(WAFB) - Allen Hernandez has a difficult choice to make. The St. Amant High ('12) and Princeton University ('16) alumnus was recently accepted to every law school where he applied.
The list includes nine of the most prestigious law schools in the country: Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Duke, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and University of California – Berkeley.
Hernandez was offered merit-based full rides to Columbia, Duke, and the University of Chicago.
The accomplishment is nothing short of incredible, especially for a first-generation college student from rural Louisiana.
"It's cool to me that I've been taken on this journey that you couldn't have convinced me would have happened to me, even when I was 17," Hernandez said.
The 24-year-old was raised in St. Amant by his father, John, who works at the Rubicon plant in Geismar, and mother, Windy, who stayed home to raise four children (older sister, Lauren, and his triplet brothers, Daniel & Collin). Hernandez said a modest upbringing should never discourage students from following their dreams.
"We had a good experience in Ascension Parish Public Schools, and I always felt like I was getting a great public education," he said. "Undergraduate admissions are very holistic in the sense that they want to know your whole story and where you come from and what you can contribute, and that doesn't mean you have to have a perfect ACT, a perfect GPA, and recommendations from five Senators. You just have to be able to craft your story and say what you think you can contribute, and that opens more doors than you can possibly imagine."
The St. Amant Gator said he's leaning toward accepting a spot at Yale, which is considered the best law school in America. In 2017, the school admitted 240 of 2,938 applicants, and only 9% are first-generation college students.
Notable Yale alumni include two U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford), three current Supreme Court justices (Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor), and nine U.S. Attorneys General. Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne was also famously revealed to be a Yale Bulldog.
Hernandez said he hasn't decided on a specific career path, but he ultimately wants to work in public interest or government and politics. Since graduating Princeton he's worked at a corporate law firm in New York City with over 900 attorneys.
After law school he plans to apply for a coveted clerk position at the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
"I want to return home in a meaningful way," he explained.
Of the 1,250 students in his graduating class at Princeton, only four were from Louisiana.