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Student Perspectives: Thoughts on Life and Law at Yale Law School

May 6, 2014

May the Law Be Ever in Your Favor

Prom may seem like a distant high school memory, but most law schools have an annual prom-like formal dance. Yale’s is actually planned as a fundraiser by the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale, a student-run non-profit organization which funds public-interest fellowships for law students applying from all over the country.
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April 30, 2014

Loving the Law Library

 A law student’s typical day includes class, coffee, and reading. And, if you’re like the majority of YLS students, your day also involves a trip to the library. And while some might equate “law library” with a musty, dark space filled with dense casebooks, time spent at the Lillian B. Goldman Law Library is a treat for Yale students.
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March 13, 2014

Legal Realism: Keeping It Real in Law School

When you spend the days arguing and counter-arguing intellectual minutiae of legal theory, losing touch with reality becomes far too easy. Lest we all become out-of-touch lawyers, here are a few tips to keep your mind grounded.
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February 24, 2014

Making the Most of Housing in New Haven

So you’re coming to Yale. Now let’s find a place to live.

I remember that finding housing was one of the most stressful parts of getting ready to come to law school, so the purpose of this post is to help provide as much information as I know as clearly as possible. I’ve only been here for one semester, so there is a lot I don’t know. This is not meant to be totally comprehensive. But it will provide a good place to start.


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February 14, 2014

Why I Came Back for Three More Years

I graduated from Yale in May of 2012. By September, I knew I wanted to come back. I loved my job, but I knew that I wanted to go to law school––and, if I was lucky enough, to Yale Law School. Spending seven years at one university may seem like a bit much. (Unless you’re getting a Ph.D., of course.) So you may wonder why I was so eager to sign up for three more years here. Really, it came down to three things:
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February 3, 2014

Taking Exams the Right Way: Without Grades

During the first semester, the most important difference between Yale and other schools is grading: other schools have grades, Yale doesn’t.  In later semesters, Yale students can receive a Pass, a Low Pass, or an Honors. But for the first semester 1L classes are only graded Pass/Fail…and nobody ever fails. This system relieves a lot of stress the first term, especially around exams.
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December 9, 2013

Yale’s Box of Crayons

In the formative years of my early childhood, I was often told that that bigger is better. A bigger McDonald’s meant a better PlayPlace. A bigger box of crayons meant a better range of colors. Granted, I learned that this wasn’t always the case -- bigger clothes, for example, did not actually mean better style. But the box-of-crayons analogy stuck: you couldn’t get colors like “Blizzard Blue” or “Laser Lemon” from your 16-pack of Crayola©. Bigger usually meant more choices.
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December 2, 2013

Learning to Love the Law

Law school was not my first choice for graduate education. Like many a Yale applicant, I’d originally planned to earn a PhD and become a professor, until I was dissuaded by my discipline’s spectacularly grim employment statistics. I’d done some legal internships during college, and worked at a law firm for the year after I graduated, but up to the very first day of orientation I was worried I’d made a mistake and would hate studying law.
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November 20, 2013

The Greater Yale Community

One thing I did not fully appreciate before starting at YLS is that, in many ways, New Haven is the ideal place to be a student. Although the Law School itself is a small community, it is part of the larger community of Yale University.
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November 11, 2013

Be a Creature of Land and Sea with a YLS Joint Degree

Any law student at Yale has the option to either enroll in (and receive law degree credit) or audit classes from Yale’s other schools after the first semester. Some students, though, seek something more—a formal program that allows them to learn to the fullest extent in whatever area outside law might pique their interest.
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November 5, 2013

New Haven – A Pleasant Surprise

When I was accepted to Yale, I was thrilled. However, it would be unfair to omit that I also felt a little disappointed about moving to New Haven. Though I never seriously considered attending another school after being accepted, I moved here feeling apprehensive about going to a small city with a less-than-sterling reputation. Now that I live here, I can’t imagine being in school anywhere else.
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November 1, 2013

A Conversation with Stephen Colbert

The Dean of the Law School, Robert Post, emails the student body with a list of named lectures and events for the school year, offering students even more events to note on their calendars. A few weeks ago, he sent an updated version of this list with a very exciting and unusual addition: Stephen Colbert, of the popular and award-winning comedy show The Colbert Report.
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October 28, 2013

The Benefits of Working Before Law School

You may wonder what your non-legal experiences offer as a prospective law student. I offer three possible benefits below.
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October 22, 2013

An Alumni Weekend to Remember

At YLS, we’re fortunate to count among our alumni three sitting Supreme Court Justices, three (and soon to be four) United States Senators, and two former Presidents. We were lucky enough to have one of those former presidents – Bill Clinton – here with us for the 2013 Alumni Weekend and his 40th reunion just a few short weeks ago.
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October 17, 2013

Getting to Know Guido

I imagine that, if you’re thinking about applying to YLS, you’re already well aware that the faculty here is, to put it mildly, impressive. I’m sure you’ve scoured the website for information about their scholarship, their newsworthiness, and their close relationships with students. You’ve probably even found a few that you’d kill to work with on the faculty’s deep bench. The only thing I would want to add to all that is an explanation of how it all plays out in the classroom.
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October 14, 2013

Not Your Daddy’s (or Mommy’s) First Semester

I’m just five weeks into my first term at YLS, but so far I’m blown away by how successful the school has been at fostering a friendly, relaxed and supportive environment for the 1L class. I’m usually a bit skeptical when institutions talk about “developing a culture,” but Yale has the walk to back up its talk.
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October 7, 2013

