Although Ann K. Levine graduated from Miami Law 13 years ago, getting into law school is still her top priority. Author of "The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert," and founder of her own consulting firm, Levine has guided more than 2,000 students around the country through the often daunting process of applying to law school.
Her popular Law School Expert blog, which describes her as the "secret weapon of law school applicants nationwide," attracts almost 100,000 readers each year.
Levine was both student and leader at Miami Law, from which she graduated magna cum laude in 1999 after obtaining a B.A. from the University of Miami three years earlier. A member of the Society of Bar and Gavel and the Order of the Coif, she was tapped into Iron Arrow, the university's most prestigious honor society. Levine was editor-in-chief of Amicus Curiae and wrote for the Inter-American Law Review. One of her favorite memories of law school was running orientation sessions for new students, a harbinger of her future career.
Although Levine spent summers at big firms, she quickly realized she wanted something different. She moved to Denver and got a job in higher education. She was Director of Student Services at the University of Denver College of Law before becoming an admissions director, first for the California Western School of Law and then at Loyola Law School. "It was a natural jump for me," she recalled. "Working for law schools and encouraging other people to go to law school was a great fit."
Levine's husband is also a lawyer, and in 2002 his job took them both to Santa Barbara, Calif. Since there was no ABA law school nearby, Levine practiced at a boutique litigation firm before having her first child, and found herself at a crossroads. She thought about what she loved to do – help people – and in 2004 she created the consulting firm Law School Expert. "I knew nothing about starting a business," she admitted.
Years later, Levine's advice is de rigeur for law school applicants nationwide. Her first book was number 1 on Amazon's Bestsellers list of law-school guides. A second book is titled "The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers."
Spending time with her husband and two daughters is Levine's favorite pastime, but she dedicates much of her energy to protecting individual rights, and is a board member of the Anti-Defamation League. "This feeds the part of me that is not practicing law," she said. "I am still involved and contributing to the civil rights issues I've always been passionate about."