April 9, 2011

0L Yeah I'm Back!

Tee: Loft
Skirt: Tommy Hilfiger via Ebay
 Jacket: Loft
Belt: Ebay
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Forever 21

I haven't posted since Wednesday and just like Crystal Gayle it makes my brown eyes blue. But I have a really good reason. I just got back from Admitted Students Weekend at the law school I will be attending in August! I didn't end up taking any blog worthy pictures at the program, but because I love this blog I decided to take pictures of what I wore when I got home this morning in case anyone else out there is visiting schools and wants to get some ideas about what to wear :)

I had initially planned to drive to the school on Friday morning and come back home after everything wrapped up on Friday night. At the beginning of last week, however, I got an invitation from the Black Law Students Association to attend a welcome dinner on Thursday night. I wasn't really involved with the Black Students at Yale in college, but I want to keep all of my options open for law school so I decided to drive down on Thursday after work and stay over on Thursday and Friday nights so that I could participate fully in the events and not have to worry about being on the interstate by myself at night. On Thursday night I attended the Black Law Student Association dinner at a Mexican restaurant about five minutes from campus. I'm not usually a big Mexican fan (a lot of the ingredients mess with my stomach. Grrr Crohn's disease, grrrrrrr.) I actually really enjoyed the meal and the company though. The tacos were the small soft shelled kind so I ordered the California Club Taco which had chicken, bacon, guacamole, pico de gallo, lime mayo and chipotle cream sauce, and The Memphis which had slow braised pork, onion, pickle, slaw, dry rub seasoning, and barbecue sauce. I also had a side of sweet potato fries because I love them and I would probably fight somebody over them if it came to it. Just saying. I love sweet potatoes and as with many things frying them makes them even more delicious even if it does make them fattening. 

I wore the outfit above to the BLSA (pronounced Ball-sa) dinner. I met about four other admitted students and five or so current law students who were friendly and incredibly open about answering questions. One of the most helpful things they told me was that since law textbooks are so huge a lot of students rip off the bindings and take them to Kinkos to have them rebound in smaller chunks so that they don't have to carry around such heavy books. I'm a book lover so ripping the binding off of any book makes me cringe in horror, but I also don't want to carry around a bunch of enormous textbooks. If having my books rebound isn't prohibitively expensive it's definitely an option I'll consider.

Dress: New York & Company
Cardigan: Gap via Ebay
Belt: Ebay
Shoes: alloy.com
Earrings: Forever 21

Friday was one of those jam-packed days that leaves you utterly exhausted. I knew that the upperclassmen and some of the No-Ls would wind up being my classmates come August so I wanted to make a good first impression. I debated on what to wear for a long time and finally decided my black shirtdress would look really put together without being uncomfortable. I added a pink cardigan for color and leopard flats for some visual interest. I think it was a good choice. Many of the female students wore sundress/cardigan combinations which I love since that's right in line with my own style. There were some people who I felt were overdressed and others I felt had underdressed for the occasion, but there were no glaring sartorial errors.

The day started at 7:30 AM with a continental breakfast at the law school. I ended up at a table with a couple of other students who were sure they would matriculate at that school as well. I don't know if either of them will be in my section next year, but it will certainly be nice to see a few familiar faces when I start classes in August. After breakfast we went to a classroom where we heard a welcome speech from the Dean of the law school and another speech from the Dean of Admissions. The general theme of the speeches was  that our law school is the bomb diggity, you seriously rock for getting in, and we can't wait to see which of you will make the <right> decision to join us next year. 

After the speeches we got to sit in on a real Criminal Law class. They chose one of the kinder teachers who uses the Socratic method more gently than the average law professor. She asked for volunteers before she called on two students and had them face off. The admitted students didn't have the reading material, but the bulk of the class focused on the 1989 murder of Yusef Hawkins. I did some Wikipedia reconnaissance to get a better idea of the details, but it seems that there was a lot of racial tension in New York at the time the murder occurred. Hawkins, who was African American, and three of his friends had gone to an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn to check out a used car that someone was selling. A mob of European Americans were out looking for Black men they thought were dating a white girl from their neighborhood and when they came across Hawkins and his friends they attacked them. Keith Mondello was said to have incited this mob to violence by handing out baseball bats and encouraging violence and at some point during the attack on Hawkins and his friends another member of the mob, Joseph Fama, pulled out a gun and shot Hawkins to death. 

