As previously noted, over the next few weeks, we will feature a number of blog posts by current students in which they discuss why they chose W&L Law. Today, third-year student, Rob Vrana, takes on the topic.
I chose W&L Law because of its sense of community. You can tell from the moment you walk into the school that it is not a “commuter school.” Unlike many law schools located in big cities where students live in different areas and don’t know each other outside of class, W&L is small and students are all familiar with each other. We don’t just attend class together; we study, play sports, eat meals, go on trips, and generally hang out together. I realized this would make the law school a much more pleasant place to be, and over the last three years, I have made some very good friends here.
I thought this sense of community would make school easier as well, and it absolutely has. Because everyone knows each other well, W&L is not a cut-throat place. Despite the competitiveness of law school grading, students here help each other out. We prepare for class together, study together, and send each other notes when we have to miss class. No one would ever sabotage a fellow student; we are genuinely excited for each other when our peers do well in a class or receive a good job opportunity. The sense of community definitely eases what can otherwise be a very competitive endeavor and makes it much more bearable.
Professors are also an integral part of the W&L Law community. I had the good fortune to meet several professors when I was a prospective student, and I was so impressed by their willingness to answer questions and their genuine interest in people who were not even their students yet. Professors here are fully invested in their students’ success and in the law school community. They are not preoccupied by their research or their part-time law practices. Rather, they are teachers first and foremost, and their doors are always open to students. I have spent considerable time with professors discussing not only their classes, but my writing, extracurricular activities, and the job search. Professors are so accessible here that I have often met with mine over weekends and after 5:00 p.m.
The other place where the W&L community comes into play is the network provided by our alumni. I heard coming into law school that W&L alums are fiercely loyal to their law school, but I had no idea how far this extends. Alumni truly are invested in the success of their alma mater and its students. This is particularly helpful when looking for a job, because you need merely say where you go to school and W&L alumni will immediately become your advocates. I have had several experiences where alumni have gone to seemingly extreme lengths to help me make a good impression on their employers. One alum even spent almost our entire interview helping me prepare to interview with the other attorneys I would meet after him. I have never met an employer who didn’t tell me that they would like to have more W&L lawyers working with them.
All of these aspects of the W&L Law community combined to give me a good sense that I would be happy at W&L, both while I am here and afterwards. And that has absolutely been the case. This is a great place, and that is largely because the community is so supportive.