I Still Haven’t Found What I’ve Been Looking For: One Man's Search for Chicken Soup

You’re not coming to Yale for the food. You’re coming here (ostensibly) for the legal education, the epic all-night parties, and the opportunity to go several hundred thousand dollars into debt. But everyone’s got to eat, I suppose. And after three years of stumbling around, here are a few thoughts.
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September 30, 2013

Justice Breyer Comes to Yale

Every fall, YLS hosts a Global Constitutionalism Week, during which judges serving on the highest courts from all over the world come to the law school to engage in conversations both with each other and also with law school faculty and students.
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May 17, 2013

Things I Wish I Had Known About YLS Before I Got Here

Having just completed my last law school exam, and with mere days before graduation, I’m already getting pretty nostalgic about YLS. So I thought I’d use this, my final blog post for our stellar Admissions Office, to provide a short reflection on my time at YLS. The theme is Things I Wish I Had Known About YLS Before I Got Here – something that I hope will be particularly useful to prospective students.
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April 15, 2013

Veg Life in New Haven

Most seasoned vegetarians (and vegans) are old hands at foraging for themselves in less than ideal dining situations. However, if you are an herbivore, you’ll be happy to know Yale Law School, and New Haven in general, have plenty of vegetarian options.
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April 8, 2013

The Best Thing About the YLS Curriculum: An Opportunity to Specialize Early

At Yale, we have fewer required classes than other schools. After our first semester, we’re free to specialize and have only a few other requirements to complete before graduation.
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April 1, 2013

Practical Opportunities at YLS, Continued

I would like to expand upon a couple of Student Perspectives blog posts regarding practical training at YLS. In addition to the plethora of clinics offered at the Law School, students can participate in simulated trial and courtroom situations in courses such as Trial Practice and in activities such as Mock Trial and Moot Court. In this entry, I am going to reflect on another hands-on student activity: the Pro Bono Network (PBN).
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March 18, 2013

Graduate Life at Yale

At Yale, we have a very strong graduate school community, with studies ranging from Comparative Literature to Economics to Public Health. As law students, we are part of this graduate school network, which offers many opportunities to meet other graduate students, explore a new interest, or delve deeper into a passion you may have explored before law school.
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March 10, 2013

The 1L Clinical Experience

When I was choosing between law schools, I looked primarily at their clinical offerings, and particularly their indigent defense clinics. While our clinic is just getting off the ground, Yale has something else going for it: it offers students the opportunity to get involved in clinics in the second semester of their first year.
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March 4, 2013

The Yale Visual Law Project

Law students spend much time, both inside and outside the classroom, analyzing arguments and creating their own. While most of this effort is focused on written and oral argumentation, YLS also provides students with an outlet to engage in visual advocacy, by making arguments through film with the Visual Law Project.
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February 26, 2013

Student Affairs

What do happy hours, meditation, study breaks, and March Madness all have in common? Students at YLS get to enjoy all of these activities, courtesy of our extremely active and friendly staff in the Office of Student Affairs.
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February 18, 2013

Practical Training at YLS

One of the biggest myths about Yale is that it is all theory and no practice. That could not be further from the truth.
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February 12, 2013

Library Services

Here at YLS, we are blessed to have an incredible resource in the Lillian Goldman Law Library. Always the heart of the school, the law library was the institution around which the law school was built in the nineteenth century, and it continues to be central to students today.
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February 4, 2013

Clerkships: The YLS Advantage

I won’t mince words here: the clerkship process is unpleasant. It’s maddeningly opaque, it has many of the features of an insider’s game, it’s incredibly competitive, and in the last two years the hiring plan—the last bit of order to the process—has fallen apart. At the same time, clerkships remain plum jobs after graduation.
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January 11, 2013

Beyond the Law: Student Life Outside YLS

Yale Law School is home to student organizations for just about any interest, but for those interests not within the law school’s scope, Yale at large offers everything but the sun.
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December 10, 2012

Yale Law School’s Got Talent

A soaring rendition of Brahms’s “Sonatensatz” on violin and piano. Inspiring and heartfelt performances of Fauré and Schumann. A flawless vocalization of “Can’t I Just Be” from Dimond & Kooman’s Homemade Fusion. And finally, an impromptu holiday song medley sing-along around a piano that included Mariah Carey’s famous “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
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December 5, 2012

The YLS Mystery Benefactor

By 5:45pm last Wednesday, the line stretched out of the dining hall and around the corner. A sign to the left read “FREE SUSHI provided by a generous YLS Alum.” The promise did not disappoint.
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December 3, 2012

Five Kinds of People You’ll Meet at YLS

Below is a list, drawn from my personal experience, of five kinds of people you’ll meet and love at YLS.
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November 27, 2012

The Wall

A recurring theme at YLS is community. Coming from a large state school, I was excited to become part of a more close-knit student body. But there was one aspect of the YLS community that I did not see coming: the Wall.
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November 12, 2012

Business at YLS

My professional objective is to own and run a business as a manager and entrepreneur.  I think YLS is not only a worthwhile investment—it’s also an under-rated (and surprisingly good) place to learn about business.
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November 9, 2012

Alumni Weekend

After three years now at Yale Law School, I can confidently say that Alumni Weekend is my favorite part of the fall here.
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November 1, 2012

The Small Group

My small group has been the defining feature of both my social and academic life at Yale thus far.
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October 22, 2012

O Gunner, Where Art Thou?