Everyone in the class had clickers, which are these remote control type devices that allow the professor to take an anonymous poll of the class. She asked the students hypothetical questions about the case and then had us submit our answers anonymously using the clickers. She then put the answers on her powerpoint in graph form so that everyone could see the most popular answer. I had a couple of professors in college who used clickers and I actually like that kind of interactive teaching tool. It was a lot of fun to be immersed in the class and I kind of hope I will get that professor for Criminal Law in August. 

After the Criminal Law class we had a panel on career, clerkship, and clinical options. It was actually really helpful because it gave me a better idea of the kinds of opportunities that were available. Clinical classes are hands on classes for 2Ls and 3Ls where you first chair a case with a professor as your second chair. It's an amazing opportunity as a student for you to hone your skills as an attorney because you have your very own client who is depending on you to manage their case and go to bat for them. We also heard about clerkships where you work for a judge for a year or two after you graduate. It's an option that I had never really considered, but the benefit of clerking is that most judges only have a handful of clerks at a time whereas a law firm might have dozens of associates. As a clerk you will be at the right hand of a judge learning from them the entire time and if you do well as a clerk that judge is likely to be a mentor to you for life. It seems like an incredible opportunity that I would be crazy not to look into further when I start school in a few months.

Next up was a panel on academic life at the law school. This panel focused on special programs in business and law, international law, and joint degree programs. The professors on this panel also mentioned important tidbits like how helpful it is to students that the school does not rank and how easy it is to sample different areas of the law if you are so inclined. One thing the professors mentioned that piqued my interest was the possibility of doing a semester long externship for credit. It sounds like it's something you have to plan your 2L and 3L years around, but it might be a really good option for me considering how much I enjoyed my study abroad experience in college.

For lunch we were assigned a day host. My host was a fellow Yale alum who is now a 1L at my new law school. He was nice and like the the BLSA members I met on Thursday night he was really enthusiastic about the school and was really open and honest about answering questions. After lunch we toured the law school and had a mock regulatory state class. The reading for the mock class was the opinion for Muscarello v. United States. It was about the use of firearms in the course of drug related crimes. In this particular case Muscarello was selling drugs and when the police caught him he had a gun locked in the glove compartment of his truck. There is a statute that requires a 5 year minimum prison sentence for "carrying" a weapon in connection with a drug crime and Muscarello or his attorney argued that "carrying" a gun in a truck wasn't the same thing as having it on one's person so the 5 year minimum sentence shouldn't apply to Muscarello. Long story short, the majority opinion of the court was that "carry" could mean in a vehicle or on one's person. The professor didn't call on anyone and just took volunteers, but it was interesting to see who raised their hand and who stayed quiet and the kinds of comments other 0Ls made in "class."

After the mock class we had a student panel where we got to ask current students at the law school all of the questions we couldn't really ask the professors. They talked about their personal experiences with classes, summer jobs, externships, and the good stuff like socializing and living in the city. They were all really accomplished and several of them had taken substantial time off before starting school. It was comforting to know that I won't be the only older law student and I'm hoping that I can follow in their footsteps and do some amazing stuff while I'm in law school.

In the evening there was a student organization fair where I saw the BLSA students again and got to talk to some people from the other student organizations. Apparently students at my soon to be law school have to do a mandatory 75 hours of pro bono work during their law school careers so at some point I will be volunteering my services with one of the service-y type organizations. Hopefully I can find a fun way to knock out my hours so that it doesn't feel like a burden.  

At 4:30 there was a social event with free food and free drinks and at 6:00 there was a BLSA talent show. Like any talent show, some of the acts were great and some of the acts were questionable at best. A couple of acts made me wonder who let the law students out but it was mostly entertaining and a fun way to end a very long day. I'm sure that a lot of people went out after the talent show, but I and a small group of students walked back to our rooms and went to sleep. Apparently I'm getting geriatric. I can't work all day and party all night and it was nice to know that I was not alone in my exhaustion.

Dress: Old Navy
Tee: Gifted, Origin Unknown
Jacket: Loft
Belt: Ebay
Shoes: alloy.com
Earrings: Forever 21

I got up early this morning to drive home (albeit not early enough for my grandmother who called at 6:09 AM wanting to know why I wasn't up yet). I stopped at Walmart on the way home to buy a new SD card for my camera and then I came home. 

I had a great time at my Admitted Students Weekend and it really was exactly what I needed to reaffirm my commitment to becoming an attorney. There are so many amazing opportunities at my new law school and I'm ready to start tackling them. I think I chose the right school for me so hopefully I will be able to make the most of the experience and be very happy while I do it. 

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My Fashion Confession by Ashley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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