Flyers and Food

March 3, 2011 - 12 AM

A.R., 1L

A quick glance at nearly any wall of the law school confirms a general truth about YLS: there is always something happening here. The walls of the school are plastered with posters and flyers of various shapes and sizes, announcing upcoming speakers and panel discussions at various points during the week. The array of offerings changes daily, and it seems that as soon as one sign comes down, a new one is put up in its place. Most of these events take place at the lunch or dinner hours during the week, and they are a great way to hear various faculty members and visiting speakers discuss issues of the day.

These events are put together by all kinds of organizations and offices at YLS: the American Constitution Society, the Yale Federalist Society, the Black Law Students’ Association, one of the nine student journals on campus, the Career Development Office, the Yale Environmental Law Association, Yale Law Women, and the list goes on. And just as these organizations are a pretty varied bunch, the events they sponsor are accordingly diverse. Some talks I’ve attended in recent weeks include:

  • A discussion of civility by Professor Stephen Carter (whose newest book is called – you guessed it – "Civility"), co-sponsored by the Yale Law Democrats and Yale Law Republicans
  • A debate about the "functional and symbolic dimensions of the Ground Zero ‘mosque’ controversy" between Professors Robert Ellickson and Paul Kahn, sponsored by the Debating Law and Religion Series
  • An event entitled "Standing Up to John Yoo", featuring a discussion between Professor Eugene Fidell and Alberto Mora, the former Navy General Counsel, sponsored by the American Constitution Society

In some cases, participating in a reading group also provides opportunities to interact with professors or visiting guests on a smaller scale. For example, this semester, the ACS sponsored reading group – entitled "Challenging Law and Economics" – has had the pleasure of having two professors visit us to lead our discussions. Professor Christine Jolls spent time explaining and discussing the finer points of behavioral law and economics, and the following week, visiting Professor Amy Kapczynski shared her thoughts and experiences about law and economics with our group.

Of course, any discussion of the lunch-and-dinner hour events here at YLS would be incomplete without noting that most of these events come with free food! So in addition to deciding whether they want to hear a talk on immigration policy or the health care debate, students also get to choose between YLS dining hall pizza or the more coveted "non-pizza" option.

As the posters and flyers around the law school illustrate, there is always something happening here. The problem, on most days, is deciding what events to choose.