Why I Came Back for Three More Years

February 14, 2014

N.L., 1L

I graduated from Yale in May of 2012. By September, I knew I wanted to come back. I loved my job, but I knew that I wanted to go to law school––and, if I was lucky enough, to Yale Law School.

Spending seven years at one university may seem like a bit much. (Unless you’re getting a Ph.D., of course.) So you may wonder why I was so eager to sign up for three more years here. Really, it came down to three things:

1. The Law School Community:

As an undergrad at Yale, I was fortunate enough to have several wonderful communities. My residential college, my a cappella singing group, theatre rehearsals––all of these gave me the chance to be myself and make lasting friendships. The Law School has the same sense of community. When there are only 200 people in each class, you get to know a good percentage of the student body pretty quickly. It’s almost impossible not to run into and have conversations with other students here, since most classes take place along the same hallway. You get to know your small group and your small group professor very well, and many people develop great friendships through small group. Like the undergrads, the law students at Yale are down-to-earth, passionate, and eager to talk and work together. The same goes for many of the professors, even the most sought-after and busy ones.

2. The Rest of the University:

Because the Law School is its own self-contained building, with its own dining hall and library, it’s easy to just stay here all day. But the rest of the university has an unbelievable array of resources and places to explore. The libraries have nearly 15 million volumes, and anything you can’t get here you can get from another school in a few days. (Or you can just ask the Law School library to buy it!) Yale has two beautiful art galleries, a farm, an observatory, and ten theaters hosting dozens of student shows each semester. You can listen to one of Yale’s nearly 20 undergraduate a cappella groups, or attend a performance of the Yale Baroque Opera Project. The campus is also filled with gorgeous Gothic buildings. It’s a great place to be.

3. The City of New Haven:

Let’s face it: New Haven sometimes gets a bad rap. But it’s a surprisingly vibrant city. The area around Yale has been developed over the past two decades, and now there’s a lot to do. There are plenty of shops along Chapel Street and Broadway, lots of bars on Temple and Crown Streets, and tons of good food everywhere. The pizza and the hamburger were both supposedly invented in New Haven. Whether that’s true or not, pizza places like Pepe’s, BAR, and Modern, and hamburger joints like Louis’ Lunch, serve up great fare. New Haven is particularly good for Thai, Indian, and Italian cuisine. (Seriously, there are, like, five Thai restaurants along one block on Chapel Street.) As for the rumors about New Haven and crime, don’t be fooled by the myths: yes, there’s crime, but it’s no different than in any other city, and crime rates have been going down. Stay alert and you’ll be fine. Sure, New Haven’s never going to be New York, but New York is only a two-hour train ride away. Needless to say, I love it here, and I’m glad to be back!