The fall of 2016 has been an interesting time to enter law school, to say the least. We millennials are currently living through the most vitriolic presidential campaign of our lifetimes. While it is safe to say most of us are ready for this election to be over and for our country to move forward, the Law School has provided a great setting for debate, involvement, discussion, and—let’s be honest—commiseration about the issues being raised in this campaign.
While this realization was not on my mental radar when starting law school a few months ago, I am grateful to be living through this moment of political history as a law student at NYU. The law school environment inherently provides a forum for discussion, and I have found my classmates consistently ready and eager to engage, whether in posting entertaining yet insightful Facebook statuses during the debates or volunteering to serve as poll watchers on November 8 to ensure no voter intimidation occurs. Student organizations regularly use the Law School’s electronic mailing list to send out information about opportunities to phone bank, canvass for candidates, attend debate watch parties, and meet and talk about issues (over free food, of course!). My fellow law students are motivated to throw themselves into the work of this election, and it’s contagious. As my classmate Steve Demarest said, “As far as the law school experience goes, I’ve definitely felt more engaged in the election since coming here. People talk about it all the time, so it’s hard not to.”
While it has been easy to feel down about this election (after all, Canada felt compelled to tweet nice things about our country in an effort to lift our spirits), the activity and engagement within the NYU Law environment have allowed me to keep my own spirits up in the face of a degenerating political discourse. However, I think we are all ready to focus more on outlining for Contracts class and less on leaked emails and inflammatory tweets on November 9. In the meantime, we as law students have limitless opportunities to speak out and be involved in this election, which makes us very fortunate.