Orientation officially kicked off last evening with a reception and dinner in the courtyard. It was a sweltering evening – by our Palo Altan standards – as the temperature dropped from the daytime high of about 100 degrees to the mid-80s by early evening. The heat did not stifle the conversations by any means and colleagues have already commented on the “personality” of this class. Yes, each class has a distinct personality. Ask anyone here at the school and you’ll get an interesting conversation going. It is always an extraordinary experience to see all the students in one spot at the same time, to usher in a new class, to be there at the start. It never gets old and I never ever get over the excitement of it. Each person started out as an electronic file for me to read – one out of 4000+. Files were read, sorted, reread, and resorted until the 180 members of the Class of 2013 finally took shape and came into existence. And, here they are.
But what about you? What do you get out of this posting? Well, every single person who was at dinner last night started out at the same point you find yourself in right now – about to begin the process. You see that it does come to an end. You see that you will find yourself in law school somewhere. So, on one end you are about to start the application process and on the other end you know you’ll land somewhere. What matters now is what lies between these bookends. So, here’s my tip of the day for you to consider. It is so important that you take the process seriously from the very beginning. There are two things you need to think about. First, make sure law school is right for you and that you’re not just filing that application as a default. Remember this…seeking sanctuary in law school because you don’t know what else to do is not a good thing. It’s hard work and you really should love the law and, if you don’t have the passion for this, maybe your gut is telling you to look elsewhere. Second, make sure that you want this now. We’ll be around for a long time, but will that other opportunity be there later? I’m not convinced opportunity knocks only once, but think about where you are in your life at the moment and think about what feels right for now and what makes sense for you at this juncture. Listen to that inner voice. Trust your instincts.