Advice over Coffee

Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with a prospective BU Law student over coffee. She is a friend of a friend and over the course of an hour, I found myself gushing about how I made the right decision choosing BU Law. I hope, if you’ve recently been accepted to BU Law, you’ll read through why it was so easy for me to speak about BU for an hour.

First, yes obviously law school is hard. As a 1L you’re trying to figure out how to think, learn, and manage your time in Law School. It’s completely different than undergrad or work experience. But, BU fosters an incredible community that helps you figure it all out. BU is collaborative. 2Ls and 3Ls serve as mentors to 1Ls and within the 1L class I’ve made such incredible friends. There is a sense of camaraderie during cold calls and study groups. We all want to succeed and we’re all here supporting each other. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful group to call my close friends. We found each other within the first month of school by being randomly placed in our section (one of three 1L sections). Sort of like sorority recruitment when they say “trust the system”, BU gave me incredible, supportive, kind friends.

Second, we are in a city. Now this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me I wanted to be in a city, not a college town. I’m leaving my low-20s and entering my mid-20s. I want to experience the Boston sports teams (and of course championship parades). I want to go to different bars and be surrounded, not by college students, but by young professionals. I want to be able to network directly with law firms in the area. I want to be able to stay here over the summer and experience summer in the city- drinks along the seaport, the hustle and bustle of actually working in the city where I go to school, and Red Sox night games.

Third, BU Law students have an incredible network of alumni. When I was stuck choosing between schools on the west coast, mid-west, and east-coast, I walked myself through the following. Where do I want to end up? Massachusetts. Can BU get me there? Obviously. Would I be ok going to school elsewhere? Yes. Can the other schools I got into get me to Boston?  Yes. But, is it better to build my network in Massachusetts? For me, the answer was yes. I am incredibly happy that my thought process was correct. This semester, I’ve had at least one official networking event each week. I’m starting to build a broad network already and it’s because of the strength of BU alumni. Many 2Ls and 3Ls also found this thought process worked for New York firms as well.

So, after talking about this (and more) for an hour. I finished my coffee with a smile. I was brought back to a year ago when I was being accepted to schools and how  exhaustive, yet exciting, a time it was. I know, almost a year later, that I made the right decision for me. When you make your decision, I hope you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders and excited for what your future has in store. And, if you choose BU, welcome! Get excited for an incredible three years with wonderful professors, classmates, and friends.

Putting Yourself Out There: Negotiation Competition

BU Law hosts an intramural negotiation competition each year. As a 1L, you may hear the call to compete in October and think, “Too soon. No skills.” The beauty of the negotiation competition is that you can succeed while knowing very little law. You are simply challenged to work effectively with your teammate to achieve the best outcome for your “client” in a fictitious scenario. Many students come to BU with years of interesting work experiencefundraising, teaching, social services, financethat can be easy to forget when buried in doctrinal coursework. The competition is a great way to remind yourself of all the skills you carry, even when classes have you down.

Maris & Ainsley in NYC

Maris & Ainsley in NYC

Ainsley Tucker and I were randomly partnered by the competition directors, an awesome crew of 2L and 3L students. Complete strangers, we puzzled over the confidential facts we knew about our client, brainstorming our negotiation strategy. And you know what? We had fun! Overall, the time commitment was low, and the time spent was worthwhile to meet talented BU students and receive personalized feedback on essential lawyering skills. Not to mention that after BU’s intramural competition, we got to travel to the great, great New York City to 1) compete against students from other law schools and 2) window shop.

This weekend, Ainsley and I had the chance to compete at nationals in Chicago. I was so thankful to hear critiques from seasoned litigators, arbitrators, and transactional lawyers: calling me out on bad habits, challenging me to think in new ways about problem solving, and otherwise encouraging me to keep practicing. 

Standing alone, BU Law’s intramural competitions, including client counseling in the spring semester, are a great way to put yourself out there and try something new. What’s the worst that will happen? You’ll get a few hours of critical thinking, oral presentation, and professionalism practice. Not bad. 

3L Transition: Saying Yes

As a 3L who is less than one semester away from graduating, I feel caught in between wanting to get the semester over with so I can become a “real adult,” and wanting things to go by slowly so I can soak it all in. A lot of my friends from college who aren’t in law school live in the Boston area, so it’s been tough to see them come into their own as adults the past few years while I’ve been stuck in the student realm. I’ve felt guilty far too many times for joining them for dinner or drinks on the weekends, whether that be guilt because I should be studying, guilt because my budget is tight since I’m not working full-time, or guilt for any other law-school-induced reason. I’m also feeling guilty about pushing law school out the door so quickly, as I do love my classes and I’m so lucky to have the privilege to learn from these incredible professors and classmates. That being said, I’m using 3L to try to strike a better balance between the two realms and mitigate the guilt that really shouldn’t be front and center! I think of it as a transition out of school and towards the rest of my life: a transition that can happen slowly, and can start with saying yes more often with my free time.

