This is an interview with Washington Heights resident, Stephanie Smith who is in her first year of law school at New York Law School.
Smith is a junior and is starting her experience in the legal field. She has been a legal assistant at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig for a number of years.
Stephanie describes the experience we’re living through here in the city as being more of an “experiential law school” than a real legal degree. It sounds like the experience of going to law school at some college or university but at the same time is more like going to an experiential law school.
The experiential law school experience sounds like it should be great (although it is also very intense. I can’t imagine someone who is actually studying something would want to go through that kind of experience). I just think that lawyers in general (and law school lawyers in particular) seem to have a lot of preconceived notions about what they should be studying, and how the experience of going to law school should be.
There are a lot of legal terms that you have to get used to if you want to practice law, and that includes the idea that the only way to do law is to be so good at reading the laws and being able to interpret them that you never need to study a single thing. You can, however, get a lot of practice in writing and oral legal briefs. But just because you understand some legal term doesn’t mean you can interpret all of the other legal terms.
Washinton Heights just celebrated its 20th anniversary with a party in the park. The event was a big event, but it was also a chance for law students to have a beer and bond over the fact that they all went to law school together. It was a chance for the law school to recognize some of the people who made it successful, and it was also a chance for the law school to acknowledge the fact that it was really good in the first place.
Yeah, it was a chance for law students to have a beer and have fun in the park. The law school does a great job of getting out of its own way, and we all know that there are many people who don’t graduate with a degree in the law. The law school is a great institution, but it doesn’t need to be all about the law.
It’s certainly something that the law school should be thinking about, but I do wonder if they could have done a better job of recognizing the people who made it happen. Some of the best people in the law are its own alumni.