Leadership Early On

December 21, 2011 - 12 AM

C.S., 1L

Most of my friends probably think I have to be going through hell right now. They likely expect that I’m drowning in reading and work this semester, the first of 1L year, with no time for much else. And at most law schools that might be true: several of my friends at other institutions would certainly attest to that. At YLS, though, it’s a very different story. Sure, most of us still spend a lot of time reading cases and writing our memos or briefs. But there’s also time, opportunity and encouragement to get involved in the community right from the start. In undergrad many of my most engaging and meaningful experiences occurred through leadership outside of the classroom—and I found the same to be true here at YLS in my first semester.

For instance, many student organizations provide students the opportunity to take leadership roles early on. Since October, I’ve served as one of the Co-Directors of YiPPiE, the Yale Incentive Program of Public Interest Employment. YiPPiE raises funds throughout the year to supplement the YLS-provided stipends for summer public interest employment.

One of our landmark events, the basketball Court Classic between Harvard and Yale Law School students, happened just a few weeks ago. The night before the annual Harvard-Yale football game, YLS and HLS faced off in a hard-fought match ending in a joyful YLS victory. Nearly a third of YLS attended, raucously cheering on their classmates. As a Co-Director as well as a member of the YLS team, I helped organize logistics for the game, direct volunteers and advertise for the event. In the end, thanks to sponsorships and ticket sales, we raised thousands of dollars. Beyond the fun and fundraising, it was also a great way for me to engage my skills that don’t involve legal analysis.