My First Two Weeks as a 1L


I’ve never written a newspaper article before, but I figured hey it can’t be all that hard – why not give it a shot? I decided to write this article about my first two – now going on three – weeks here at HLS. Like most 1L’s I had a lot of trepidation at first. I was afraid of the academics, the people, and the set of stairs that I’d have to walk down in order to get to a bathroom in Gropius. So far things have been a lot more pleasant than I anticipated.

My expectations coming to Harvard – after having watched the Paper Chase four times over the summer – were that I would be entering an intellectual boot camp. It hasn’t been boot camp … at least not yet. I spend quite a bit of time each day reading, but I’m still able to go out a fair amount – well in my case maybe a lot. I feel like the dreaded Socratic method has been more hype than reality. So what if I say something dumb in class? I usually say dumb stuff outside of class too. My only complaint is that we get homework in FYL. What gives with that? I thought I had left homework behind in college. Lame!

In fact, law school so far has been a bit more like summer camp than boot camp, despite the rigor of the academics, the daily coursework and readings. My first week, like that of most 1L’s, was spent setting up my room and getting to know the local bar scene. The fact that I don’t remember much about the bars that I visited is beside the point. It was a great first week and surprisingly, even now that classes have started, I’m still having a great time. This could be thanks in part to my Torts Professor assigning a grand total of 9 pages of reading for my first week. Or perhaps it’s because my section threw a kegger and 2 apartment parties in the span of 10 days. Regardless of the reason, my social life has been good, and despite the fact that my workload is finally starting to shape up into what I expected from law school, I find that I’m able to balance the reading and have a good amount (read: a lot) of fun.

Another thing that surprised me, and forgive me if this sounds wrong – I’m the master of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but you still love me anyway – is that the people who I’ve met here have been way more normal than I thought they would be. No doubt the neuroses will become more apparent once finals roll around, but for the most part the people I’ve met have been down to earth, nice, and, most importantly, fun to party with. It’s been really easy to make genuine connections with people; both my section and Story Hall have been amazing. I’m still waiting for the claws to come out or for me to end up with an Elle Woods moment where I’m the only one dressed up as a PlayBoy Bunny at a party. Wait, wasn’t that last weekend at Lincoln’s Inn? Nevermind, I can’t remember. Anyway, until I have a horrible “Elle Woods”-esque experience I am going to have to give all of you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you really are cool.

I do have a few complaints. I don’t like the fact that I can’t use the bathroom on my floor. If you’re a girl who lives in Story and would like to share her bathroom pass please e-mail me. The walk downstairs has proven to be quite grueling – especially in the middle of the night. Not fun! However, I am determined to persevere. I will not let the lack of adequate bathroom facilities deter me from the pursuit of good liquor and a juris doctorate. I’d like to rant some more … perhaps about the overcrowding at the Hark, but I’m going to refrain. I bid you adieu and until the next time we meet, be it at Lincoln’s Inn or Cambridge Commons, know that I am thinking warmly of you and my first 2 weeks – a great 2 weeks – here at HLS.

Arvin Abraham is a 1L from Fresno, California.

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