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Appalachian alumnus scores a perfect 180 on law school admissions test

BOONE—Christian Kucab of Raleigh has always wanted to be a lawyer. His meticulous approach to reaching that goal is paying off. Kucab scored a perfect 180 on the law school admissions test (LSAT). That accomplishment, one achieved only by about 25 out of 125,000 LSAT test takers nationally, was the result of hours of practice preparing for the rigorous exam, he said.  

Kucab graduated in May 2008 with a BS degree in political science with a concentration in pre-professional legal studies from Appalachian State University’s Department of Political Science/Criminal Justice, now the Department of Government and Justice Studies.

“Many people practice a lot before taking the test,” Kucab said. Practice and his ability to do well on tests served him well. “It’s really stressful. You have to remain calm and get in a zone,” he said about the timed test. Kucab spent weeks studying and taking practice tests before taking the LSAT in December. “It takes a lot of discipline and self study to prepare for the test,” he said.

Kucab said classes he took from now retired professor Ron Stidham helped maintain his interest in pursuing a law degree. “He reinforced my feelings about law. I really enjoyed his classes,” Kucab said. Courses in the department that emphasized legal research also were beneficial, he added.

While a student, Kucab was a member Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, which he said gave him the chance to interact with other students who were interested in careers in the legal profession.

A summer internship with the Boone law firm DiSanti Watson Capua & Wilson gave Kucab experience that helped him land a full-time job with a law firm in Raleigh while he awaits admission to law school.

Some 25-30 students graduate each year from Appalachian’s Department of Government and Justice Studies with a concentration in pre-professional legal studies. The concentration includes 30 semester hours outside the departmental offerings in courses such as business law, accounting, criminal justice, business writing, logic and communication law. An internship, while not required, is strongly encouraged.

Degrees in business, English, history, and philosophy and religion are also stepping-stones to law school for many Appalachian graduates. “The rigor of those fields, and their emphasis on writing and analysis provide the skills needed to pursue a law degree,” said Kathleen Simon, an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Government and Justice Studies.

The American Bar Association does not recommend any one major as a path to law school. It does recommend that students choose an academic major that will help them develop communication, analytical, research and writing skills, and provide opportunities to develop interpersonal and leadership skills.

Kucab’s sights are set on attending law school at Duke University, Harvard University or Columbia University. “My LSAT score dramatically increases my options for law school,” he said.  He hopes to hear from his top choices, as well as others, by April.  His ultimate goal is to work in government.
Kucab is a graduate of Raleigh Charter High School and is the son of Bob and Ruth Kucab of Raleigh.