efficient and work smarter than working harder.
Cath Anne: : [00:35:07] Definitely I 100 percent agree. Yeah.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:35:10] Definitely. And yeah. And then you know other things. I was kind of very neurotic about my LSD experience. I would kind of try to control every variable that could affect me. So I was you know not eating certain foods. I was meditating a lot more because I read that meditation is something that really improves test scores. So I was implementing 20 minutes of meditation a day. I was just doing whatever I possibly it was in my control and in my power to get to that place that I wanted to be. And maybe some of them were effective and some of them more in but at least I was trying and like figuring out what those variables were. So that’s what I would recommend. And also don’t study for more than the amount of time that it takes to take the exam. Sometimes he believes that’s a good yeah.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:35:59] People sometimes study for like eight hours for a day for what will be a four hour exam and you are experience you are putting yourself at risk for burnout which is a very real thing. And you only need to have enough stamina for the length of time that your exam will be. And the way that we learn is actually very much based on primacy and recency. So we learn we retain a lot of the beginning of a piece of information and the end of it. But the middle is what gets hazy. So if you’re studying for eight hours straight you actually can gain more surface area on what you need to learn. If you take frequent breaks and don’t have it accumulate to more than in this in this instance for hours but be consistent every day really necessary.
Cath Anne: : [00:36:51] [00:36:51]Yeah. So in terms of your study strategies this is something that we talk a lot about on our Web site and on our YouTube channel. How do you break up your study. [11.7s]
[00:37:04] Like do you have a method that you use for studying in particular or in terms of the LSD or.
[00:37:13] Yeah or just injured in general. I know that like you just mentioned. Yeah or more motivated or your.
[00:37:19] Well I’ll tell you. Oh yeah I’ll tell you my method for the Elsa is what I would do is I would typically take. I knew I was taking the exam in the morning.
[00:37:31] And another variable I wanted to control was taking the exam at the exact same time I would be taking it in the real condition. So I would I would take the exam from 8:00 a.m. to let’s say 12:00 p.m. And then again not checking your scores after what I would do then is I would take a break. I would go eat. I would work out go to lunch hang out take a like remove myself from the exam so that when I came back to do the blind review I had a fresh set of eyes. I was able to think about the questions in a different way that I maybe wouldn’t have if I were to you know review immediately after. So. So after you know taking a break sometimes it was an hour sometimes it was a few I would go back and spend another couple hours or however long it took two to get through blind review. Sometimes I would even break it up in two sessions and then and then I would try to at the end of the day score my exam and figure out where my weak spots and where my strong spots were and then and then I didn’t take exams every day and I don’t recommend that what I would do the next day is I would drill for like a couple hours I would drill the questions that I was weak in and then I would either do like a one to two day period of specifically focusing on those weak points and then a few days later is when I would take the next exam and then repeat the process. I also was working during the time that I was studying for the exam so I would just stay at the office sometimes and study there.
Cath Anne: : [00:39:06] That’s what I was just going to ask you. So it sounds like the LSAT is extremely intensive.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:39:10] It’s a full time job.
Cath Anne: : [00:39:12] Yeah definitely.
Cath Anne: : [00:39:15] So how did you how did you manage that like working and studying and drilling?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:39:20] Yeah so social life was not very at the forefront during this time and everyone kind of knew it and I let the people close to me know that I was in this process of you know getting to this place and everyone was very understanding about it.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:39:36] You know there were a couple I would have maybe one day a week where I would you know go out or go to a party or a birthday or you know allow myself to celebrate and enjoy my life.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:39:50] But generally it was a pretty it was definitely a period in my life where I was the most disciplined I think I ever have been.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:39:59] And.. But the thing is because of the blind review method it wasn’t like dreadful for me and I was just so excited like OK. Today’s going to be the day that I get my score up one point and I was excited to learn and to like to get to that place of you know 100 percent accuracy on a section of the exam.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:40:22] And so it was like I was excited to study the next day. I made it kind of like a game for myself.
Cath Anne: : [00:40:28] You had this like built in like intrinsic motivation.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:40:31] Yes.