One of the things I said an emphatic “yes!” to was going skating with friends over the weekend. My boyfriend and I have close friends, Zach and Kristen, who just recently moved to Boston from Texas. They’re really some of our favorite people to hang out with, so I’ve been looking forward to their move for some time now. As native New Englanders, my boyfriend and I fell into the role of being their Boston guides. As such, we really wanted to help them not just survive but also enjoy the winter! One of the best things to enjoy in winter is ice skating, and outdoor skating at that. So, within a week of Zach and Kristen arriving in Boston, the four of us went ice skating at the Jack Kirrane rink, located in Brookline’s Larz Anderson park. This rink is fantastic: it’s a good size, not as touristy or as busy (usually) as the Frog Pond, cheaper than Frog Pond, and really well maintained. It’s also outside and on a hill, which gives great New England vibes. Zach and Kristen did really well ice skating and didn’t mind the 14 degree weather, either! It was a great memory and welcome to Boston.

Another thing I’ve started saying “yes!” to is events during the week and even events further in the future. With most of law school, week-day plans were almost always out of the question, and I’ve always hesitated booking things in advance because I didn’t know what my workload would be like. I’m trying to nix those habits because a) it’s probably not healthy; b) I can make things work if I try hard enough; and c) I’ve really got to stop being so tough on myself and let myself live a little. I’ve kind of gone full-force into this, too: I have plans on two separate weeknights to get dinner with different friends next week; every weekend in March is booked with trips or events; I have tentative plans to attend Foxfield down in Virginia in April; and I just bought Vampire Weekend concert tickets for September.

This transition into saying “yes” more often to events with friends also reminds me to be really present with my schoolwork and classes during the week. When I come back from an exciting weekend, I always look forward to getting back into the stability and schedule of the week. Changing things up on the weekends also prevents me from getting bored in classes during the week, and I appreciate what I’m learning just a little bit more. It’s a delicate balance that I’m still working on, but so far, I think it’s going well.

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Hot Water + Lemon

One of the best things I’ve started doing in 2019 is by starting my mornings off with hot water with lemon. There are so many health benefits to it and I swear I’ve seen an immediate difference in my energy. Additionally, it starts the day off in a health conscious light- motivating me to make healthier decisions throughout the day.

Below are a few reasons why you should start your day off with some hot lemon water:

  1. It’s great for your immune system
  2. Drinking lemon juice with warm water every morning helps in maintaining the pH balance of the body.
  3. Lemon juice helps fight infections
  4. Acts as a detoxifying agent.
  5. Lemon juice with warm water helps in quick weight loss as it promotes digestion and increases the metabolic rate.
  6. Lemon juice is also very effective at cleansing the liver as it promotes the liver to flush out toxins
  7. Lemon’s anti-inflammatory properties help in fighting respiratory tract infections, sore throat and inflammation of tonsils.
  8. Lemon juice with warm water helps keep the body hydrated as it provides electrolytes to the body.
  9. Lemon juice with warm water is also good for your dental health as it helps with toothache and prevents gingivitis.
  10. It whitens your teeth !

BU also makes it so easy to do this, because they offer free hot water in the law school cafe! I bring a cut lemon in a thermos and just fill it up in the morning and in between classes. Additionally they also have honey out which can make it taste even better!

I feel like I’ve peer pressured just about everyone in my friend group & family to start their mornings off this way, but I truly believed its made Spring semester so much better already. I used to drink so much coffee, but for some reason this combination gives me enough energy to go throughout the day without the caffeine -or the crash. (and you can always throw in a tea-bag if you need need a boost)

I found many of the health benefits from: https://www.edisoninst.com/15-benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water-in-morning-empty-stomach/-you should check out this website and see what other foods can help contribute to a healthy lifestyle !

 

 

Makin’ Coffee in the Mornin’

One of the things my classmates make fun of me for every day is the ball jar I bring in with cold brew. I have three ways to make this cold brew and I am pretty sure they are just jealous because I never pay for the, pardon my French, garbage coffee they serve in the cafe. Making your own coffee is a great way to save money and experiment at home!

My favorite coffee is drip cold brew. I bought a $20 at home piece where you put 3 cups of water in the filer on top, and about a quarter cup of coarse ground coffee in the center. This takes about 3 hours, but the coffee is fantastic and lasts in the fridge for about a week. If you feel like being super bougie try this drip tower out. Very expensive, but only the best cold brew brewers use it. I also have the 5-minute cold brew maker – it’s a little complicated and eventually needs a deep clean, but it was my preferred method for awhile. Now I’m too lazy to clean it though. Currently, however, I am using a cold brew water bottle. This is pretty much like those water bottles that have a filter that you can put fruit inside so your water tastes like fruit. You put coffee in the filter and leave it in the water bottle for 12 hours and then you have a whole bottle of cold brew!

Another favorite is espresso – I have a cheap little automatic machine, but it does the job. Having an espresso in the morning makes you feel fancy and ready to take on any cold calls that come your way. I wish I had had one this past week because my cold call during Con law was not one for the books. You can even make mochas, cappuccinos, and lattes! The little wand on the side works well enough to steam your milk.

Further, if you really want to dive into the world of coffee, so many different cultures have their own methods of coffee making. My recommendations are turkish coffee, cafe cubano, and anything from a moka pot! Look up some recipes online and your mornings will definitely be off to a great start.

For recommendations on coffee shops in Boston, follow my girlfriend and I’s Instagram page. Don’t judge me. @bostoncafecult