Editor’s Note: One of my very favorite parts of attending BC Law is the constant interaction with classmates who push you to be better. They motivate you to set goals that would have seemed unthinkable on the first day of 1L year, and inspire you to exceed even those heightened aspirations. Although she would never admit it herself, Lainey Sullivan is the living, breathing embodiment of this type of BC student. I reached out to Lainey and asked if she had the time to write a brief welcome letter to next year’s incoming students, and what she sent back blew me away. Per usual. Without further ado, I am very pleased to present…
Why I Will Miss BC Law and Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Chance to Be an Eagle
By Lainey Sullivan, President, Boston College Law Students Association
Very few law students (besides BC students) will miss law school. But because of the people I am privileged to learn with and learn from every day, and the opportunities I have been given to grow, I will miss Boston College Law School. A lot.
I will focus on three main reasons why the Class of 2015 will miss BC Law, and why you, as the Class of 2018, should either be really excited for the Fall or commit to this amazing place ASAP.
1) The Students
When I stop and look around the classrooms I sit in, I am in awe of my classmates. They are kind and intelligent. They are committed to learning and growing as lawyers. They will go on to be leaders in business or tax law, immigration, juvenile or criminal justice, international law, and probably even serve in elected office in Washington D.C. I am moved by the great things I know the Boston College Law School Class of 2015 will do, both collectively and as individuals.
I have shared everything from slow claps after in-class announcements (shout-out to Section 2) to school-wide hangovers with BC Law students. My classmates have been there for me with both post-breakup meals (more nourishing because of the companionship than the pizza) and with engaging conversations about race, equity, and accountability as future legal professionals. My friends have swept National Moot Court competitions, won PSJD Pro Bono awards, argued in front of the 9th Circuit, counseled countless clients, and set the national record for law school class gift engagement. And that is just a snapshot.
I will miss BC Law because not all law students are as amazing as my classmates, and in a few months I won’t have the gift of seeing them every day. I want to curl up into the fetal position just thinking about that horrible reality. The only saving grace is the knowledge that many of them will be in my life forever, and that the positive impact they will begin to make in the legal community is more important than my selfish desire to spend twelve hours in a van with them driving down to the University of Virginia Law School Softball Tournament.
2) The Educators
Law school classes are hard. But, believe it or not, my professors have managed to also make classes FUN. The thing is, BC Law is very good at choosing students and professionals who are very, very, very smart, but not so bookish that they lack a sense of humor or personality. Whether it is Mary-Rose Papandrea nerding out over the release of the Texas license plates decision, Robert Bloom imitating textualist Justice Black’s southern drawl in class, or James Rogers wearing a chicken tie and bringing his stuffed chicken, Audrey, to class while covering a case asking “what is chicken?”, I have no doubt that BC Law students have more FUN in and out of classroom than other law students.
Educators at BC Law care about students as people. I have been invited to multiple professors’ homes, met the immediate family members of at least three professors, gone to lunch off campus with students and professors, and enjoyed drinks and shenanigans with the Dean on Sidebar.
My professors, the involved alumni I have worked with, and the faculty/administrators at BC Law have given me invaluable models for how to be a lawyer who is both zealous and human. Through their examples, I have been provided a roadmap for how to live a meaningful life in the law. While I will drag my feet all the way to graduation, I also look forward to joining the larger BC Law community. Because, damn, are they amazing.
3) The Opportunities:
A typical week at BC Law includes any or all of the following:
- Reading landmark civil rights cases
- Arguing on behalf of real live people
- Eating pie in the Yellow Room
- Listening to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor speak at BC Law
- Dancing at Bar Review (which are socials, not study sessions)
- Lamenting the existence of the Bluebook with classmates
- Doing the Wobble on a Boat Cruise
- Beating a team called “Jorts” in Charlottesville, VA
- PRIDE that we go to school with people we actually like
As President of the Law Students Association, proud member of the Criminal Procedure National Moot Court team, dual degree student (MA in Education), JRAP (Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project Clinic) alum, LSA Softball LVP (least valuable player), Sidebar Retreat leader, and former Women’s Law Center Board Member, I have chosen to get involved at BC Law. I have embraced the motto, investment yields investment. I am only one example of how to do that at BC Law- I am in awe of my many classmates who have shared the experience of investing in BC. And let me tell you, it has already paid off big time.
On behalf of the Class of 2015, welcome to BC Law, 2018s. The students we gained friendships with, the educators we learned from, and the opportunities we were given have changed us. There is so much we will miss, and so much you have to look forward to.
Lainey Sullivan is a 3L, concurrently pursuing a Masters in Higher Education with Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, and the President of the Law Students Association for the 2014-15 academic year. To contact her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave her a message in the comments section below.