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What to Do During Your Law School Visit

August 17th, 2012 No comments

As we start a new school year, some of you may be scheduling campus visits as you apply.  Here’s a few suggestions to make the most out of a visit.

  • Do your homework first

I understand that some people prefer talking to someone rather than doing research.  But you give off a much better impression toAdmissions representatives if you visit a law school knowing the basics.  Research is a major aspect of law school after all, show that you are already savvy with it.  Take a look at Widener Law’s website before you stop by.  All of our application requirements and procedures are listed there.  Create an account through our portal and see what the process looks like.  Also, visit lsac.org for information about the LSAT and creating a Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report.  These are the basic application procedures.

  •  You interview us, not the other way around

Widener Law does not interview applicants so do not consider a visit as an interview for Admission.  No, a campus visit will not sway the Committee’s decision.  We will gladly help improve your application but any requests for reconsideration or clarification should be submitted in writing (email or letter).

On the other hand, this is your opportunity to gauge whether Widener Law is a good fit for you.  Make a list of questions that you feel are important and ask them during your visit.  If anything is unclear, ask again!  We are here to give you a full picture of our programs and atmosphere.   About.com has a good list of questions to ask, but ask anything you want!  If your tour guide can’t answer a questions, then someone else probably can.  Feel free to request another contact for further information.

  •  When should you visit?

Widener Law welcomes visitors any time of the year.  But I usually suggest waiting until you receive a decision.  I recommend applying to a wide variety of law schools (if you can afford it).  After receiving piles of acceptances (hopefully), narrow down your most likely choices.  Then visit those schools.

  • Meet students, faculty, staff, etc.

Visit a class, request to meet a student, stop by our cafeteria (Crown Court) and stroll through the library on your own.  Make sure to meet as many people as you can to get an accurate picture of student life.  We regularly schedule class visits and have an active Student Ambassador group to answer your questions.  US News offers a great suggestion:

“During your visit, try not to let the awe-inspiring (or underwhelming) facilities distract you; stay focused on what really matters. While a grandiose library may be impressive, pay closer attention to how happy and collaborative the students are and how involved they are in the school and in extracurricular activities. Is there a sense of community, both within the law school and within the broader university?”

  • Don’t rush to judgement

Just as when you visited colleges (if you didn’t then, you should visit law schools now), don’t rush to judgement.  I was highly disillusioned with my college visit.  It was a dreary, rainy day.  The campus was enormous and overwhelming.  The food was barely edible.  The location was not exactly “happening”.  And I had trouble really seeing myself there.  Despite the visit, they had great programs and a good price so I chose that school anyway.  I had some of the best years of my life there and I would choose that school again – I’m glad I didn’t rush to judgement!  Sometimes visits don’t give an accurate picture of three or four years worth of education.  Weigh your options.  We all have bad days, classes are not always lively and interesting, and rainy days happen.  Remember what’s important and take visits into account along with the bigger picture.

  • Now you’re ready to stop by!  

I hope you can all take a look at both the Harrisburg and Delaware campuses.  They both offer more than just a building, it’s an entire community.  For the full experience, call 717-541-3903 to visit the Harrisburg campus or 302-477-2100 to visit the Delaware campus or email lawadmissions@widener.edu.  Further details are available on our website.

What do you think?  What additional advice can you offer?  Comment below!

Are you a veteran?

March 29th, 2010 No comments

Widener Law is committed to developing programs and initiatives supporting veterans. Some of these include the Veteran’s Law Clinic,Yellow Ribbon Campaign, GI Bill benefits, speaker series, JAG recruitment and alumni networking.  The Admissions Office appreciates your service and I welcome your questions and concerns.  As our network grows, so do our program offerings.  We can put you in touch with current students, graduates and professors with similar interests.

Please visit the Veteran’s Resources site for more information and details.

Environmental Law and Policy Certificate

January 14th, 2010 No comments

Widener Law’s Environmental Law initiatives will be broadened through our new certificate in Environmental Law and Policy on the Delaware campus. Recently, Widener developed an Environmental Law Center combining the expertise of faculty and administrators on both campuses. The goals include:

▪ Studying, making proposals for and evaluating the implementation of environmental, energy and climate-change programs in Pennsylvania and Delaware at the state and municipal levels.