Cath Anne: : [00:40:32] To improve your score. Interesting.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:40:34] Yes. Definitely [00:40:35]and I think what was really helpful for me also was again those like forums that I would lurk on and like see how other people were managing you know their scores and what strategies they were taking. And like sometimes engaging in the discussion and being able to relate to people that were going through the same thing I was and like joking about it or you know talking about certain questions and what we thought of it. That was also really helpful for me to make light of the situation.
Cath Anne: : [00:41:08] Sure it always helps to have community around in some form or another in the throes of times of life.
Cath Anne: : [00:41:20] So in terms of do you have any short term or long term goals that you’re working on?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:41:27] Yeah I have I… my long term goals are always evolving and that kind of goes back to the beginning of our conversation where you don’t know for sure where you’re gonna be five years from now. I may not be practicing law at all and instead using Yale Law School as a foundational basis for you know business ventures that I am interested in and being able again to employ that multi-dimensional aspect of who I am as opposed to doing kind of one thing for the rest of my life. But a lot of that is you know through my experiences now in achieving my short term goals it kind of shapes what my long term goals look like and I and I and I try not to be super strict with myself and be open to you know a different path or a different outcome. As far as short term goals you know performing well on my last year of law school and really making the most of it something I noticed in myself in this my second year of law school as I began taking it for granted I wouldn’t spend as much time on campus I would get more classes you know and the faculty is so incredible at UCLA so I really was doing myself a disservice and it kind of just goes back to like there is this point in my life that all I wanted was to go to UCLA Law like I would give anything I was so like oh like a dream come true to study law at UCLA and like I’m in I’m in the middle of it I’m in the middle of my second year and I’m just like blowing it off and I’m just like it’s no big deal like oh I’ll just go to class tomorrow and I really just want to pay kind of Marge to that time in my life where I really wanted to be here and therefore to extract my time here and to really make the most of it and take advantage of the resources that I am privy to. And you know getting creating deeper relationships with my professors and other students at school. That’s a definitely a goal of mine to really like extract the most I can out of this next and last year of my law school experience and then the bar which will be a whole other beast right after graduating.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:44:00] And yeah I mean that you know and then some shorter ones in between. I think it’s really important to have goals for the week and the month and the year and short and long are relative terms. But what I can say is that you know even setting goals for yourself is a feat in itself and something that can really help with you know feeling like you are fulfilling your purpose and actualizing your potential.
Cath Anne: : [00:44:33] No I love that. I think you’re so right in it. I like what you say about goals. Goals are setting goals are is a feat in itself.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:44:42] Absolutely. It’s hard!
Cath Anne: : [00:44:46] It’s an investment in yourself for sure.
Cath Anne: : [00:44:49] Absolutely and doing the things each day to work towards goals. That’s another piece. Yes. Yeah I appreciate you saying that.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:44:57] Which is much easier said than done. But as long as you’re as long as some steps are being taken. People need to realize that there’s people who are taking no steps and that you have to and you have to reward yourself and remind yourself of the things you have accomplished instead of honing in on the things you have not.
Cath Anne: : [00:45:15] You haven’t. Absolutely. Hundred percent. We’re naturally drawn to the negative sometimes so I think that’s a really good thing to remember that we do have to… We’re motivated by reward as well. So right. It is important to celebrate those little victories that you have no matter how small.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:45:34] Yeah absolutely.
Cath Anne: : [00:45:36] And I also really just kind of wanted to sum up about what you said about capturing that moment where you are right now I know there are… I don’t think you’re alone. Where do you know you kind of end up taking life experiences for granted so I really enjoy that idea of just kind of being mindful of where you are and fostering those relationships. Like you said.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:46:00] Definitely. Yeah.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:46:02] And I know that you know on your show you ask what your favorite quote is. And yeah mine actually really kind of highlights this idea and what it says is.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:46:17] It starts like this. It says now let me get this straight.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:46:20] You want the things that you don’t yet have, people in your life who you don’t yet know, and events to take place that haven’t yet occurred. So that once these things come to pass you’ll feel happy, confident and fulfilled, accomplish, desired and appreciated, treasured, adored. And like a beautiful sight to see. But wasn’t that your rationale for all of the other stuff you wanted that you now have? Green light. And it’s so true. It’s you know we don’t realize we were so quick to, you know once we get the things that we wanted for so long to be like “Okay what’s next?” But for so long you believed that once you got that you’d be happy. And so why not be happy that you that you got it!
