1L of a Class

I’m in East Wing 115, the very first room I sat in as a brand-new BC Law student. It’s the room that looks so much like a Greek amphitheater and feels like one, too, when the questioning begins. The lights aren’t even on because it’s 8am, a full half-hour before Contracts, and dammit. I’m not even the first one here. Walking to my seat, I shake my head. Who gets up early for Contracts at 8:30 in the morning?! It’s a ridiculous question, of course, because the answer is Me. I get up early for Contracts. It’s just that…I didn’t think anyone else would. And it’s not just one else, either. There are a good half-dozen elses, chatting softly together in the gently lit dark. I shake my head again. Madness.

By eight-fifteen, the classroom is full. Section 2 is present and accounted for. Hillinger could walk in and start her interrogation critical questioning, and no one would bat an eye. Everyone is ready, anyway. Somebody tapped the lights on the way in, and now the classroom blazes with life and energy and conversation.

We’re happy.

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The Last First Day

The TV sitcom Frasier debuted on NBC in 1993. The premier episode introduced the series’ principal characters and the plot of the show: a Seattle psychiatrist turned radio host, Frasier Crane, returning to the city after working in Boston following the events of Cheers, alongside his brother Niles, also a psychiatrist, and his father, Martin, a widower and former police officer who retired after being shot and permanently impaired by a suspect following a long career on the force.

Martin and his dog Eddie move into his son’s upscale, downtown apartment, followed by his housekeeper and English physical therapist, Daphne Moon. Frasier becomes upset by the dated furniture his dad brings, as well as having the dog indoors, setting up a clash of independence, age, lifestyle, culture, perspective, and family. The two get on each other’s nerves and have a fiery argument.

The next day on his radio show, Frasier goes to the phones to talk to his callers, only to find an apologetic Martin on the line. Frasier then apologizes for his own arrogance and reconciles with his father.

It’s a clash of two different worlds, to be sure. I am reminded of this scene as I am faced with my first day of 3L, and, in all likelihood, my last ever first day of school. In my own mind, I feel like both Frasier and his dad at times—in the middle of a transition to a new life, but with a foot still firmly planted in the past.

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Free Food: The Beating Heart of Law School Student Life

Basic economic theory will tell you, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” But, law school is rife with opportunities for a free lunch. So, who should you believe?

Well, incoming students should go ahead and throw those economics degrees straight into the trash where they belong, because attending BC Law is a three-year barrage of free lunch after free lunch. The Alpha is Panera Bread at 1L summer orientation, the Omega is Nina Farber bribing reluctant 3Ls to learn about bar exam preparation with pizza, and there are countless free food opportunities in between: club meetings, career services trainings, seminars, guest-speaker panels, and so on.

Rather than, say, prepare for my upcoming finals, I have instead surveyed a collection of 3Ls on their favorite free-food experiences – and transmitted their responses into digital format so that the data may outlive us all, somewhere in the cloud. I asked “what was your favorite free-food experience from a BC Law event?” and they answered:

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5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Law School

Returning to school after Spring Break is always an adjustment. You’ve relaxed, you’ve slept in, and, if you’re luckier than me, you’ve traveled to a tropical destination. Getting up for your 9 am lectures and spending late nights briefing cases can feel harder than ever, especially as the weather is starting to get warmer. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was much easier to hunker down and read when it was freezing cold and dark at 4 pm.

And yet, just as these factors are combining to make motivation for school drop to its lowest, we’re also approaching the home stretch of the semester when it’s the most crucial to keep motivation up.

If you need inspiration to keep going through these last weeks until summer, here are some tips.

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From Court to Courtroom: BC Law Basketball and the Road to a Championship

Guest post by John Reilly

My most embarrassing moment of 1L year wasn’t messing up an answer to a cold call or falling down the stairs while giving a tour to thirty students, although both of those things did happen. My most embarrassing moment came on January 23, 2020 – my first intramural basketball game for the BC Law team. Having played basketball my entire life and having coached for two years before starting at BC Law, I was so excited to meet a group of 1Ls similarly passionate about the game. And with high energy and even higher expectations, we promptly lost that first game by a score of 50-11. Yeah – we lost by 40. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be our only loss in our first season, as we lost every single subsequent game by similar margins. And while I hated to lose, I loved getting to know my classmates outside of Torts and Contracts. 

We didn’t realize it at the time, but that season would be the last set of games for the BC Law hoops team for nearly two years. But don’t worry, because our basketball team is back and better than ever! And this year, things are different. This year, we won’t lose every game by forty points. This year, the BC Law Basketball Team is going to win a championship.

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Cementing Friendships on BC Law’s Annual Ski Trip

Guest blog By Kevin Winiarski

One of the first things my current roommate told me about social life at BC Law was the ski trip he went on as a 1L back in Winter 2020. Throughout my search for law schools, I had heard plenty of stories of BC’s bar reviews and the other opportunities he had to meet people and forge initial friendships. But in talking with both my roommate and his friends (now 3Ls), one theme almost unanimously emerged: “I didn’t really know my friends until we went on ski trip.”

