Breaking Out of the Law School Bubble
I spent my four undergraduate years in Oberlin, Ohio, one of those prototypical small college towns where the school dominates everything. When I was looking at law schools, I wanted something different — I wanted to live in a big city. I wanted to get away from a traditional “campus.” NYU Law seemed perfect.
Its Greenwich Village location is one of the most lively, dynamic neighborhoods in New York. The slews of tourists scarfing down Peanut Butter & Co. sandwiches and taking in shows at The Blue Note would remind me that there is more to the world than law school and help keep me sane.
However, after a couple of months at NYU Law, I found myself tired of the area surrounding the school. (Living in New York spoils you – Oberlin had only ONE BAR and now I actually complain that there is nowhere to go when there are roughly 127 bars and restaurants within three blocks!).
Occasionally, I have to break out of what I call the NYU Law Bubble—roughly bordered by Eighth Street to the north, Houston to the South, Sixth Avenue to the west, and Broadway to the east. This area, roughly ten blocks in diameter, represents the NYU Law “campus,” the place many are unlikely to leave on a daily basis.
Sixth Avenue, although only two blocks west of the Law School, serves as a psychological barrier to many of my classmates (something I notice when I try to convince my classmates that the Five Guy’s Burgers in the West Village is actually closer to the school than the one within the Bubble).
To force myself out of the Bubble, sometimes I invent an errand. “I think I really need to bring Magnolia Bakery’s molasses cookies to my class,” I tell myself, which sends me on a 15- minute walk west on Bleecker Street. Or I decide to go for a juicy burger at the Corner Bistro–where Fourth Street inexplicably intersects Twelfth Street. Or I play shuffleboard at the Black Cat, a basement bar with billiard tables, scrabble boards and cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon. Or, I decide to take in the gorgeous views from Hudson River Park.
Breaking free from The Bubble, I am reminded that there is more to life than casebooks and section drama, which helps me strike the right balance between work and pleasure.