The life of the law school

BY ALLISON WHITE

Welcome to Harvard Law School. True to the law school tradition, I – a “tenured” 3L – will take a moment to speak on matters of which I have only meager experience.

I say that only half-jokingly. In your first few days here, you will be advised by countless “veterans”. Three-Ls, the veterans of the student body, were only two years ago in your same shoes. Your professors’ experience may only be of a few years; even the longest-tenured professors claim only a few decades. In the context of a nearly two-century-old law school, built on centuries-old jurisprudence, that span of time is nothing.

Justice Holmes told us that, “The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.” The life of the Law School, I believe, is little different; unfortunately, given the short institutional memory of the visible players at HLS, that experience is best found outside of class and casebooks. So my first advice to you spend at least some of your three law-school years – especially of your first – surrounding yourself in the rich heritage of your school, and your new city, Boston.

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