And it wasn’t just as a 0L that I heard this sentiment. This year, one our way home from Killington, I asked a 3L friend how Ski Trip 2022 compared to its 2020 edition. Her response, in a nutshell, was that the two trips were “different, but in a good way.” The first time around was an experience that truly molded the friendships that would characterize her remaining two years at BC; the second, meanwhile, was a culmination of those friendships and a chance to let loose after having so many social opportunities of the preceding two years marred by COVID-19.

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“Don’t Make Law School Your Personality”

Before starting my first semester of law school, some of the most repeated advice I heard from those who had taken this journey before me was “don’t make law school your personality.” This sentiment was echoed in personal conversations with current students and in sessions hosted by student reps during orientation, and each time I heard it, I laughed it off.

It felt like such a strange thing to be saying over and over! It was too specific to be coincidentally repeated, but I didn’t really get what it meant. I understood the more general advice to take time off from school every once in a while, but what did that have to do with law school becoming your personality? I started to think this was some weird joke I wasn’t in on.

But then, classes started. It turns out what I wasn’t “in on” was law school, because once I was in on that, I saw what all those 2Ls and 3Ls were talking about.

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Wait a Minute: Am I Actually Grateful for Exams?

As I entered into the thick of finals, I found myself in the usual funk of the season. Whether it be the long hours studying, the unfortunate act of flipping through class notes only to find illegible scribbles, or the jealousy rising in me as I see people pass my window enjoying their afternoons–I cannot help but feel a bit grumpy about what I (and all other law students) are going through at the moment.

On top of the usual irritability, I am painfully aware that this is my fifth time heading into finals. As a 3L, I have found myself dragging my feet more this time around. I have admittedly become a bit more impatient with tough concepts, lackluster in my study habits, and generous with my study breaks.

It was within one of these study breaks that I found myself browsing through the BC Law Magazine website and found this article highlighting Professor Bloom’s famous Ugly Sweater Contest.

Beyond chuckling at the images of Prof. Bloom and the class showing off their goofy sweaters, I felt a rush of nostalgia. I had completely forgotten about my own section’s Ugly Sweater Contest two years ago. Cooped up in a Civil Procedure review session, I remember laughing at both the fashion choices of my classmates and Professor Bloom’s zany commentary along the way. It was such a pleasant (and needed) break from stressing over what would be my first ever law school exam–a lighter moment to share with the people that had filled my life over the semester and who were going through the same taxing time.

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American Politics Is Just A Toxic Law School Section

Recently I was scrolling through Twitter (never a good idea) after a Patriots game to see what the beat reporters were saying about the game and look for any takeaways I had missed.

Interspersed amongst these tweets were those of other (non-sporty) accounts I follow. Like many people, I follow a range of media outlets, individuals, sports teams, brands, journalists and celebrities. In the couple of years I have had a Twitter account, I have deleted the app on several occasions and only recently found myself using it again when I learned there are some really interesting accounts that track what’s happening in my local Newton community.

I’m always interested in what’s happening locally. I followed some of these accounts, and the act of doing so in turn suggested similar accounts to follow, and before long I was seeing tweets about roadwork, Zoom city hall meetings, polemic diatribes on bike lanes, and voting locations.

I was genuinely stunned however (which is saying something in 2021) when I happened upon the tweets of a few city councilors posing for a selfie together inside of the newly opening Tatte Bakery & Cafe on Centre St. in Newton—an upscale eatery for the Greater Boston bon vivant that boasts only four locations in the state, in the enclaves of Newton, Brookline, Boston, and Cambridge, as well as a de rigeur location in Washington D.C.

I was confused about what I was looking at, and why. Sure, we’ve all seen politicians at ribbon cuttings for schools and hospitals and senior centers and the like. 

But Tatte?

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“Hey There Pennoyer:” Song Parodies and BC Law Culture

Travis here: today I’m hosting a guest post from my friend and classmate, Tong Liu, Class of 2023.


The start of a new experience can always be nerve-wracking, with law school being no different. Diving into a new environment, meeting new people and navigating the complexities of pandemic life each brings a whole host of challenges. Some, like learning how to use Zoom properly, are easy and usually overcome within a few days. Others, like figuring out how best to prepare for classes, can take a matter of weeks. However, one of the most difficult challenges for me is determining how much of myself I can share with others.

Going into law school during a pandemic, I knew that in-person interactions would be limited. Half of my classes were going to be on Zoom, and the in-person classes had everyone masked up and socially distanced. I was also commuting about an hour and a half round-trip for classes, making it difficult for me to meet up with classmates who lived near campus.

Still, the commute ended up becoming a blessing of sorts as well. I was able to have a period of zen before and after classes as I drove, jamming out to an eclectic mix of songs. Safe within the confines of my car, I could take off my mask after a long day in class or at the library, and belt the songs out loud without any shame. 

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