First Impressions of a New York Newcomer (and 2L Transfer)

I never imagined that I’d be living in New York City, much less attending law school here. But here I am: A Sunshine State runaway navigating down one-way streets, through the subway, and around Times Square during Early Interview Week (NYU’s precursor to on-campus interviews).

Central Park: the best way to leave the city without leaving the city.
Central Park: the best way to leave the city without leaving the city.

As a transfer student, I found that my transition to NYU Law was probably a bit more hectic than that of the average 1L, who hopefully can make his or her decision much further in advance. I found out I was accepted to NYU as a transfer student about one month before moving to the city. That left me just enough time to wrap up my judicial internship in the Southern District of Florida, make the final rounds at all my favorite Miami restaurants (cheese truck, I’m coming back for you one day), and pack all of my clothes, books, and plants into my car. I spent about a week in my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, before selling my car and piling as much as I could into two checked suitcases and one precious carry-on.

Before moving to New York, I’d visited the city for one day during my undergrad years, and was not anxious to return. Full disclosure: I was nervous, not only about relocating to an enormous city, but also about the transfer process in general. But my initial hesitation is what makes my opinion (hopefully) valuable to other students who are considering transferring to NYU Law. Not to sugar-coat: the transfer process is not an easy one, especially if you’re moving across the country. I’m finally nearing the end of a month-long whirlwind that consisted of moving to New York from Florida, finding my way to the DoubleTree in Times Square for three days of marathon interviewing with firms, completing the transfer writing competition, learning to navigate the subway for my callback interviews, and figuring out the game show-esque process of bidding on classes.

So, how do I feel now that the dust has begun to settle? Surprisingly, quite relaxed. And here are a few of the reasons why I don’t (and won’t) regret transferring to NYU Law:

1) The people (both staff and other students) are actually helpful—while I can only speak for those at NYU, I have been pleasantly surprised by how warm, welcoming, and just plain friendly that everyone I’ve met has been.

Every NYC newcomer should ride the Staten Island Ferry at least once—it's free!
Every NYC newcomer should ride the Staten Island Ferry at least once—it’s free!

2) Despite the large class sizes, I’ve found that it’s easy to find a niche of people. In a class with about 40 to 50 other transfer students, I didn’t have to worry about being an oddball because there are so many of us. It also helped that I happened to transfer with my fiancé, who is also a law student.

3) The Village is a beautiful, cozy, and student-friendly neighborhood. Really, if there’s anything transfer or 1L students should know, especially those who don’t hail from the Empire State, it’s this: Live close to campus! From veggie hotdogs (and normal hotdogs, for you carnivores), to falafel sandwiches, to Indian cart food, to cookies, coffee, and wine, this neighborhood might just have it all.

For now, then, I’ll be digging into classes, attempting my first C&S as a law review member, and enjoying the weather by running on the West Side Highway. As for the impending northern winter that I’ve never had the misfortune to experience, I try not to think about it.