Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses

Dear New Students,

Let us be the 613th people to welcome you to HLS. You are in the first steps of what will be an amazing journey. Drink for the word journey. #TheBachelorette #I’mWithLuke #TheBacheLuke.

As you begin your decorated legal careers, people will be asking you all sorts of challenging questions. Your professors will ask you for the facts and holding of Palsgraf, and your friends and families will be asking you for the definition of a tort. The former we can help you with, the latter … well … we are sure we could find someone to help you out.

Without doubt, you are among some of the smartest people you will ever meet. You may feel your brains grow as you learn how to law good. It is easy to get caught up in the fray. You may find yourself lost in the maze of cases, outlines, and acronyms. See, e.g., LIPP; SPIF; EIP, etc. It is a New Deal style of alphabet soup. Would FDR have relied on acronyms if people called him Franky? Unclear.

Amidst the chaos and academic rigor, we advise the following: have fun!

You can learn a lot in the classroom setting from your professors, but you can learn even more out and about with your friends. If Elle Woods did not go to the mixer where Tracy Marsinco was hosed down from head to toe, she would not have known that the water would deactivate the ammonium thioglycolate and ruin her perm, and she may have lost her case. You will not likely be trying criminal cases as a 1L, but be sure to ask about clinics for next year if you feel confident with hair-care routine.

So go out. Explore Boston. Travel. Watch Netflix. Chill. Watch Netflix and chill. 😉 Watch a football game without wondering if the players’ concussion litigation qualified for federal subject matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act. Have a beer without discussing whether Rousseau’s Social Contract contained a valid offer and acceptance. Any time is too much time to hide behind the safety of a casebook and an outline. The signatories are very lucky to have made a wonderful collection of memories, and very few of them involve reading in a Wasserstein study room (the cannibalism case in crim being a rare exception).

Believe it or not, it is possible to do well AND have fun. “Madness,” you say? “Crazy,” you allege? Don’t believe us? Then prove us wrong. Prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. We’ll make it easier. Prove it by a preponderance of the evidence! But to prove it, you’ll need to have fun. See what we did there? Lawyered!

With warm wishes for a successful and fun start to an amazing three years,

Jeremy Salinger

Jacqueline Wolpoe

Jeremy Salinger and Jacqueline Wolpoe are 3Ls. They are the co-presidents of the Jewish Law Students Association.


This piece was a part of the 2016 orientation issue. To read more, click here.

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