▪ Developing, advocating for and evaluating innovative laws and legal proposals relating to the environment, energy and climate change. This will be done by putting on conferences open to the public and through faculty research and writing.

▪ Helping public and private decision makers solve legal problems relating to environment, energy and climate change.

▪ Collaborating with other higher-education institutions on environmental, energy and climate-change matters.

Widener Law continues to develop programs to better our environment and community. We hope you are willing to join us in this endeavor.   If you have questions about our environmental law programs, please contact Professor John Dernbach, jcdernbach@widener.edu, on the Harrisburg campus or Professor Jim May, jrmay@widener.edu, on the Delaware campus.

The Beginning of the End

September 24th, 2007 Comments off

I canít believe it’s finally here ñ my final year of law school. As I started this semester, it did not seem real. I was constantly looking around campus for the third years to appear, forgetting that I now am a third year.

I am happy to report that my summer ended well, with an employment offer from the firm I worked for as a summer associate. I had a wonderful experience at the firm and was truly thrilled, not to mention relieved, to have been extended an offer of employment following graduation and the Bar in 2008. Itís hard for people not involved in the legal profession to understand how a business can make an employment offer to someone and not expect that person to start working for a year. My parents were certainly a little baffled by the process. After all, law firms are a business and it does seem counter-intuitive to hire someone who wonít start to actually work for a year. Not to mention that the firm also provides a living stipend for the summer while you are studying for the Bar exam.

Because this is my final year of law school, and I soon will be embarking on my career in the law and my life here in Harrisburg, I started to get involved in activities outside of school. I am now a member of the Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP) organization and have attended several of their events. I would recommend joining an organization like this to anyone who is starting work in a new area, or even for people who will be working in the legal community where they grew up. Itís an excellent way to make contacts in the community who have the possibility to help you grow your legal career in the future. I am lucky that, for the first few years of my legal career, I will not have to worry too much about bringing business into the firm. However, many of my classmates intend to ìhang out a shingleî and start their own practice. I have great admiration for my classmates who are taking this road ñ it is an incredibly intimidating path. They will have to start bringing in business to their firm immediately. This is where organizations such as HYP are critical to expanding your business in the community.

I also continue to be active in the community here at school. I have continued my duties as Executive Managing Editor of the Widener Law Journal, an Academic Support Fellow, Student Mentor, and student blogger. I have also joined the campus branch of the ACLU and the Gay Straight Alliance. Furthermore, Iím horseback riding and going to the gym again. Oh, and did I mention joining a local kickball league??

This week, I will be attending a womenís networking lunch at one of the most prominent firms here in Harrisburg. I was honored to be invited to attend this luncheon by the Dean of Students. I hope to meet successful female lawyers in the community and make connections that will help me both personally and professionally in the future. I also am excited to report that this week I will be attending the Presidential Debate in Hanover, New Hampshire on September 26th (which I will, of course, be reporting back on). One of our professors has worked with Senator Joe Biden to arrange transportation for Widener and Dickinson School of Law students to travel to NH on Wednesday, have dinner and drinks with Senator Biden and then attend the debates. I canít wait!

So far, third year has been a little less stressful for me. Iím sure I will take that back in about a week, after I have completed my first Executive Edit for the Journal. I am taking fewer classes this semester than I have before, thanks to earning two credits per semester as an Executive Board Member on the Journal. I still have some paranoia about miscounting my credits, however. I can just see it now ñ my parents come to graduation and I canít graduate because I have 87 instead of 88 credits! Itís kind of like that dream where you show up for the test naked. Iím sure everything will be fine, but I need something to worry about!

My office window into the . . . Hilton?

July 17th, 2007 Comments off

My goodness the summer is flying by! For those of you who will be starting your first year of law school in the fall, here are my words of wisdom–take advantage of your last non-hectic summer.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am working for one of the larger firms in Harrisburg this summer. I have really enjoyed it so far. Some of the benefits of working in a large, multi-office firm in a city like Harrisburg are that you get all of the resource availability and name-recognition (and salary) of a big firm, but without the super-crazy work hours, high cost of living and potentially nasty partners you always hear about. All of the attorneys I have worked with this summer have been extremely helpful, nice and considerate. I have never felt that any of them are unapproachable, nor have any of them ever made me feel that I wasn’t good enough. Having heard horrors stories about bigger firms, especially the New York offices, I can definitely say I am relieved. I didn’t think that this firm would be anything like that and it is good to have the affirmation that it really isn’t!

