I’ve written dozens of columns about law school in general, and you might expect me here to wax nostalgic. It would be hard, though, for me to do that—to say I’ll miss law school, at least unconditionally.
I didn’t have a terrible time here, nor do I regret my decision to get a legal education. Quite the opposite: I’m a better thinker and writer because of it (please ignore what my ex-girlfriend says), and I do have a skill set today that’s more compensable than the one I brought to Moritz, which was the ability to fix anything with duct tape and whipped cream.
I’ve learned some law and I’ve done many of the things lawyers do on a regular basis. I also externed for two federal judges and completed two clinics, prosecuting people in Delaware County and defending people in Franklin County. Put simply, I’ve learned a great deal here, both inside and outside the classroom.
It’s just time to move on.
Before I do, though, I’ll swallow hard and try my hand at waxing, to look in the rearview mirror and share one thing I won’t miss about law school, and one thing I will. Indulge me.
What I Won’t Miss: Law exams.
Three hours, all essay, closed book. That was my first one, in contracts. I nearly hyperventilated the night before, and unlike the guy in the book One L, I didn’t have a girlfriend whom I could wake up to help me relieve the tension. No, I just stared at the ceiling and listened to Wyclef Jean, or something equally disappointing. Since then, I’ve caught myself saying how happy I am that a certain exam is only three hours, proctored in class. Which is so much better, I’ve told myself, than an eight-hour take-home.
Good riddance, to those.
What I Will Miss: Friends and professors.
It sounds generic and vanilla, I know, but I mean it. Among my friends are a guy who could name any album by any band, another guy who played golf professionally, and a girl who backpacked across Europe. These are interesting people, and they got me through law school. We studied and drank together, and disagreed with one another as often as we agreed, maybe more. Never a dull moment.
Many of my professors, meanwhile, were great — and a lot of fun. David Goldberger stoked my interest in teaching and the First Amendment, while Bob Krivoshey kept me humble (he once told me the best way to win my clinic case was not to be an idiot). I’m grateful that so many looked after me, or at least made me feel that way. And, yeah, that sounds Fred Rogers of me, but again, I mean it.
I’ll sign off with something I wrote as a 1L, in my fist All Rise column:
No doubt, my classmates and I have endeavored to join an honorable profession, and to be part of one helluva journey for the next three years and . . . for the rest of our lives. I look forward to their achievements, their success; to our achievements, our success.
Here’s to graduation and the rest of our lives.
Jon Peters, an award-winning columnist, is a third-year student at Moritz. He is from Athens, Ohio, and plans to earn a Ph.D. in journalism after graduation. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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