Leaving YLS

December 2, 2008

A.L., 3L

I am panicking. My final semester at Yale Law is about to begin. After finishing up my remaining credits and writing that final paper next semester, I am to be released into a foreign realm known as “The Real World.” In this Real World, I am expected to take (and pass) the Bar. I must leave behind New Haven and all of the friends and memories that I have made here, and I am expected to work a full-time job. The horror.

It is not that I feel under prepared to start my life after YLS. In fact, the past three years have thoroughly readied me for my future career(s) in the law, or anything else that I might choose. When choosing YLS, there are certain factors that people take into account: small size, world-renowned faculty, the student body’s unmatched caliber, and of course the clinical opportunities; our enrolling students take these into account for a reason. Without a doubt, such an unrivaled rigorous academic experience primes you for the world beyond law school.

The problem, therefore, is not fear of failure. The problem is simply this: it is hard to imagine a better life than that at Yale Law School. When else am I going to be surrounded by as many interesting, bright, and passionate individuals? Will I ever again be able to spend my time taking fascinating and challenging classes on such a diverse array of topics? Where else will I have unlimited access to such great scholarly minds as the YLS faculty? I am troubled by my inability to answer these questions.

This panic set in last weekend at the annual Yale/Harvard football match-up, known simply as “The Game.” As I spent the weekend in Cambridge adorned in Yale memorabilia and celebrating the school where I have spent the past 2.5 years, it dawned on me how much I am going to miss YLS. I am going to miss the camaraderie. I am going to miss the endless and impassioned conversations about everything from politics to literature and sports to music (oh, and the law, of course). I am going to miss lounging in the YLS courtyard on those beautiful spring days. I hope that one day I will find a place as wonderful as YLS, but I remain unconvinced.