The firm has also made a very conscious effort to give me and the other summer associates work in the practice areas that we are interested in. For me, that is corporate finance. I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a stock purchase deal from the beginning of the process. I have been given important responsibilities on the project and am learning tons! Even though it’s definitely scary to turn in a project or a memo to an attorney when you really don’t know what you are doing, it’s extremely satisfying to know afterwards that you didn’t do the assignment wrong and, in fact, you did it well.

The projects and assignments that I have worked on this summer have only solidified that the law is what I want to do with my life. And, working this summer has reinforced that I want to work in corporate law. I always said I wanted nothing to do with litigation, and now I really know that’s true!

Another perk of my job has been getting to meet some people I would never have otherwise been able to meet. So far, we (the summer associates) have had meetings/sit-downs with Chief Judge Yvette Kane of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (and her very nice clerks), Justice Michael Eakin of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and Judge Hannah Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. We are also scheduled to go to Washington, D.C. soon to meet with the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Labor and other career federal government attorneys. And despite the fact that I have no interest in litigation, I watched two different arguments before the Commonwealth Court–one en banc and the other before a panel of three judges. Oh, and we are going to see The Police concert in two weeks as well!

I’ve also managed to stay busy outside of work. The Administrative Board (which includes me) has been hard at work grading the submissions for the Widener Law Journal summer write-on competition. Pretty soon, I will be compiling the scores for our Editor-in-Chief, who will then send out acceptance letters to those who have made it onto the Journal. It is still a completely anonymous process, and for most of us, always will be. The EIC is the only person who ever gets to see the names of the people who have submitted entries–it is the best way to ensure that all of the surveys are graded fairly.

Another great thing about being in Harrisburg during the summer is all the festivals that take place along the river. I missed Arts Fest this year as I was out of town for Memorial Day, but my friends and I made it to the music festival that ended on the Fourth of July with a great fireworks show. I do have to say that the best part of the festivals are the food vendors. At the music festival, I managed to finish off a pulled pork sandwich, an entire pumpkin funnel cake, the rest of my friend’s pumpkin funnel cake and collaborate on the consumption of an enormous plate of thin crispy potato slices (much better than potato chips). I also have attended a Senators game and managed to sneak in some time by the pool. If anyone figures out how to extend summer, let me know; I’ve still got about 20 things on my “to do” list for the summer, but I’m not sure when I’m going to fit them in!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer, whether in school or looking forward to starting school. I will be at Orientation for a short presentation on the volunteer tax program I participate in, so if you are attending Widener in the fall, come say hi! Until then, enjoy, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Sunshine and Summertime!

May 30th, 2007 Comments off

In the words of the illustrious pair Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff. . .

School is out and it’s a sort of a buzz,
A back then I didn’t really know what it was,
But now I see what have of this,
The way that people respond to summer madness.


Okay, Iíll admit it; I loved The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!!! I do a mean ìCarletonî on the dance floor.


And yes, itís summertime! I hope that for most of you that means enjoying the beaches, parks, and sunshine! While I have been lucky enough to spend one weekend at the beach, the end of exams doesnít always mean the end of school work. Widener offers a wonderful program called the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, or ITAP, that is a weeklong intensive, well, trial advocacy class. Even though I am 99% sure that I donít want to do trial work, this is one of the most valuable and practical classes that I have taken at law school. ITAP teaches you the basics of criminal and civil trials. Each day you learn a different skill. For example, on the first day, you learn the proper way to move exhibits into evidence, on the second day; you learn how to conduct a direct examination, etc. On the final day of ITAP, you and a partner conduct a trial, either civil or criminal, using the skills you have learned. I signed up to partner (as co-counsel) with my best girlfriend here at school and, if I do say so myself, we make quite a pair. A loud pair anyway! I encourage all of you to take this class if you decide to come to Widener Law, or to take a similar class if the school you choose offers one.

