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.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Scheherazade Fowler posts in response to Will Baude's post about making the decision about where to go to law school. For anyone making that decision, here's a few things I know now that I didn't know when I was choosing. This may or may not be relevant to anyone, but it's the best I can do.

1. My law school experience has not been dependent on how many hours the library is open, how many books the library has, how nice the classrooms are, how pretty the buildings are, how many faculty members there are, what the faculty/student ratio is, how much they charge for photocopies, how edible the cafeteria food is, the high-school-style lockers in the basement tunnels, how many course offerings there are, how much reading I've had to do, what the office of career service provides, the outside lecturers who come to speak, my legal writing class, the computer facilities available, the size of the student body, the health plan, or, hard to believe, the weather.

2. My law school experience has been only marginally dependent on the quality of the dorms and other available housing, the neighborhood eating choices, or the size of my classes.

3. So what's left? My law school experience has been mostly dependent on three factors:

A. Finding some number of faculty members who I think are brilliant, engaging, and motivating -- enough to keep me interested in classes, and to hold out the hope that there are more that I haven't yet found. All you need is one, really. One who makes you want to take all of his or her classes, and who gives you hope there's more. The problem with this as a tool for decision-making is that I'm pretty sure there's at least one at every school. But I've found it important.

B. The extracurricular opportunities. Make sure there's stuff you're interested in being a part of. Again, I'm pretty sure you can do this at every school. But, again, I've found it important. So make sure. Without extracurriculars, life is boring.

C. Your fellow students. Once again, I'm sure there are great people everywhere, and less-great people everywhere. So, again, not sure if this helps anyone make a decision. But it's been probably the most important factor contributing to my contentedness here.

I don't care if it rains every day. Well, all else being equal.... But it's not worth making a decision over it. This post offers nothing extraordinary, I know. I'm trying to help. But I think for the most part, you can probably make it worth your while anywhere you end up, or you can be miserable anywhere you go. I don't know how you can tell beforehand, or if there's really a difference in how you'll feel at one place versus another. Wow, that's unhelpful advice. Sorry.