The most surprising thing about Yale for me thus far is the relative scarcity of gunners. 
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October 15, 2012

YLS Hoedown and Other Events You’d Never Expect in Law School

I walked into the YLS courtyard and was greeted with a bluegrass band and a loud voice booming, “Swing your partner!” Dozens of YLS students filled the courtyard for the first ever YLS Hoedown.
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October 11, 2012

Enjoying Nature in New Haven

For those of us who prefer suburbia or the country, living in a city for three years can be a little daunting. However, while New Haven will never be the countryside, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature during one’s time at YLS. 
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October 1, 2012

Black Letter Law at Yale

It’s possible to get a real legal education at YLS by taking doctrinal classes. Every semester there are at least a dozen black letter classes, which is enough to fill your schedule several times over.
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April 24, 2012

Law School Prom

In many ways, law school is like high school.

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April 10, 2012

I’ll Miss You, New Haven

Graduation. It’s approaching, quickly. This week will be the kickoff to 40 Nights, the third year class’s countdown to graduation day.
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April 2, 2012

Love

I am absolutely in love with my law school.
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March 28, 2012

Small Group Olympics

Last night, the 13 Yale Law 1L small groups waged spirited battles in pursuit of the ultimate glory: recognition as the 2012 Small Group Olympics Champions.
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March 27, 2012

Connecting to Yale University

Yale Law School is an extraordinary place.
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March 13, 2012

Corporate Law Opportunities at Yale

When people think about business and law, Yale Law School is rarely the first name that comes to mind.
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March 9, 2012

YLS Public Interest Auction

Last month, members of the YLS community put their talents on full display at the Initiative for Public Interest Law's annual Public Interest Auction.

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March 5, 2012

Moot Court and Harry Potter World

What do Moot Court and Harry Potter World possibly have to do with each other? Well, it all started last October.
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March 1, 2012

How to Write a Legal Academic Paper

My last post focused on the institutional features at Yale Law School that enable students here to get a head start on building an academic career.
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February 15, 2012

Who is the Perfect Yale Law Student?

Yale is a unique law school.
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February 13, 2012

Class Selection

Class selection at YLS is simultaneously easier and more complex than you might think.
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February 6, 2012

Exams

During family gatherings over winter break, my family always exclaims in horror when I tell them that my exams are in January.
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December 21, 2011

Leadership Early On

Most of my friends probably think I have to be going through hell right now.
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December 14, 2011

The Small Group Safety Net

At the first meeting of my small group, our professor told us to take a look around the room.
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December 13, 2011

2L Job Interviewing (a.k.a. Speed Dating for Jobs)

The summer before 2L year (and 3L year if a student so desires), law students have the exciting opportunity to participate in the Fall Interview Program.
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December 8, 2011

Free Food at YLS

Yale Law School has a secret - an absolutely delicious secret that very few law students talk about.
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December 6, 2011

The Game – Law School Style

The weekend before Thanksgiving plays host to one of the great Ivy League traditions – the Harvard-Yale game, or The Game.
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November 30, 2011

Making Choices

Yale can be an overwhelming place to attend law school sometimes.
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November 29, 2011

Need Advice?

One thing I appreciate about YLS is the emphasis students place on passing wisdom along to other students.
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November 17, 2011

Alumni Weekend 2011

Last weekend, my YLS community got a lot bigger. I spent the weekend as a Student Aide at the law school’s Alumni Weekend 2011: Human Rights in a Turbulent World.
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November 15, 2011

VAWA Reauthorization Conference

Six months ago as I was finishing an editorial about gender violence for a legal blog, a fellow classmate asked me if I planned on writing an editorial about the upcoming Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization in 2011.
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November 14, 2011

Outside Looking In

It is no secret that I am at YLS because I worked hard and attained some degree of academic success.
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November 11, 2011

The “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” Law School

When I went through the law school application process, I wrestled with many questions. Should I go to law school if I was not unequivocally committed to becoming a lawyer? Was law school for me?
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November 4, 2011

Diversity at YLS

As a student of color, I was concerned about attending a school with a small class size.
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November 2, 2011

The Clerkship Maze

Looking back on the posts on here the past few years, I was shocked to see that there wasn’t a single one on the clerkship application process.
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October 24, 2011

Back to Reality

First year is a nightmare. Workload? Oppressive. Classmates? Obsessive. Professors? Aggressive. You’ll try to keep up. You won’t. You’ll try to have a social life. Don’t.
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October 18, 2011

Pursuing a Career in Legal Academia

“Yes, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?”  At a school where this sort of joke is part of the common self-conception, it’s no surprise that interests in academia run deep.