After I finished ITAP, I took a break and spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach house of a friend. Following my short-lived vacation, I started my summer job. As a rising 3L, the second summer of your law school career is often the most important–second of course to the summer you study for the Bar! I am very excited about my job. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position as a summer associate at the Harrisburg office of a relatively large nationwide firm. It has quite a few practice groups that I am interested in, namely corporate finance and environmental law. Itís pretty much exactly the job I came into school hoping to be able to secure in Washington, D.C. (had I gone to school in the city), just in Harrisburg. I really enjoy Harrisburg, and the cost of living is ridiculously low, so I canít complain. Not to mention, everyone I have met at the firm has been extremely nice and they also all seem eager to teach us about their areas of expertise.

And because you know I couldnít possibly function without being busy, I also have some Law Journal business to take care of this summer. This summerís to do list also includes: getting back in the gym, riding horses at least once a week, volunteering, visiting friends around the country, going to the beach, reading the stack of magazines and books Iíve put on hold for months, and taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. Ahhhh, summer!

Iíll also be updating this blog as often as possible. For those of you going to law school in the fall, my best advice is to enjoy your summer and spend your time relaxing ñ there will be plenty of time to stress out and study in the next three years of your life!

Almost There . . . A Reflection on the Year

April 24th, 2007 Comments off

Itís has been a little while since I have written, but as I am sure that you all can imagine, the end of the semester is a little hectic!

This is our last week of classes before finals start. I have three official finals this year, although one of them is a combination take-home essay and in-exam period multiple choice. Luckily, I have a week between my first and second final, which will allow me to work on studying for my third final as well.

Iím going to mooch off my fellow blogger, Aaron, and give you a little round-up of the classes that I took this year. My first semester included Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Evidence, and Federal Income Tax. Most of my classmates also took Administrative Law, but I chose to drop that class and will eventually waive it from my requirements. One of the benefits of doing well is that you are able to waive a required class from your graduation requirements, which frees up anywhere from three to four credit hours for electives. I have an idea of what type of law Iíd like to practice so that option helps me make decisions about what, if any, required class I would like to drop in lieu of an elective. Moving on . . .

This semester, I am enrolled in Legal Methods III (which is a research and writing class), Criminal Procedure, Business Organizations, and Professional Responsibility. I also am registered for what is considered a summer class but is, in actuality, a weeklong intensive trial preparation class immediately following final exams. Even though I donít particularly want to be in court or in litigation work, I figured this quick, intensive class would be a good way to get some experience with trial preparation without sacrificing a semester-long elective.

Some of the more important things I have had on my plate lately, besides preparing outlines and studying for finals, are setting-up the Summer Writing Competition for the Journal and preparing my oral argument for Legal Methods. As next yearís Executive Managing Editor for the Journal, one of my responsibilities is to set-up and run the Summer Writing Competition. The Summer Writing Competition is a way for students who are not able to grade-on by being in the top 10% of their class, to compete for an offer of membership on the Journal. The writing competition consists of a writing assignment and a Bluebook citation exercise. Iíve been putting it together progressively over the last few weeks, as the competition itself starts the day of the last final, May 14th!

I have also been working on my oral argument for my Legal Methods class. During both my second semester and third semester of Legal Methods, we have been required to conduct an oral argument with our classmates in front of ìjudges.î Our second semester argument was an argument in either support or opposition of a summary judgment motion. This was the motion that had been our final writing assignment for the semester. That semester, the judges were professors. This semester, the argument is an appellate argument on two issues. We have been assigned a partneróco-counselóand each of us has taken an issue to argue. To make it a little bit more nerve wracking, this semester, the judges will be practitioners from the Harrisburg legal community! Talk about pressureóthese are attorneys that I may be working with some day! Luckily, we have been working on our briefs all semester, so I know the issues pretty well right off the bat. Iím also lucky because I donít mind speaking in front of people. If you couldnít tell from this blog, Iím fairly outgoing (and wordy)!

Because itís the end of the semester, the school has also been hosting various awards ceremonies. This past Sunday, the school hosted our honor society banquet at one of the hotels downtown. It was a nice event and a wonderful way to recognize both the outgoing honor society members and the rising honor society members. In law school, the honor societies generally consist of law review, a moot court competition team and a trial advocacy competition team. Each of the societies gave out awards and recognized outstanding members. They also fed us dinner, which I will never complain about!

On this coming Thursday, the school is hosting the graduating class and student awards ceremony. This ceremony is for graduating students who are being recognized either with outstanding performance or contribution awards, and rising students who are being awarded scholarships or performance awards. I am looking forward to attending and seeing my fellow students recognized for their hard work throughout the year.

