Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"It's Over"

It's finally over. 38 weeks, over 383,000 minutes since it began. American Idol has ended. Oh, and the school year has too. As of 4:30 this afternoon, assuming they didn't change the curve so half of us fail, I'm no longer a 1L. My classmates and I have gained wisdom, knowledge, and carpal tunnel syndrome. We've lost our innocence, our souls, and thousands of dollars in tuition. The next time we go to class, there'll be people on campus who know less than we do. And that's a really scary thought.

It seems like only yesterday that I arrived on campus for orientation and quickly realized I had no idea how it was possible for Massachusetts Avenue to bend a full 90 degrees at Harvard Square, and no idea why the sidewalk on one side of the street simply vanished in the middle of a 5-way intersection. The first night, I was walking back to campus after dark, and actually had to ask a security guard where Massachusetts Avenue was. He told me I was standing on it. I told him I went to the Kennedy School. Don't want to give law students a bad name.

I'm excited to be finished, but a little scared. Scared that from here on, instead of being on the way in, I'm on the way out. Three years is short, and made shorter by the fact that by the middle of the fall, most of us will probably already know where we'll be working upon graduation. Our experiences won't be as new, our fears won't seem as important, and our outlines won't be as long. Instead of seeing the same faces in every classroom, we'll see lots of new faces, and, probably, if my elective this semester is a representative example, lots of empty seats. The guy sitting next to me in Con Law won't understand my jokes about 1L classes. He'll just think I'm strange. Then he'll stop showing up to class. And I'll just have to whisper sarcastic comments to myself.

I have piles of paper on my floor. I have notes from last semester that I don't need. I have four copies of every Word file on my computer in my bookcase, and three more copies strewn across the room in no particular sequence. I don't need any of these things. I will never need to know the twenty-seven elements of a successful adverse possession claim again. I probably never even knew them to begin with. But I have a plan. A plan to recoup 0.1% of my tuition. I am going to sell my class notes on eBay. "Learn what it's like to be a Harvard Law student. Pretend you finished grad school. Light a big fire. Torts notes come with two thousand pages of background reading and a book about feminism. Buyer pays shipping. For entertainment purposes only. Accuracy of legal statements not guaranteed. For actual legal problems, call an actual lawyer." I'm setting the reserve price at forty-seven cents. Hopefully someone will bite. Probably an incoming 1L, super-concerned about making a good first impression. Someone for whom this will all be new, for whom this will all be important, for whom this will all matter now more than it will a year from now.

I'm going to miss it here this summer. Not the weather, although the last few weeks have almost made up for the mini-Ice Age we experienced for much of the year. And not the food at the cafeteria, which I can't go two weeks in a row without mentioning at least once. But the friends I've made, and the things I've learned. Occasionally I'll be walking across the campus and it'll hit me that I'm actually a student at Harvard Law School. Totally wild. I feel like I'm still seven years old. No way I should be at law school. It's cool. I think sometimes my classmates and I take for granted where we are and how special it is. All it takes is a few minutes reading Princeton Review's online law school discussion board to see how much people would give to be in our shoes (ooh, maybe I can sell my shoes on eBay too). We get to sit in the same seats as some very famous people did, before they had laptops, when casebooks were thinner (think of how many fewer cases they would have had to pick from a hundred years ago...) and when coffee mugs weren't seventy-six ounces and the size of our heads. So they probably weren't as cramped. But still, pretty cool.

I still have a box filled with the stuff Harvard sent me last summer, before school started. My course list, with professors named E. Warren and R. Kennedy that made me wonder if one had to be a former chief justice or slain brother of a president in order to teach at Harvard Law School. The Black's Law Dictionary I got as a gift last summer that has not been opened even once. The Harvard coffee mug I've never used.

In the blink of an eye, it will be September again. I'll have stories to tell about my summer, brand new classes to attend, old friends to reconnect with and new friends to make. I'll have 1Ls asking for my outlines and wishing they were in my shoes. I'll never be a 1L again. But it's been an awesome year.

P.S. No worries (not that you're worrying...) that just because the school year has ended means nothing more to say on the weblog. There'll be no interruption in service. :) And hopefully I'll have some time to reflect on the first year of school and offer some insights that might be helpful to people on their way in, on their way out, or just curious. I'll have thoughts about my recent exams sometime in the next few days, after they've had a chance to sink in, and some thoughts about the different things people I know are doing this summer. I'll probably take a look back and reflect on things I wish I knew and wish I'd done before law school, and things I would have done differently this year. Things I'm glad I did, things I regret, things that no one should go to law school without doing. And, of course, shoot me an e-mail if there's anything you, random reader, would like to see me write about. When I started writing the weblog last August, I didn't really know if it would be anything more than a brief experiment. I'm pleased and relieved that I've been able to keep it going all year, and hopefully I've been somewhat amusing and informative. I know I've enjoyed writing it, and I truly hope that you, random reader, have enjoyed reading it and will continue to visit. The cyber-connections I've made through this forum have truly enriched my life.