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October 11, 2011

Housing Options for Law Students

Having recently moved to a new area of town, I’ve had my share of apartment searching in New Haven. So in this post I’m going to share with you my knowledge about the various options available to law students at Yale.
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April 13, 2011

A Dance to Make a Difference

Yale Law is an inspiring place, full of people who are already achieving spectacular things in the world – but sometimes you want to forget all that and simply have fun with the people around you.
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April 12, 2011

GPSCY

Every Monday night at 8:30, I set aside a few hours to kick back and exit the legal world.
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April 7, 2011

Trivia Night to Benefit the Global Education Fund

Last week, students from Yale Law Women and the American Constitution Society planned a school-wide Trivia Night fundraiser.
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March 29, 2011

The Laws of Icing

A few weeks ago, I had my first law teaching experience.
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March 28, 2011

Sterling Facilities

As a student at YLS, I spend a lot of time inside the beautiful Sterling Law Building.
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March 7, 2011

All Roads Lead to Yale Law School

Now that I am halfway through my time here at Yale Law School, I’ve gotten to the point where I know almost everyone in my purely law classes such as evidence and administrative law.
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March 3, 2011

Flyers and Food

A quick glance at nearly any wall of the law school confirms a general truth about YLS: there is always something happening here.
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March 1, 2011

Linked by Law: Latin America Student Exchange

This summer, I will spend four weeks in Santiago, Chile, as part of the YLS Linkages Program.
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February 21, 2011

A Professor’s Reach

Recently, I have been performing research with the intent of fulfilling one of two writing requirements.
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February 17, 2011

Double Life

I have a confession. I lead a double life.
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February 16, 2011

Talking With Tiger Mom

During the last few weeks there has been a lot of buzz around the country about Yale Law School professor Amy Chua.
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February 15, 2011

Law Reviews and Student Scholarship—Demystified

One of the main extracurricular activities of a law student is being an editor on a law review.
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February 4, 2011

Paralyzed by Choice?

At most law schools, the entire first year curriculum consists of required courses, and students are not free to choose their own classes until their second year.
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February 3, 2011

Hands-on Trial Techniques

You probably already know that YLS is a great place for legal theory, but you should also know that there are many opportunities for practical instruction at the law school.
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February 1, 2011

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to Work We Go

In late August a week or so before classes begin, a group of 2Ls dressed in suits pace the halls of the Omni Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut.
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January 25, 2011

Changes from College: Reflections on Life in New Haven

I came to law school “straight through” from my undergrad in Houston and so had to make some adjustments upon moving here. There were three things that changed the most for me: housing, food, and culture.


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December 21, 2010

Catholicism at YLS

"Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem." It's not every day you hear Latin flowing so melodiously from the mouths of thirty Yale Law students.
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December 16, 2010

Small Group Pride

Every YLS 1L has small group pride, but mine is especially justified.
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December 14, 2010

Writing Requirements: Substantial and SAW

Before graduating, all Yale Law students must complete two writing requirements, a Substantial and a Supervised Analytical Writing (SAW).
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December 7, 2010

Library Love

I've never considered myself to be much of a library person.
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December 6, 2010

Bossa Nova at the Rep

Yale Law Women is a great organization, and it offers a number of amazing resources to the entire YLS community.
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November 30, 2010

Dispelling the Myths about YLS

When I was comparing law schools as an applicant, I heard many things, good and bad, about Yale.
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November 24, 2010

Supremely Awesome: YLS at the United States Supreme Court

During the first week of October, my 1L small group traveled to Washington, D.C. to spend a day at the Supreme Court.
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November 19, 2010

Books on the Beach

I looked up from my netbook having written yet another page. I wondered what my professor would think of what I just wrote.
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November 17, 2010

Making Public Interest Work

Many people arrive at law school, particularly at Yale, with deep ideals and prior experience in the fields in which they eventually hope to work.
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November 16, 2010

Basketball at YLS

You might think that attending law school will require you to sacrifice your physical fitness in order to maximize the amount of time you spend cramming for your Contracts exam in some deep dark corner of a library.

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November 15, 2010

Thinking and Doing...Together

Having been out of undergrad for a number of years, I walked into the first day of 1L orientation feeling self-assured.
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November 9, 2010

Internationalism at YLS

Before coming to law school, I lived in Hong Kong for seven years – first as a banker, then as an investment manager, and finally as a fundraiser for an NGO.
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November 1, 2010

New Haven Cuisine

Did you know that New Haven is the home of many great food "firsts"?
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October 29, 2010

Go Bananas at YLS

Like everyone else who reads this blog, before coming to YLS, I heard a lot about the professors here: YLS has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the country, students are taught by legal luminaries from Day One, the small group system is a great way to get to know a professor, and the list goes on.
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October 26, 2010

A Day in the Life of a 1L

We've all heard horror stories about the first year of law school, epitomized by the movie The Paper Chase and Scott Turow's book “One L.” 
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October 25, 2010

Yale Law School Tidbits

Yale Law School is known for its academic vigor and small size. I want to share some YLS gems that you (until now!) would only discover once you become a student.
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October 18, 2010

Here's to the Women!

The first few weeks of 1L year are extremely harried.  There are a slew of welcome events, happy hours, chances to hang out with your small group, attempts to learn how to read cases, and extracurricular activities, not to mention trying to remember everyone’s names!
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October 15, 2010

Joint Degrees

In addition to being a 1L, I’m also pursuing my Ph.D. in economics (focused on development and education) at another university.  Joint degrees are pretty common here, but they come in all different forms.
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April 14, 2010

I Know What I’m Doing This Summer

Actually, I have known since January 5, much earlier than many of my classmates had even begun to interview for jobs.
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April 6, 2010

Studying and Practicing Technology Law at Yale

Yale Law School is an intensely innovative place. Nowhere is this more apparent than in its programs on technology law.
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March 29, 2010

Outside the Law

As the first warm days of spring arrived in New Haven, I found myself running up the side of East Rock (it’s much better than taking the long winding way up) enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
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March 26, 2010

Classmates

Ten months ago, I had been visiting another law school when I called my Dad.
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March 22, 2010

Clinics!