On a final note, in light of the terrible tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech last week and in honor of my brother-in-law and all of the other soldiers who are under fire in Iraq, I would just like to encourage everyone to take a moment to remember the things in life that are really important. Tell your loved ones that you love them and try not to become so involved in your own life that you forget there are others who may need your support and comfort as well (which is easy to do in law school, let me tell you). Even if itís just a quick email to a parent, brother, sister, or friend you have lost touch with, it takes just a minute to let someone know that you care. I promise you will not regret it!

Good luck on exams everyone!

She Eats!

April 13th, 2007 Comments off

When I look at the previous week in my planner, I can tell how busy I was by the amount of highlighting (which signifies meetings), blue ink (which signifies assignments) and black ink (other appointments or engagements). I realize that now I come off as slightly unhinged, but I promise, having a system is what keeps me sane (and gets me to show up to places on the right day and at the right time).

So, looking back at this past week wasnít quite as visually stimulating as the previous week! (Thank goodness.) Monday was somewhat uneventful. Once I had turned in my survey for law review, I could relax a little and think about what I needed to accomplish before exams jumped up and hit me. I did have a few meetings on Monday thoughóas part of our third semester of Legal Methods, we have to put on an appellate oral argument. An appellate oral argument differs from a trial level oral argument in several ways. A trial oral argument is akin to what you see happening on Law & Order (but generally with less excitement and star quality), while an appellate oral argument does not involve any witnesses. An appellate oral argument also is not conducted in front of a jury. Instead, it is held either in front of one judge or a panel of judges. On appeal, you have to argue what the trial court did wrong and why they were wrong. There are several different levels of appellate review that the appellate courts can apply, but I wonít get into that here! Youíll learn plenty about that if you decide to come to law school!

Back to my point, in Legal Methods we are first assigned a party (either the appellant or the appellee), whom we are to write the brief in advocacy of, and then we are assigned co-counsel and opposing counsel for the oral argument. We were required to meet both with our co-counsel and opposing counsel last week, and we had our meeting on Monday. It went well. One of the members of the opposing counsel team is on trial ad, so she knows much more about the formal court rules than the rest of us do. It was also good to hear what co-counsel and opposing counselís arguments were. You never want to be left without an answer at an oral argumentóbest to be over prepared! The judges at an appellate argument have read your briefs before you appear before them (theoretically), so oral argument is the place to hit home your strongest arguments and for the judges to ask the questions that they have about your case or anything that they would like clarification on. It doesnít take them long to jump in with the questions, trust me!

Going back to the rest of my week. We had another very productive meeting for the Journal on Monday that allowed us (and me) to move forward with several important things! My position ìrunsî the Summer Writing Competition, which is how students who cannot grade-on can compete for offers for staff positions on the Journal. The hardest part of my job for the competition is finding a case for the competition participants to write about. I donít want to select a case that is too long, or too difficult to understand, but I also have to make sure that there is enough ìmeatî in the opinion for the students, so that they will be able to submit a substantial writing supplement! Luckily, I found a case that I think will work nicely! Iíve got a few other things I need to do for the Journal before I really settle into finals mode, but I am feeling pretty good about where we are.

On Tuesday, I had one item not crossed off of my to do list and itís probably the least important but itís driving me nuts! I need to add pages to my planner so that it runs through the summer (it gets to fat too zip if I put a whole year in there). Itís so funny how the little things drive you batty! And lest you think that I donít get to have fun here at school, I did get to eat dinner with my best girlfriend here at school on Tuesday night. We had been trying to try a new Mexican restaurant that just opened up and finally got there last week. I have to be honest, I love enchiladas. A lot. Probably in an unnatural way. Letís just say that I ate quite a few enchiladas on Tuesday night. They were very good.

