With less than a month left in the 2013-2014 academic year, we asked several of our third-year students to reflect upon their time at W&L Law. Today, Erin Seavoy takes on the topic.
When I choose my undergraduate institution it was easy. I only looked at one school, I only applied to one school and I then went to that school. Simple. But when I decided to attend law school I was in a whole new world. I applied all over the place and one of the places was Washington and Lee.
When it came time for school visits W&L stood out. I instantly felt comfortable. The school’s atmosphere was friendly. It did not fit the law school stereotype of intimidation and stress. It felt like the type of place I could enjoy spending three years. And so, in August of 2011 I moved from Michigan to Virginia and began my law school career.
It turns out I was right. I have truly enjoyed my three years at W&L. There are many, many reasons W&L was the right choice but there are two experiences that stand out in my mind. First, I value the experiences I had traveling and getting to know professors. And second, my time working with the Kirgis Fellow program is an important example of the W&L community.
The best way to explain the opportunities at W&L is to choose one class and explain how it made an impact on my law school career. In my second year at W&L I took a seminar entitled Comparative Constitutional Law. The class was limited to nine students and we had great debates about the German and US constitutions. Over spring break the students had the opportunity to travel with the professor to Germany. We had class with German law students and visited important legal sites in Germany and France. Six of us made the trip, and it was a highlight of my law school career. We had hands-on experience discussing legal topics with students from around the world. It also gave us a chance to get to know our professor. Knowing our professors is something all W&L students appreciate. The professors here enjoy talking with students, giving advice to students and, in my case, traveling with students. One of the reasons I am glad I choose W&L is that students learn more from professors than just case law. We get to know them, we hear their stories and get their advice. The professors at the law school are excited to help students and that is a major reason I am glad I attended W&L.
The second thing about my time at W&L that stands out is my involvement with the Kirgis Fellow Program. At W&L each small section of roughly 20 students is assigned a Kirgis Fellow. The Kirgis is a second year law student who helps the 1Ls through orientation week and throughout the first year of law school. The Kirgis is an amazing resource and for many students is their first friend at the school. I was selected to be a Kirgis Fellow in my second year, and I truly loved the experience. I had 23 1L students. It was great to get to know them and help them through their first year. I am still close friends with my section of 1Ls and I truly believe the Kirgis Fellow program helps create the atmosphere of friendliness and helpfulness at the school. It passes down the W&L tradition of community, and it is one of the most important things I did here at W&L.
As I near graduation, I look back fondly on my time here at W&L. I know that I have changed and grown throughout my law school career. I believe I changed for the positive because of the open atmosphere and sense of community. It was the right decision for me.