New York Law School

Things I Didn’t Know about Law School Until I Got Here, Part 1

Welcome back to Sidebar, the NYLS student blog where you’ll get to read all about what it’s really like to be a student at New York Law School. I’m Michelle, and I’ll be posting here roughly twice a week. You can learn more about me to the right, so I’ll jump right into my inaugural post!

After much brainstorming while running in circles around Hudson River Park and some additional consulting of the close friends I call my “Brain Trust,” I’ve decided to have a theme (I love having themes for everything) for my first five posts; the theme is “Five Things I Didn’t Know about Law School until I Got Here.” Today’s Thing is:
You Can, Will, and Should Make Close Friends in Law School.

I know that when I got to law school, my attitude towards meeting new people was “I have all the close friends I need, law school is about getting the grades and getting the jobs and getting out.” I’d also heard stories from some of my parents’ friends about meeting their spouses in law school, but overwhelmingly the advice I got was to “treat law school like a job.”

During orientation, as I got to know my classmates, I found that we all shared that same attitude; we’d be friendly, we’d work together to an extent, but we all openly acknowledged that we weren’t here to make best friends. I appreciated that, because I tend to prefer candid interactions, and I liked knowing that we all had the same expectations of one another.
Over a year later, I can tell you that I have made dozens of good friends and met at least 3 people I consider “best friends” (which is a tier, not a label). Almost every member of my class has had a similar experience; being in law school is something we’re all doing together, and we were practically so right in our predictions that it made us wrong. We worked together, studied together, sat through classes together, and were just totally professional together… and ended up going out and socializing together.

As it turns out, our families and advisors all prepared us for law school with the right advice: it’s hard work, it’s nothing like anything you’ve done before, it’s a lot of reading, it’s worth it in the end. But all of that time spent together made us close with the people we were studying with; we developed inside jokes, shared ways to de-stress, and just started to understand each other a little better than our friends outside of law school. We all kept those friends, but we added a solid group of new people who understood us in our new context.

I’ll let you digest what you’ve (hopefully!) learned today, and will be back later this week with your next Thing!

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