Ah Wednesday. This past Wednesday was an exciting day. I have, for the past four or five weeks, been volunteering my services as a witness for my friendsí internal trial advocacy competition, the Hugh G. Pierce finals. The Hugh Pierce competition is a competition that eventually pits the finalists of the Wilmington campus against the finalists of the Harrisburg campus. The finals switch locations between campuses from year-to-year. The Wilmington campus has, sadly, been the winners of the competition since 2003 and we were really rooting for Aaron and Guy to bring the trophy back to Harrisburg (with their star witness, me, of course). The competition was held in the President Judgeís courtroom in the Dauphin County Courthouse here in Harrisburg, which is a very nice courtroom. We also had the honor of having the President Judge, Judge Lewis, preside over the competition! It was a really great competition, as both sides were extremely strong and well qualified. Unfortunately (Harrisburg pride!), the Wilmington campus team just barely edged-out the Harrisburg team for another year! Luckily, everyone was good sports and we all stepped out for a drink together afterwards. (See I do leave the library). I had a fantastic time talking to the students from the Wilmington campusóitís nice to hear what is going on down there, even if I am partial to the Harrisburg campus!

Iím not going to lie, on Thursday, I skipped the meet and greet with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates. I was just wiped out! Instead, I relaxed and a friend of mine came over for dinner, a little television and another round in our on-going Trivial Pursuit game. Iím about one pie-piece behind, but donít worry, Iíll catch up! I was granted a pity pie-piece last night however, because my friend thought it was so ridiculous that I didnít have to even blink before shouting out the names to the twins on the series Rugrats as the answer to a question. Phil and Lil, obviously! I canít even imagine why that is a nugget of information that I have hung on to, but it earned me a pie-piece (which I should probably not be admitting)! It was a much needed night of relaxation. As a side note, I wholeheartedly recommend the Grandma pizza at Palumboís Pizza on Second Street. DELICIOUS!

And now it is Friday. I worked my Academic Support hour this morning, updated my criminal procedure outline, read criminal procedure for Monday and wrote this blog. It has been a pretty productive day. Iím off to take care of the cats that I am cat-sitting this weekend and do some laundry (always essential, no one likes a smelly classmate). I may able to relax a little bit tonight as well!

I will getting up early tomorrow morning to take care of the cats and then help the Admission Office by giving tours at Preview Day for accepted students and then getting back to the booksówe have our final appellate brief due on Monday. Have a good weekend!

Time Flies . . . When You Are Having Fun?

April 11th, 2007 Comments off

Whew, this week flew by! That is one of the benefits of law schoolóyou are so busy that time flies.

On Monday, the Law & Government Institute hosted a symposium on the infamous Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. Professor Gedid and the Law & Government Institute students put together a fantastic program, with very distinguished speakers. I, along with several of my fellow Journal staff members, volunteered to help staff the symposium. I was able to see Professor Robert Mensel and Professor Wesley Oliver speak, as well as stay for the panel hosted by all of the symposium presenters. Professor Mensel spoke about the historical environment preceding and surrounding the decision, which was a very interesting and novel way to examine the decision. Professor Oliver spoke about the political question doctrine and the effect of the decision on that doctrine. Rounding out the end of the symposium was the panel, which was quite fun! The presenters interacted extremely well with each other and were not afraid to express their opinions! Over all, I thought it was an excellent symposium.

Tuesday, I had my first Widener Law Journal Executive Board meeting. I canít tell you what weíve got planned, but letís just say I am looking forward to it! I also am very excited about working with my fellow board members (and, coincidentally, my friends) and making the Journal the best it has ever been. Our outgoing board put together an excellent incoming board for us, and we are very lucky to have some wonderful people staffing the Journal.

The events of the week did not stop there. On Wednesday, Justice Eakin of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania spoke to our Legal Methods writing class. He was quite funny and very down to earth. He spoke to us about legal writing and some of his pet peeves about legal writing as a judge. He kept our attention by splashing his PowerPoint presentation with some humoróalways a welcome distraction in any class!

On Wednesday evening, I attended a reception hosted by the Alumni Association. The reception was held at the Susquehanna Art Museum, which is right down the street from my apartment. I went with my girlfriend Liz, who is the incoming Editor-in-Chief for the Journal. The museum is a beautiful space and had some very interesting collections on display. And I would be remiss not to mention how delicious the food was! It was the first time Liz and I had ever seen a mashed potato bar (reminiscent of a salad bar). The managing shareholder of the firm I will be working for this summer also attended the reception, and I was happy to be able to chat with him and give him an update about my accomplishments since my interview. I already feel comfortable with several of the attorneys at the firm, which makes the daunting task of summer associate a little less intimidating!

