In spring we are expecting trees to blossom. When this season comes, we realize it is time to wave goodbye without quite understanding how we have gone through nine months so unconsciously yet impressively.

A long time ago, I watched a film whose main character has a habit of leaving the theater during the second-to-last song. He says the last song is too sad, so he leaves during the one before to keep the precious memory.

For what is probably my last post as an NYU Law student, I decided not to talk about graduation but rather the things I wish I had done here during my LLM studies. Such is life: we stick to what we choose during our days and have fantasies in our dreams about the road not taken. Honestly, I do not have any regrets. It is hard not to have any regrets, but I can say so for this period of my life. Even so, there would be choices that I would probably make differently if given the chance.

The first thing I wish I had done is to take a course in jurisprudence. During my exchange year at University College London, Professor Ronald Dworkin was also visiting UCL Law School. I did not manage to meet him there, and thought I would definitely take his course at NYU Law. Unfortunately, he left this world with his great legacy too early. Therefore, I did not take any jurisprudence course at NYU. At the end, I wonder what it would be like to study jurisprudence in such a practical environment, especially as an LLM student.

The second thing I wish I had done is to join a clinic. Originally, I think a clinic was simply another type of class. After viewing several resumes and discussing the clinic experience with professors and classmates, I found out that a clinic is more like a theoretical internship. For those students who study international law, I would sincerely recommend the International Organizations Clinic co-taught by Professor Gráinne de Búrca.

The third thing I wish I had done is to ask foreign friends out for dinner at an earlier stage. According to Chinese culture, it would be a bit rude to ask people to dine out too soon. But it turns out that everybody is busy with something else in the second semester. And I could barely squeeze any time in for brunch with friends.

With my fellow LLMs.

With my fellow LLMs.

The last thing I wish I had done is to have had more in-depth and private communication with professors. At least I could have made more use of office hours. The best way to do it is to write a paper and ask for feedback. During this whole year, I wrote only one paper, and indeed I gained a lot from speaking about it with Professor Jerome Cohen. However, I believe I also missed a lot of opportunities that I could have pursued with certain professors. Even though I have already asked to keep in touch through emails, I still believe face-to-face communication is the most effective and fruitful way.



This entry was written by and posted on May 16, 2014.
The entry was filed under these categories: Classes, Faculty, International Law, Tips and Advice

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