A Day in the Life…

January 23, 2009

P.M., 2L

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. While there is a “bar review” every Thursday night that involves our class going to a bar in New Haven, last night was special not just because the drinks were free but because the annual party is so huge that it even draws in classmates squarely focused on that Supreme Court clerkship! And if people needed one more reason to let loose before studying for finals commenced, there were so many hors d'oeuvres that any cash strapped law student could have made it into their dinner. I could go on and on about the dancing, mingling and everything else. Thus, I went to bed late and I woke up late.

Around 11:30 a.m. I received an email from a professor whom I had an interesting discussion with about mineral law. He recommended some further reading on the subject and off I went to the Yale Bookstore. Since I don’t have any money I usually just take advantage of the hospitality at Barnes & Noble and read for a few hours – today, based on the recommendation of my professor, my bookstore reading was about whether the 5th Amendment’s takings clause protected unpatented mining claims. The answer: unclear- but this may be an interesting question that I could turn into one of the two papers I’m required to write before I graduate (in 2010).

About 1:45 I met a member of the Yale Equestrian Team in front of Payne Whitney Gym. Today was my first time riding with members of the YET. Compromised entirely of undergrads I did feel a little out of place, but as a novice horseback rider I could not have asked for a nicer instructor. Horseback riding is something that I’ve done in a really amateur (probably recklessly) manner back in Iowa (my home state), but I really enjoyed the different techniques and tricks that my instructor was showing me. Interestingly, I was so confused about what she was saying most of the time that luckily I didn’t even have time to put forth any thought on if I should have been studying for my upcoming finals. Even if I could have focused on studying for finals, I think the Yale Law motto is that spending a couple of hours doing something you really enjoy is essential to your mental health. People at the law school are extremely busy, but they’re busy doing things that they want to, things they find it interesting and rewarding. One thing I love about YLS is that I don’t feel any pressure to be a part of anything I’m not absolutely interested in.

I put in a few hours of studying early in evening and then headed out to a friend’s holiday party. All-in-all it was a great Friday! So this is my day. Pretty sweet – I know.