As some of the previous blog posts have described, YLS is unique in that it only binds you to a preset class schedule your first semester.
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March 5, 2010

Learning the Law…or Something Else?

One of the hallmarks of a YLS education is a diverse, interdisciplinary set of course offerings. Sometimes my friends at other law schools question the amount of “real law” that I’ve learned
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February 23, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Grades

I didn’t worry about grades in college. I was in trade school (as I am now) and was sure that the jobs I would hold would be staffed by people unlikely to care that I had attended college, much less want to know my GPA or see a transcript. I was almost exclusively motivated by academic interest when choosing classes.
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February 9, 2010

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

One concern widely shared by law students these days is securing employment after graduation.
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January 26, 2010

Greenhaven Prison Project

As luck would have it, at the time I received the email, I had just finished teaching my students words relating to criminal behavior and incarceration.
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January 19, 2010

A Lawyer-to-Be in a Foreign Land

Why would anyone not from America do a J.D. here?  It’s expensive, a long way from home, and won’t even qualify you to work in your own country.
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January 14, 2010

Confessions about Corporate Law at YLS

Unlike many of my peers at YLS, I knew relatively early on that I wanted to focus on corporate law and practice at a large law firm immediately following graduation. Given my interests in corporate law and law & economics, I was honestly a little reluctant about matriculating at Yale
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January 12, 2010

Non-“Traditional” Students

When I first got the call from the Yale admissions office, I remember being in disbelief, followed by glee, bewilderment, and anxiety. How did this happen? I was not the picture of a Yale Law student I had imagined.
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January 7, 2010

Looking Outside the Law: Cross-Registering for Courses

Yale Law School is such an amazing place that it’s sometimes easy to forget that the rest of Yale University is pretty special, too. 
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December 22, 2009

Alumni Weekend

On my cousin’s advice, I decided to work as a student assistant during this year’s Alumni Weekend.
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December 14, 2009

YLS Athletics

On a Sunday morning in early November, close to twenty law students, one fan, and one dog arrived at the playing fields near the Yale Bowl.
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November 24, 2009

When Competition is Fun: Oral Arguments

Picking names out of a hat never did strike me as the best way to make a decision.
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November 19, 2009

Halloween Dodgeball

Just because we are in law school doesn’t mean we are past donning ridiculous costumes and celebrating Halloween in extravagant fashion.
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October 30, 2009

Faculty Accessibility

If you are considering applying to a law school or are making a choice about which one to attend, you may be looking at “student-faculty” ratios as one yardstick among many by which to compare schools. 
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October 9, 2009

Fall in New England

Coming from the South, the weather in New England was always one aspect of law school that I did not anticipate enjoying.
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April 22, 2009

Safety & Security in New Haven

For those students admitted to YLS over the past few months (congratulations!), the deadline to choose whether to enroll here or at another law school is quickly approaching.
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April 14, 2009

Small School, Big Opportunities.

Yale Law School is about half the size of my college class. I actually took a course in college that had more people than the YLS class of 2011.
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April 2, 2009

The Fishbowl

When I was a 1L, I studied in the Fishbowl. Trust me – it’s not as strange as it sounds.
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March 27, 2009

Moot Court

A 13-year old girl.  A collection of prescription pills.  A strip search.

Go.
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March 23, 2009

Health Law at YLS

As a student with a relatively rare career interest in health law, it worried me that Yale, as a smaller school, didn’t have an official set of faculty or programs.  However, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had had nothing to worry about.
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March 16, 2009

JD and MBA in Three Years?

A few weeks ago, an email was circulated among the 1L class about a new joint-degree program that would begin its inaugural year this fall.  The program is a joint JD/MBA program between Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management (SOM) that would allow students to earn a JD and a MBA in a total of three years. 
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March 12, 2009

Friends at YLS

A couple weeks ago I enjoyed the best flan I’ve ever tasted.  This delicious dessert had been preceded by freshly fried plantains and a buffet of rice, beans, pork, and beef.  Surprisingly, my fabulous meal was not served at New Haven’s Soul de Cuba Café
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March 9, 2009

The Great New Haven Real Estate Hunt

As I prepared to move to New Haven only six months ago, one of the first things to do was to find a place to live. Having spent the previous two years embattled in the bloodsport that is the New York City rental market, I braced myself for a long, tortuous hunt for suitable digs. Fortunately, I shouldn’t have been so worried; finding an apartment in New Haven is actually a very easy and pleasant experience.
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March 2, 2009

Only at Yale Law School…

I think it is a safe assumption to say that each one of us has had days where we leave the law school in a state of elated disbelief questioning the reality of what had just happened in that one square block that consumes our lives.
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February 24, 2009

90’s Middle School Dance Party

It was the first weekend back in New Haven after exams.  We only had a few days to recover from our 1L pass-pass exam period before returning for second semester and were still trying to figure out how to shop for classes.  I had already attended seven different lectures in the first week and still had no idea what I was going to take. 
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February 18, 2009

On RebLaw

The annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference (“RebLaw”) is the largest student-run public interest conference in the country, and it is hosted by Yale Law School.
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February 12, 2009

1L, 2nd Semester

The first semester at Yale Law School is pretty standard as far as law school curriculum goes.  Every 1L takes the same four classes: Constitutional Law, Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Torts.  You pick up your schedule at orientation without any decisions to make or courses to decide between.
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February 5, 2009

