Friday, April 21, 2017

Adam Bradlow ’18

What I came to law school to achieve, is to have some time to reflect. I am acutely aware of the privilege of being able to sit in a classroom, and think about the direction of where our country, and our world, is headed particularly at this moment. And really, I'm trying to take advantage of that time to study, and to think, and to plan, and really reflect on where things are headed. And also, it's a valuable opportunity to have three years in the same place, with the same people, seeing them day in day out, and build a sense of community that will hopefully last me through a lifetime.

So the minute I started looking at attending a law school, almost immediately, I realized it was going to cost far more money than I'd ever earned in my entire life. And that was a very scary moment, because the reason I wanted to go to law school was to expand my options, expand my ability, to work in public interest and public service, and not constrain it. And I was concerned that the debt was going to really limit my ability post-graduation, and so Yale Law School's COAP program gave me a lot of comfort that after graduation, I was going to be able to pursue a career in public service and public interest without worrying about the burden of the debt. And I would also say that even while I've been here, being able to use SPIF funding during the summers, to pursue public interest internships, has been a tremendous opportunity for me to make sure that I could go after those options without worrying about the funding.

By far and away, my clinical learning experiences have been the best learning experiences I've had here. I'm a member of Yale Law School's Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy clinic, WIRAC. And I joined that clinic in the second semester of my 1L year, because I was interested in working on labor and immigrant rights, and also, because I wanted the opportunity to serve worker and immigrant communities.

And the opportunities I've had for that clinic, to pursue that, have been unparalleled. This semester, WIRAC won the first national injunction against President Trump's Muslim ban. And that was an amazing opportunity, and has been an amazing opportunity, to be part of that litigation team. To be part of a moment in defining-- contributing in a small way, to defining what this democracy means at this particular moment, has been an experience I never expected to have in law school. But also, to have the opportunity to work with my clinic-mates, who are not only brilliant legal minds in their own right, but also, with my clinical supervisors, and through this litigation, some of the top legal minds around the country working on these issues. Talking to them substantively, what are the strategic decisions in this litigation, where should this litigation be headed, how should we be thinking about it-- that is a real legal education. 

A student perspective on financial aid and clinics at Yale Law School.