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Leaving YLS

A.L., 3L

I am panicking.  My final semester at Yale Law is about to begin. After finishing up my remaining credits and writing that final paper next semester, I am to be released into a foreign realm known as “The Real World.”  In this Real World, I am expected to take (and pass) the Bar.  I must leave behind New Haven and all of the friends and memories that I have made here, and I am expected to work a full-time job.  The horror.  

It is not that I feel under prepared to start my life after YLS.  In fact, the past three years have thoroughly readied me for my future career(s) in the law, or anything else that I might choose. When choosing YLS, there are certain factors that people take into account: small size, world-renowned faculty, the student body’s unmatched caliber, and of course the clinical opportunities; our enrolling students take these into account for a reason.  Without a doubt, such an unrivaled rigorous academic experience primes you for the world beyond law school.

The problem, therefore, is not fear of failure.  The problem is simply this: it is hard to imagine a better life than that at Yale Law School.  When else am I going to be surrounded by as many interesting, bright, and passionate individuals?  Will I ever again be able to spend my time taking fascinating and challenging classes on such a diverse array of topics?  Where else will I have unlimited access to such great scholarly minds as the YLS faculty?  I am troubled by my inability to answer these questions.

This panic set in last weekend at the annual Yale/Harvard football match-up, known simply as “The Game.”  As I spent the weekend in Cambridge adorned in Yale memorabilia and celebrating the school where I have spent the past 2.5 years, it dawned on me how much I am going to miss YLS.  I am going to miss the camaraderie.  I am going to miss the endless and impassioned conversations about everything from politics to literature and sports to music (oh, and the law, of course).  I am going to miss lounging in the YLS courtyard on those beautiful spring days.  I hope that one day I will find a place as wonderful as YLS, but I remain unconvinced.