Rachael Senatore entered Hofstra Law with a B.A. in English and American literature and an M.B.A. in finance from Hofstra University.
The Sparta, New Jersey, native is an accomplished athlete: As the center fielder, leadoff batter and team captain for Hofstra’s Division I softball team, she was named Hofstra’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Academic All-America Scholar-Athlete, and a two-time First Team NFCA Regional All-American.
She also served as chair of Hofstra’s It’s On Us program, a national campaign to promote campus sexual assault awareness and intervention.
She sees a J.D. as the perfect complement to her M.B.A. and looks forward to pursuing a career that allows her to combine her interest in finance and law.
Why did you want to go to law school?
For most of my young-adult life, I was convinced I wanted to go to law school but didn’t know why. I just knew that I’m extremely competitive, I want to be as qualified as possible, and I have a very strong passion for learning. During my M.B.A., I lived in a shared space with other law students. Whenever I was near one of their study groups, I couldn’t focus on my own work because I was fascinated by what they were studying. As I completed my capstone, I realized how important legal context is to the financial industry as a whole and knew law school would put me in the best position to acquire a comprehensive understanding.
How did you first become interested in studying bankruptcy?
During my M.B.A., I began to follow the Baha Mar project because of a family business connection. The political maneuvering and legal aspects were fascinating to me, but my finance education only answered half of the questions I had. I look forward to seeing my education in finance work hand in hand with law school, bankruptcy especially.
What’s the best piece of advice you received about succeeding in law school?
So far, being diligent about doing readings and assignments ahead of time has been the most effective advice for me. I think being in control of my timeline has put me in a position to succeed. I don’t think you can lead a race by chasing a deadline.
What’s your favorite thing to do on campus?
One of my favorite things to do on campus is watch Hofstra Softball games from the berm in center field. The experiences I had on that field really guided me to where I am today, and I enjoy seeing other student-athletes experience the same thing. Besides that, I love to walk the campus and find hidden, little gardens. Someone told me once that Hofstra’s campus is like Narnia. That’s the perfect way to describe it.
What do you like to do when you are not studying?
I am and have always been a huge sports fan. I rarely turn down watching a Yankees game! I also love the outdoors, so when I have time, I enjoy exploring hiking and biking trails with my husky.
How do you think playing college sports prepared you for law school?
College sports teach you so many absolutely necessary skills, like time management, diligence and prioritizing. But Hofstra softball, specifically, prepared me with a slightly different skillset. I learned how to outwork the system. I learned that you can always push yourself further than you thought you could go. I learned how important consistent, objective evaluation of your performance is. But most importantly, Hofstra softball taught me that the only standard that matters is the standard I hold myself to and that should always be the highest standard.
What’s your favorite class so far?
Criminal Law with Professor Barron.
What has been your biggest adjustment in law school?
During my previous athletic and academic experiences, there has always been a very clear barometer with which I could analyze my performance. These were very objective evaluations in my opinion: consistently receiving grades on assignments and tests, and seeing where you stand against your teammates and opponents every day. As a very competitive person, these self-evaluations pushed me. So far in law school, evaluating your own performance is very subjective, and you are doing so essentially without a benchmark. It has been a difficult adjustment for me to just “do the best I can” without really knowing how well I’m doing. I’m learning a lot about myself and am enjoying the process.
Why did you choose Hofstra Law?
After attending Hofstra for my B.A. and M.B.A., I have come to know and love the campus and the resources. I also have experienced firsthand the willingness and sincerity of the supporting staff. When I decided to attend law school and learned about the outstanding resources, prominent alumni base and expert faculty of Hofstra Law, I knew I wanted to continue to be part of the Hofstra family.
What class, student organization or activity are you most excited to participate in?
More than anything, I am looking forward to taking class with Professor Resnick. Being able to learn from someone with so much experience and expertise is an incredible opportunity to have and one that I plan on taking full advantage of.
Do you know what you want to do after law school?
There is so much to learn about law and career options, so I am keeping an open mind as much as possible. But I would love to be in the position to utilize my finance degree as much as possible and maybe work with a professional sports team.