You may not believe me, but I, in between all of these events, also managed to attend classes. Luckily, because of the Easter holiday, school was on holiday this Friday, although that did not stop me from spending most of the day in the libraryóa place I will spend most of the weekend as well. As a law review associate staff member, I am required to write either a case note or comment in the fall and a survey in the spring. Our surveys are due this coming Monday, and I would like to have mine published, so Iíve got to work pretty hard on it this weekend. Not to mention that Iíve got a few outlines to catch-up on!

Did I mention that tomorrow morning I am volunteering for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program? VITA is a wonderful program where students prepare income tax returns for people who fall below a certain income level. It has really helped me keep perspective this semester. I see people who are far less privileged than me but have wonderful attitudes about life. It is certainly the most emotionally fulfilling activity I have participated in this semester.

Iíd love to say that next week will be less hectic, but after taking a quick look at my planner (an essential piece of equipment in law school), it looks like it is going to be just as busy! Hereís a taste of what I have going on next weekóanother law review meeting, proctoring a practice exam for one of the first year classes, participating as a witness in my friendsí trial advocacy finals competition, and a meet and greet with Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates. Stay tuned for next weekís recap! Happy Easter (for those of you who celebrate)!

Countdown to Finals!

April 11th, 2007 Comments off

Where do I start? Itís t-minus four weeks until final exams start and I can feel my and my fellow students anxiety level rising. This past weekend was our last hurrahóBarristerís Ball, affectionately referred to as ìlaw school promîóbefore we really have to buckle down and get serious about outlining (if we havenít started already).

Barristerís was very nice this year. Our Social VP of the Student Bar Association booked one of the nicest hotels in Harrisburg for this yearís event, the Hilton. She also set-up a sit-down dinner for everyone which was very good! (I donít really enjoy chocolate cake, I know, the horror, but the Hiltonís was tasty.) It is always quite a bit of fun to see the people you see in sweats and hats in the library all the time, dressed up and enjoying themselves.

As I learned quickly last semester, the second year of law school can be quite arduous. First year is all about figuring out what you are supposed to figure out and how you are supposed to figure it out. Once youíve got the system of reading, case briefing, surviving in class and taking exams down (sounds easy, right?), the amount of reading ramps up and you canít remember where you found the time to do any of it first year! Not to mention that second year, if you have been lucky enough to do well your first year, you probably participate in either Trial Advocacy, Moot Court or are on the Widener Law Journal staff. And in the case of some of my very ambitious classmates, participate in more than one!

Widenerís curriculum also is designed to prepare you at a higher level for the Bar Exam. As a result, unlike other law schools, most of our second year consists of required classes instead of electives, so youíve still got quite a few challenging classes on your plate (although I am sure that most, if not all, of the electives are even more challenging than some of our required classes, but I wonít be able to report on that until next year).

Getting back to the incredible amount of activities that you can get involved in second year, I decided to dedicate myself solely to one organization. I was lucky enough to be offered a position as an associate staff member on the Widener Law Journal. Because I am hoping to practice in corporate transactional law, I did not feel as though Trial Advocacy and Moot Court were right for me. I also knew that I had many classmates who very much wanted to be a part of those organizations and I didnít feel that it was right for me to try to compete with them for a spot seeing as my heart wasnít in it. Luckily, I really enjoy being a staff member on the Journal, even though it takes up the majority of my time!

Although I decided not to participate in either Trial Ad or Moot Court, the extent of my involvement in school activities (or as my friends call it, my ìover commitmentî) does not end with the Journal. I am also an Academic Support Fellow for one of my favorite professors, participate in the Student Mentor Program, volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, am a BarBri Bar Review representative, and have the honor of being the 2007-2008 Executive Managing Editor of the Widener Law Journal. You could say that I stay busy!

Luckily, I am enjoying most of my classes this semester. As much as Constitutional Law confused the bejesus out of me last semester, our professor was really great, so I took him again this semester for Criminal Procedure. For someone who doesnít want to do anything related to criminal law throughout her career, I enjoy Criminal Procedure an awful lot! My section is also back with one of our first year professors for Professional Responsibility and he is fantastic. Rounding out the group is Business Organizations (which is one of my favorite subject matters) and our research and writing class, Legal Methods. It is a pretty good semester over all, although I wonít lie, I canít wait for summer to start.

On that note, I am going to get back to work!