I sat down with Amy Wolfe, a 1L, this week to ask her a few questions about NYU Law School from the perspective of a student.
Q: What did you study in college, and when did you decide you wanted to go to law school?
In college I was a double philosophy and poly-sci major with a minor in gender studies. After I graduated in 2010 I did some road-tripping and traveling. I moved to Australia, where I worked and traveled before deciding I wanted to go to law school. I came back a little earlier than I expected to study for the LSAT in Washington, D.C. I worked a bit there before coming to NYU.
Q: Why law school?
I’d always thought about going, but I was worried that I might be choosing law school as a default option rather than as something I really wanted to do. Ultimately I decided that law school was the best way to achieve my goals; I’m really interested in gender issues and policy, and a law degree will significantly help me.
Q: Are you glad you took time off?
Yeah, I am really glad. It is my personal opinion that people should take a break. If you are worried about not wanting to come back, everyone worries about that. You should actually be allowed to not come back.
Q: What did you think law school would be like before you came?
I thought it would be a lot of work, and it is even more than I anticipated. It is not just schoolwork, but things outside of school. It is an aggressive time commitment, but I am a lot happier than I thought I’d be. I like NYU. I like the people; they make me happy.
Q: How have your impressions of law school changed since coming?
Before I came, I was figuring out where I should go to school, and I thought I would want a more secluded law school experience. I came to NYU independently of any desire to live in New York City. The biggest surprise for me was how much living here adds to the experience. It is not a distraction. Instead, my free time and study breaks are a lot more fulfilling because there is so much to do. I can go to Brooklyn, or to the Met. Being in NYC is amazing—there is so much to get involved with and ways in which you can help the community. I also have a lot of friends in the city. It is great for your sanity to not hang out exclusively with law students.
Q: What are some of your favorite or least favorite things about the NYU/NYC experience?
My least favorite thing is just how expensive it is. But just remember that NYC caters to everyone. There are an equal number of inexpensive things to do. One big thing is to not trick yourself into thinking that finding a cheap, cool place to eat out would be cheaper than cooking your own food. Even though the supermarkets can be expensive, cooking a lot is a better idea.
Q: What are you doing this summer and next summer?
This summer I am working at the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust in Dhaka doing rape law reform work. I have an international human rights fellowship through the school, and I am very excited about it. With the fellowship, I get to take seminars and have the chance to work on a paper that I am really passionate about dealing with these issues. Next summer, I’ll likely be at a firm.
Q: What do you want to do after you graduate, and has that changed since you’ve started school?
Yes, it has changed, but not in an all-encompassing way. I am more interested in gender issues now, but I want to see how my work in Dhaka affects my career plans. Coming in, I wasn’t thinking about private firm work, but now I am beginning to appreciate the type of respect and networking opportunities you can get at a firm. You can accrue power and momentum for the types of things that you like to do. I am also considering clerking in the future, but right now I ideally might want to work at a firm that does pro bono work in fields that I am interested in.
Q: Any more advice for incoming students?
You should go to the law school where you think you’ll be the happiest. Rankings, yeah, they are definitely important, but might not be the best gauge of where you’ll thrive and succeed.