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, Lauren Formica takes on the topic.
I went to a W&L open house where I met students from the law school. I remember two of these students in particular. One was a first-year student and the other was a third-year student. The first-year student told me about the law school football league that plays every Friday, how the faculty know your first name, the caliber of the school, and how students do not step on one another to get ahead. Then, I met the third-year student from Philadelphia. She gave me the one piece of advice that to this day resonates with me. She said if you want to go back to your home state, you should attend Washington and Lee because local students tend to go to local law schools and compete for local jobs. By going to W&L, I could offer a prospective firm a different educational background. I could diversify my resume and differentiate myself in the challenging job market. That is where Washington and Lee came into the picture. Ultimately, to me it came down to two questions: The first: where will I get the best education to become the best lawyer possible? And second, what school can help me get my dream job when I graduate? Washington and Lee was the answer to both of these questions.
Signing up for law school meant signing up for a challenging three years that tests you mentally and analytically. Some people may think that Washington and Lee’s location, situated in the Shenandoah Valley, is a downside of the school because it is in such a small town. It is not a downside; instead, it is a benefit. Instead of traffic, the hustle and bustle of a big city, the distractions from a large mall or a long commute, I chose a two-minute commute in a beautiful country town where people sit on their porches, eat southern style barbeque and crickets lull you to sleep. Law school very well may be the most stressful three years of my life, but I am glad I completed those three years in a relaxing setting.
“My personal life is falling apart.” said Andy Sachs. Nigel responded, “That’s what happens when you start doing well at work. Let me know when your entire life goes up in smoke: then it’s time for a promotion.” The Devil Wears Prada. The same is true for your first semester in law school. It is hard. It is challenging. It can be gruesome. But like most things in life, sometimes you need to clear out the clutter to make room for the new.
In the end, it is a leap a faith you will take when deciding whether or not to attend law school. When you receive an acceptance from W&L, it is not just an offer to a prestigious institution, but a guarantee that their faculty, students, and your soon-to-be-peers will catch you should you take that leap. I can personally attest that if you should you take this opportunity, W&L will welcome you into their community.