Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Janine Balekdjian ’17

I was undecided when I was applying to schools, didn’t really know where I was going to go, and it sort of came down to, I visited admitted students’ weekends to try to get a feel of the different schools. And I just walked onto this campus and had this feeling that it’s such an intellectually interesting, creative place. And the students that I met—both the current students and the prospective students—reinforced that perception, and I decided that this was the right place to be.

YLS is an incredible place for constitutional law. We have so many professors who are writing on different areas of con law, sometimes with each other, sometimes in conflict with each other. And con law was definitely my favorite subject my 1L fall, and I knew that I wanted to pursue that further, and there are just so many opportunities to do that here. Right now I’m taking a constitutional interpretations seminar that’s co-taught by my 1L con law professor, which I really love. And I’m also involved in national security law, taking classes on that, and I did my 1L summer internship in national security law. And that’s a field that’s very involved with constitutional law as well because there’s a lot of executive power considerations, so it sort of permeates everything. And another great part I love about the con law community here is that the students are so passionate about it. And I have friends whom I met basically in these classes, and we talk about con law outside of class. It’s things we’re actually interested in, so it’s been an incredible experience.

I’m involved in several student organizations. There is something for literally every kind of interest here. And the ones that I probably spend most of my time on are Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the Journal of Law and Feminism. I really like these because I have a strong interest in gender and feminism, and I don’t think I’m going to pursue that for my career, but through these student organizations I get to sort of keep working on that and keep in conversation with these issues. And I especially like LawFem, which is the Journal of Law and Feminism for that reason, because I get to stay engaged in feminist legal scholarship even though I’m not taking a class about it.

YLS is an amazing place because of the people, the professor and the students. So many of the students come in already having done amazing things. And regardless of whether you’ve come straight through or whether you’ve come in with an incredible career, everyone’s going to go out and do amazing things. And that’s because people here are interested and they’re passionate. You know they have these intellectual interests that they’re very serious about, that they like discussing on a day-to-day basis, and that’s fun to be around these people who know so many cool things. And they also want to use that knowledge and interest and go make a difference in the world. So it’s a really exciting group of people to be around. 

A student perspective on constitutional law, gender law, and the Journal of Law and Feminism at Yale Law School.