Monday, June 6, 2016

Brandon Thompson ’17

The community at Yale Law School is really diverse in a lot of ways even though it’s only approximately 600 students. There are a huge number of student groups. Every day between 12 and 2 I’d say there are between five and seven lecture events, bringing in judges, activists, leading practitioners. People have a lot of interests outside of the law and also bring their interests into focus within the law. There is a lot of energy, and you’re always exposed to something new.

At Yale, I participate in the Black Law Student Association as well as Outlaws, which is an LGBTQ student organization. We do a lot of professional development, political advocacy, as well as speaker series to bring issues and leading figures in the legal world that are either black or LGBTQ to the Law School. In addition to those two, I participate in Barrister’s Union, which is trial advocacy competition.

I’ve been involved with two clinics at Yale. Yale is unique because you can pursue clinical opportunities in your first year. So as a first year, I was a member of New Haven Legal Assistance Clinic. I worked at New Haven Legal Aid with indigent clients, specifically students who were facing expulsion from schools. In my second year, I am now a member of the Appellate Litigation Clinic. We handle pro se clients who lost in lower court and handle their appeals in the second circuit. It’s a four-person clinic with three directors, so there’s an amazing student-faculty ratio, and students actually argue in the second circuit, so it’s an amazing opportunity.

A student perspective on clinics, student organizations, and the diverse community at Yale Law School.