A Yalie Weekend

December 6, 2007

J.B., 1L

Harvard-Yale weekend. Also known as the weekend I visited the Second Circuit and wrote my first brief … ever. It’s all a bit of a blur to me now. Hours of friends and hot chocolate and cheering until my voice was hoarse, with a fair bit of legal research thrown in for good measure. I seem to remember it was fourth down and seven when Congress threw a Hail Mary pass from Yale’s 40 yd line, violating the Equal Protection Clause and ending the game.

Friday morning, my small group went to New York where our torts professor was the presiding judge in a case before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Before coming to YLS, I never would have imagined I would be sitting in a New York courtroom, enthralled by questions of asbestos, insurance, and tort law. It’s only in the past three months that I’ve even learned that there is such a thing as tort law and that it doesn’t (usually) involve baking. Although the case was far removed from any area of law I’m interested in pursuing, it was fascinating to listen to the lawyers construct their arguments and the judges deconstruct them. And, of course, to see my professor in action!

I returned to New Haven Friday evening to find several of my friends already in town for the game. It seemed that everyone I knew was here – alums of Yale and Harvard, friends who were now in grad school there, even some people without any discernible connection to either school, but who apparently thought mid-November was a good time for a visit. We finished dinner just in time to catch the second half of the Yale-Harvard Glee Club Concert. When the alumni of the Yale Glee Club were invited on stage to sing the alma mater at the end of the concert, I wasn’t sure the stage would hold all of the people hurrying towards it. But I recognized the enthusiasm and energy and joy of those people running to be a part of Yale – it’s what I’ve experienced every day I’ve been at Yale Law School.

I woke up early the next day, eager to see old friends and to spend time with new ones. When I arrived at the Yale Bowl, I found tailgate upon tailgate of Yalies, current and past. I had an incredible time reconnecting with old friends and introducing them to my new classmates. I think I drank my body weight in hot chocolate. I was having so much fun outside the stadium, I hardly noticed the game going on inside.

After the game, I was surprised to find that I was actually looking forward to writing my first brief. I had expected the first semester of law school to be a long series of terrifying firsts. Instead I’ve really enjoyed the experience of learning to do legal research and writing in an amazing community of supportive people. I look forward to spending two and a half more years being a part of this community.