Spring Break

April 16, 2008

K.G., 1L

The Law School provides us with a one week break during March that students spend in a variety of ways. In talking to folks around the Law School about their plans, I’ve noticed a few trends. Here’s an oversimplified generalization of what YLS students did this year for spring break.

1Ls – Visited family at home. West coasters went back west to enjoy some sun and relax at the beach. Students from the northeast drove or took the train to their families. I guess we missed the padres and siblings and wanted a good home-cooked meal. For sure, some people bucked the trend and adventured to exotic locales like Costa Rica, Australia, and Africa. And others responsibly stayed here in New Haven to catch up on clinic work and reading. But for the most part, I think 1Ls spent the break reconnecting with families and close friends.

2Ls – Traveled to exotic destinations - Cuba, the Bahamas, Buenos Aires, and Turkey, to name a few. Most 2Ls already have their summer plans set, and are well-adjusted to YLS life to know how to take a break and have a good time. Also, the 2Ls are anticipating the $3,000 a week summer salaries they’ll soon be receiving. In typical YLS fashion, many students turned these exotic travels into learning experiences. To give an example, a sizable group of 2Ls and 3Ls that are part of a reading group (a one credit course organized by students) went to Cuba to conduct legal research. They too probably squeezed in some sun-bathing and sight-seeing as well, including a much lauded trip to the Bay of Pigs.

3Ls – Wrote their SAWs (Supervised Analytical Writing papers) and managed to travel as well. Students have to write two research papers during their three years at Yale. The school requires that you finish at least one of the two prior to your last semester. And thank goodness it does, or else 3Ls might be working on two papers during sprint break! The SAW is a student’s chance to engage in original academic scholarship under the close supervision of a faculty member. 3Ls I spoke to are wrapping up their research and writing this week so they can look towards graduation a month away. Those that either completed their SAWs or wanted to further procrastinate toured the world. Some students continued to work on presidential campaigns as well!

For all at YLS, spring break is a time of refreshing and catching up on the whirlwind of spring semester. With just nine weeks left, spring semester seems to fly by much more quickly than the fall. Now that we’re back in New Haven, the sun is shining, the weather is warming, and we’re enjoying the last few weeks of our year at YLS.