Movies at Yale

Yale Law School has erased my need for Blockbuster and Netflix.  Indeed, one could make the argument that the robust social scene at Yale makes movies second class – that is not the point of this post.  Instead, Yale Law School’s tremendous movie collection has made Blockbuster a thing of the past (well, at least a trivial thing until graduation). 
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February 2, 2009

Three’s Company: Living Downtown with Roommates

Before I came to law school, I lived in one of Washington DC’s famous group houses with six of my best friends from college. 
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January 23, 2009

A Day in the Life…

I felt I could best contribute to the blog by offering a day in the life of a Yale Law student. I woke up this morning later than usual, a little after 10:30, thanks mostly to the open bar party hosted by the student reps of the law school. 
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January 9, 2009

The Coker Fellows

The traditional legal curriculum begins with two semesters of legal writing.  That is too little brief-writing to become Solicitor General of the United States, and it is way more than one might need to run for President of the United States. Since 85% of Yale’s graduates go on to be Solicitor General or President of the Unites States, it should come as no surprise that our writing program is structured a little differently.
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January 7, 2009

On Classmates...

I’m sure you’ve heard that Yale Law School has a reputation for being very collegial.
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January 5, 2009

My Small Group

Starting at orientation, there is no question you will hear asked more frequently or fervently than this one.  “Who do you have for small group?”

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December 19, 2008

Oral Arguments

As the end of my first term at YLS nears, an increasing number of my 1L colleagues can be seen roaming the halls dressed up in full business attire. Since YLS is a pretty casual place, this sight is quite unusual –
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December 17, 2008

The Challenge of Options

I wanted to start this entry with some sort of warning: despite all the wonderful things you’ve heard about Yale Law School, this whole experience isn’t all plain sailing.  I wanted to find some burden you ought to bear in mind because, when I was trying to make the decisions you’re facing, the Yale write-ups all seemed a little too good to be true.
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December 15, 2008

From Duke to YLS

It was the end of November, and I witnessed a big game, and I’m not talking about a Yale sporting event against Harvard.  I’m talking about the Duke/Michigan college basketball showdown. 
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December 12, 2008

Married Life at YLS

I graduated from college on May 10, got married on May 31, and then moved across country a few months later to begin Yale Law School. I was somewhat apprehensive about coming to Yale as a married woman.
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December 9, 2008

The Cold Call

One of the things that most, if not all, incoming law students are afraid of at the beginning of first semester is being "cold called" in class.
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December 4, 2008

On Small Groups

My small group is amazing. From camping trips and Thanksgiving dinners to dance parties and end of the week brunches, we do it all.
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December 2, 2008

Leaving YLS

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.” 
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December 1, 2008

A Day at the Supreme Court

As a California boy, I got awfully excited when I discovered that I would be living on the East coast, where there are so many little states close together
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November 26, 2008

The 1L Job Search Begins

This weekend was the Harvard-Yale football game. The only thing I worried about was what to wear at the tailgates from now on.
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November 24, 2008

In Class

As a first year student at YLS –otherwise known as a 1L (this is a term you will get to know and love very quickly)—there are a couple things that dominate your life.
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November 17, 2008

Legal Writing Support

There may be no more daunting prospect for all soon-to-be-1Ls than the impending need to dive headfirst into the peculiar world of legal writing.
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November 3, 2008

Not Just another Birthday

Even though I am a 1L, orientation feels like it was forever ago.  The majority of it is just a blur, where I spent most of the time desperately trying to remember the names of the 180 new faces I met within a matter of 24 or 48 hours.  There is, however, one part of orientation that I remember vividly – getting my course schedule.
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May 1, 2008

New Haven in the Spring

New Haven is beautiful in the spring.  The first few days of truly amazing weather are upon us here, and it reminds me of all the fun things there are to do in and around town.
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April 28, 2008

Prom

Last weekend was YLS Prom (officially known as the Yale Law School Public Interest Formal—the event raises money for a YLS organization that provides grants for public interest law projects after graduation.).
I know what you are thinking.
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April 25, 2008

Out of this World

Between clinics, classes and the occasional night out at Anchor Bar, who has time to venture out of New Haven?
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April 23, 2008

Disagreeing with Chertoff

Secretary of Homeland Defense Security Michael Chertoff came to speak at the law school on Monday, April 7, 2008.  We protested him with vigor, holding signs and chanting after he was finishing speaking, but he didn't seem to mind.

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April 16, 2008

Spring Break

The Law School provides us with a one week break during March that students spend in a variety of ways.
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April 10, 2008

Exams or Papers?

After years of trying to guess whether “A” or “C” would get me to the next problem on the Scantron form, I was excited at the prospect of law school: a world without multiple choice tests and worrying about No. 2 pencils.  What I didn’t expect, however, was the variety of options available for receiving a grade in my courses at law school. 
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April 7, 2008

Dinner at the Dean’s House

Midway through my first visit to Yale, I was a little exhausted. I’d had the name/home state/undergrad/major conversation one too many times.
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April 1, 2008

Competition at YLS

People will tell you YLSers aren’t competitive. People will tell you that walking through the doors of 127 Wall Street will instantly divest you of any desire to step over your classmates and friends on your way to becoming #1 at Yale.

People are liars.


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March 28, 2008

Guest Speakers at YLS

One of the greatest components of a Yale Law School education is the opportunity to expand your knowledge base out side of the classroom.
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March 26, 2008

The People’s Housing

Many of my friends elsewhere have compared their law school experiences to living on a desert island surrounded by nothing but books, spending the bulk of their days secluded in the library, and gaining a precious few moments of human contact when they venture out for food. 
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March 21, 2008

Yale or Harvard?

Two years ago, when I applied to law school, the admissions process went better than I ever dreamed it would. I was accepted by both Yale and Harvard and suddenly found myself in the not-so-pitiable position of having to choose between two of the most amazing law schools in the country.
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March 18, 2008

A Weekend in the Life of a YLS Student

Something that should be highlighted is that there is much more to law school than studying the law.  Hence, some of you are probably wondering what life outside the hallowed halls of Yale Law School is like.
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March 14, 2008

Yale Law School Librarians: The Most Helpful People on the Planet

Before singing the praises of the reference librarians, a description of the first-year journal experience is in order.
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March 11, 2008

Political Orgs at YLS

As you may imagine, this primary season has been a hot topic at the Yale Law School. While many professors have attempted to take a decidedly neutral stance, the students are quite another story.
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March 7, 2008

Clinics

The first time I walked into a courtroom, my stomach was doing cartwheels.
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March 5, 2008

Job Interviews

I’ve been doing a lot of job interviews lately. 
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February 29, 2008

Learning from Alums Who Aren’t Practicing Law

I just got back from a recruiting trip on a tropical island.
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February 26, 2008

Biking in the Haven

There is some cliché about riding bikes, to which the exact phrasing escapes me, but sounds something like: “You’ll never forget how to ride a bike.”  The saying (however it goes) is absolutely, unequivocally correct and it took a year in New Haven for me to come to terms with it. 
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February 22, 2008

On the 1L Clinic Experience

Who would have thought I would become a lawyer this fast?  After just one semester of law school, I am already ‘practicing law’ and ‘meeting with clients’ for cases. 
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February 19, 2008

Mid February Flash-Back

So it’s February, and I just finished deciding my summer job plans.  Choosing my summer job was reminiscent of one year ago to when I was making a decision about which law school to attend.
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February 15, 2008

On Regrets After YLS

As a graduating 3L, my only regret is that I didn't take more classes.

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February 12, 2008

Choosing Your Courses

I am loving my first year of law school.  True, it is supposed to be one of the most difficult; but at YLS the first year experience is something I find myself enjoying more and more as I begin the second semester.  One of the great things about first year at YLS is the ability to choose courses for second term.
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February 5, 2008

New Haven: A Dining Extravaganza

I have heard the critiques - New Haven will never be Yale’s selling point, or even a factor prospective students list on the “Pro” side of the pro/con list they are making to help them decide which law school to attend.
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January 29, 2008

Practicing Immigration Law in Connecticut

There’s no other place in the U.S. to practice immigration law quite like the state of Connecticut. 
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January 23, 2008

Practice or Study

Should we practice or study?  Both.
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January 17, 2008

Meals with Faculty

A few weeks ago, one of the student organizations I joined sent out an e-mail inviting six students to go out to dinner with a professor. I jumped at the chance.
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January 11, 2008

Using the YLS Library

When I was visiting law schools for the various admit weekends, I noticed one common thread running through every school tour: the amount of time spent on showcasing the law library.
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January 8, 2008

On Relationships with the Faculty

Yale is the utopia of law schools: a gorgeous gothic building surrounding a lush green courtyard, world-renowned professors, and an extremely relaxed grading policy -- what more could you want? But in my first couple weeks here, I learned that while all that certainly contributes to making Yale a wonderful experience, what truly distinguishes the law school is the faculty.
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January 4, 2008

Small Group Field Trip

This past Monday, our small group professor cancelled our 10 a.m. Contracts class and instead scheduled a trip to New York City. We were to see Judge Calabresi, also a Yale professor, sit on the bench of the Second Circuit Court of appeals in the morning and to eat dinner at the New York home of Henry Hansmann, our small group professor who was organizing the trip.
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January 2, 2008

Small Group Bowling

I tried to explain to them that the last (and only) time I had gone bowling I was roundly beaten … by a group of children … under the age of 12.  But they weren’t having any of it.  My small group was competing against three other groups in a bowl-off (the technical term, I’m sure), and I was playing.
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December 27, 2007

Oral Arguments

I’m finishing up my first semester of law school this week, and I’m pretty shocked how quickly it has passed. Despite Yale’s reputation of being “theoretical,” I feel like in one semester I’ve learned a lot of skills that will help me in my law career.
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December 20, 2007

Legal Writing at YLS: Part Deux

Among other things, one aspect of Yale Law that I have found to be different from almost any other law school in America is the lack of a separate 1L legal writing class. Instead of a scheduled class, all of our writing assignments are integrated into other courses throughout the first semester.
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December 17, 2007

On Camaraderie at YLS

December has always been busy time of year.  The holiday season is in full swing as is Sunday night football.
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December 14, 2007

Idiosyncrasies of the Yale 2L Job Search

With the deadline looming for deciding where to spend the summer, I thought I’d comment on the idiosyncrasies of the Yale 2L job search.
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December 11, 2007

1L Job Season: Law Firms

Due to national rules, job search season for 1Ls kicks off December 1st.
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December 6, 2007

A Yalie Weekend

Harvard-Yale weekend.  Also known as the weekend I visited the Second Circuit and wrote my first brief … ever.
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December 2, 2007

Three More Years

I’m in my third year at YLS and I have to say: I wish I had three more years.

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November 26, 2007

On Meeting Alums

Alumni Weekend is easily one of my favorite weekends of the year, and one of the annual events that make me love being at YLS so much.
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November 23, 2007

Yale-Harvard Game

Go Yale beat Harvard!  I have just experienced my first Harvard-Yale weekend and a glimpse into the all-encompassing bulldog pride that is truly at its height during this weekend.

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November 19, 2007

On Communication Between the Classes

In the midst of get-to-know-you barbeques and hikes as a 1L class, every so often, a 2L would appear on the scene. My first thought was always, “Who is this incredibly impressive person in front of me and how have they gotten to where they are today?”
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November 14, 2007

Legal Writing and Research

I was nervous about my first legal writing assignment.  At YLS, we don’t have a separate legal writing course for 1L students.  Instead, we learn research and writing within one of the four first semester classes – in my case, Constitutional Law.
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November 9, 2007

Another Take on Flyback Week

After reading this blog, you probably know all the reasons why YLS is such a great place to be. It’s small, full of really sharp people and truly brilliant professors, not competitive, has a strong public interest focus, no grades, yada, yada. At this point in the admissions process, I think I had the brochure memorized. What I didn’t know, but did suspect, is how far the Yale name can carry you when it comes time to find a job.
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November 5, 2007

1L Journal Experience

Before I arrived in New Haven, I worried about Yale’s size. I thought a legal metropolis was necessary to create rich communities of varied interests. Over the last two months, I’ve found that Yale has more dynamic niches than I imagined. One of my favorites thus far has been my journal, the Journal of Law & Humanities.


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November 2, 2007

Decisions, decisions.

This past week was “flyback week,” a funny euphemism for Fall Break.  The idea is that 2Ls who are interviewing with law firms can have the week off to fly around the country and interview for summer jobs (which, presumably, lead to permanent positions), while the 1Ls and 3Ls can catch up on our reading.


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October 29, 2007

Ideals into Action

I’ve learned a lot of things since I began law school.  I’ve learned many things from traditional classroom lectures, but I’ve learned just as much from my experiences outside of class. 


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October 22, 2007

Sneak Peek

Admittedly, before I began law school, I was decidedly not looking forward to the 1L line-up, so to speak.

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October 15, 2007

Feeding the Masses

I came to YLS expecting the school to provide all the intellectual challenges and opportunities I could ever want.  I was definitely not disappointed in the least, but surprised when I found out that I would be getting more than just food for thought.
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October 8, 2007

Non-Legal Career Interests

Secret: I came to law school this fall fairly confident that I did not want to practice law. 


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September 17, 2007

On Being a Dean's Advisor

During most of late August in 2006, my head hurt from the different emotions on my mind.  I became afraid, excited, intrigued and nervous all at once.  To make things worse, I was in a new city, called New Haven – which according to the masses is not a wonderful place to reside.  In short, I was a new student at Yale Law School.

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May 1, 2007

On Getting to Know Professors

On the first day of law school, I nervously walked into my first class, opened my laptop, and prepared to become part of the overwhelmed, anonymous masses.
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April 30, 2007

Environmental Law

As I near the end of my second year, I’m coming to realize that the number of environmental courses offered at Yale hasn’t been as big of a problem as I feared it would be.
 
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April 27, 2007

Learning to Walk

Going to court with clinic professor Bob Solomon is like learning to walk.
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April 25, 2007

On Yale’s Theoretical Nature

Something that I hear all the time from prospective students is that Yale is too “theoretical,” and that if you want to do something “practical,” you would be better off at another school.
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April 23, 2007

"Can You Hear Darfur Calling?"

I’ve had the song lyric “Can you hear Darfur calling?” stuck in my head all weekend. 
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April 12, 2007

College Acceptance

Today, I was at school for 6 hours, which with first mention does not seem appealing at all.
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April 9, 2007

1L Job Search

During my first class at Yale Law School, the professor announced triumphantly that we were “off the treadmill.”
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April 4, 2007

For the Experience

During the admissions process Yale was the last law school from which I heard.
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April 2, 2007

Saturday Night Basketball

This past Saturday night, a group of about 20 of us got together to have a barbecue and watch the Final Four basketball games. 
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March 29, 2007

On Life Without Grades

I am often asked some form of the following: “I know Yale doesn’t have grades. But do you really not have grades? And doesn’t that just mean that you are more competitive in other aspects?” The answers to those questions are yes, we do have grades, and yes, there is competition.

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March 26, 2007

Classes

At the end of last year, amidst the chaos of the holiday season, combined with the end of classes, I did not realize how special it was to select classes for second semester of your 1L year.
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March 19, 2007

Outside the Classroom

I’m not going to lie: law school is hard.
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March 15, 2007

No Expected Path

In the middle of second semester, first year, I decided not to pursue an Editor position on the Yale Law Journal.
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March 12, 2007

The Extended Plan

Everyone anticipates that some things about law school will be great, and some will be miserable. 
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March 6, 2007

Practice at Yale Law

From my initial search looking at law schools, it became abundantly clear that Yale Law has the reputation of producing legal academics.
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February 28, 2007

Legal Services Organization in Action

I have to admit that it was a little intimidating to lead a client meeting after officially being a law student for no more than a few months.
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February 21, 2007

The Small Group Experience

Wednesday mornings are arguably the toughest time of my week because Tuesdays are trivia nights.
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