Dellara Gorjian: [00:47:07] And you can simultaneously be happy for what you have while still wanting more for yourself but…
Cath Anne: : [00:47:12] Absolutely.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:47:12] But it’s really important to give yourself credit for the things that you’ve accomplished that, that you know you wanted for a long time.
Cath Anne: : [00:47:22] It’s so very true and I’ve been seeing like a shortened version of the quote that you just said floating around.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:47:27] Oh yeah?
Cath Anne: : [00:47:29] Yeah! It’s been coming up just on my Instagram and various places on the internet. Just in essence, I don’t know the quote offhand exactly but in essence it’s just be grateful for what you have now. because you wished for those things so long ago.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:47:47] Totally.
Cath Anne: : [00:47:47] I think that’s such an important thing to bear in mind.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:47:52] Absolutely. Definitely.
Cath Anne: : [00:47:53] I love that quotation though. How beautiful.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:47:57] Yeah it was. It really- it really opened my eyes for sure.
Cath Anne: : [00:48:01] And resonated. So this has been such a great interview, Dellara. Thank you so much for imparting such valuable knowledge.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:48:12] Oh my God. Thank you so much for having me.
Cath Anne: : [00:48:14] I know it’s going to be so beneficial for our listeners and anyone who hears it.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:48:21] I hope so.
Cath Anne: : [00:48:22] So just to kind of wrap things up, we’ve talked about a lot, but if you could give a piece of advice to someone entering law school or even just someone going to college for the first time.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:48:35] Yeah.
Cath Anne: : [00:48:35] What type of advice would you give?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:48:39] That is a great question. I think- I think my advice would just be kind of going back to what we were saying earlier to trust the process and that while some things may appear as a failure in you know the immediate environment, that you have no idea what that failure is representative of and where it’s taking you. Potentially one week, one month, one year from now and you won’t be able to recognize it until you are looking back in 20/20 hindsight. But to embrace those the challenges and realize that every challenge that you’re facing is just making you more. And yeah it kind of goes back to another one of my favorite quotes that everything makes you more. Every-
Cath Anne: : [00:49:35] Oh I like that.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:49:36] Yeah I love it so much and I think it sounds so beautiful too. But every good thing and every bad thing it just makes you more of a person and who you are and every experience just adds to who you are. So that’s my advice.
Cath Anne: : [00:49:49] I love that it’s so simple and everything makes me more.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:49:55] I might change my Instagram bio to that.
Cath Anne: : [00:49:59] You should! I love it. Its perfect.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:50:00] Definitely.
Cath Anne: : [00:50:02] It definitely summarizes your story.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:50:06] Wow thank you. That’s such a compliment.
Cath Anne: : [00:50:07] Oh you’re welcome. I’ve just enjoyed hearing all of your stories and your experience is incredible.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:50:16] Thank you so much. Thanks for listening.
Cath Anne: : [00:50:18] Oh thank you for sharing. It’s been my pleasure. I’m really excited to see how things go for you.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:50:27] Thank you. I’ll keep you updated in the loop and-
Cath Anne: : [00:50:31] Yes please do. Yeah.
Dellara Gorjian: [00:50:34] And you know if any of your viewers have any more specific questions I am super happy to answer them.
Cath Anne: : [00:50:43] That’s so wonderful of you. Thank you so much. And how could they get in touch with you?
Dellara Gorjian: [00:50:47] Instagram is a great way to get in touch. My handle is just my first name, Dellara Gorjian. So it’s pretty easy to find me.
Cath Anne: : [00:50:56] Perfect. Thanks again for joining us. And I look forward to keeping in touch .
Dellara Gorjian: [00:51:02] Definitely.
Cath Anne: : [00:51:02] Thanks again thanks Dellara.
Cath Anne: : [00:51:08] Thank you guys so much for joining me on this episode of the student influencers podcast. Check out other episodes of the series on your favorite audio streaming platform. And hey if you’re looking for study tips help with essay writing or advice on how to be a better student. Watch The Homework Help Show on YouTube and find us on social media by searching Homework Help Global. Talk soon guys and take care.Share: