Today marks the end of Law Week at William and Mary Law. This week was basically an introduction to and a crash course in being a law student. We were able to mingle with our classmates, talk to various professors and the Dean of the law school, attend a Torts class, and go to a couple socials hosted by different clubs. It was a busy week, but they also made sure not to overwhelm us too much. As each day passed, I couldn’t help but feeling so giddy about law school and more specifically, William and Mary. Everyone I met thus far is friendly, and the environment seems very collegial. I do not sense a large competitive attitude among the other law students, which I appreciate because at the end of the day we all want to be lawyers and get good jobs, but it may not be necessary to cut down other students during school.
My classes this semester are the fairly general law courses. I have Civil Procedure, Torts, Criminal Law, Lawyering Skills, and Legal Research and Writing. I improvised this weekly attack list from Camille, over at Lawyering in Lilly. I like having it on my desk, and then I use my planner for assignments and class times.
At William and Mary, tradition is a very important component to school. One of the traditions the law school has involves the hat pictured above. When students enter the school as a 1L, they are invited to the welcome reception at the law school. During this reception, Dean Douglas walks through the reception and personally introduces himself to each 1L, and has a brief conversation with them. It’s a special moment, and I get to wear this hat proudly for the rest of my life. I was probably unreasonably excited to get this hat, but it felt so collegiate and exciting!
A New Yorker, an Alabamian, and a Californian move into together… and it’s going wonderful! My roommates and I are living in a beautiful townhouse, and I love coming home. I also feel like living with people, after not living with people for two years is a nice change. Note my lovely sandal tan in this photo… Anyway, the first day we had to wear business attire for professional photos. The humidity was a bit much, but overall it was a great day!
Last night, on Thursday, the law school put on a tour of Colonial Williamsburg. I had walked around the colonial part a lot, but had never done the historical visits. While it was hot, it was really interesting. It’s a surreal feeling to explore that modern American legal education began in Williamsburg. George Wythe, the first law professor in the country, taught Thomas Jefferson before Jefferson convinced Wythe to establish a law school. The history is vast, and so fascinating when you really get into it!
I also had my first class on Thursday morning, which was Torts. I kind of got the feeling from brief meeting with the professor that he was going to be hard. Not overly hard, but also not too easy either. So when I got the assignment, I spent so much time going through the reading and making sure I was prepared. I kept having visions of being cold called and reacting a la Elle Woods (“actually, I wasn’t aware…”) or Wesley Gibbons (“Uh… intentional tort…uhhhh”). I probably over-prepared, but I wanted to make sure if the professor said in his somewhat daunting way, “Miss Coker tell me about Vosburg v. Putney,” I had a response. Anyway, I survived without being cold called, and empathized with those who got cold called. I’m looking forward to future classes! The thing I love about William and Mary is that the professors seem thoroughly invested in the students and they want the students to learn. They don’t want to embarrass us, prove us wrong, or tell us we’re dumb. They want us to think, they want us to grow, and they understand that law school is hard!
Overall, law week started a bit intimidating, and ended with new friends, great memories, and a lot of helpful information about the next three years. I am completely confident I picked the right school and profession, and cannot wait to jump into the legal studying.