In the Room Where it Happens

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, ten-year-old me saw all of her wildest dreams come true. Along with the most impressive, accomplished, and inspiring classmates, I graduated from Boston University School of Law. I’ve thought about this post for almost a week now—my final blog post—and yet the words are still struggling to appear. There are so many things to say about law school, and yes, things that haven’t even made it onto this blog in the past three years! I think I’ve figured out some main takeaways, though. And I think I’m proud to have this be my ultimate blog post for the BU Law Student Blogs.

So much about law school is unexpected.

I touched upon this in my last post, but no matter how much you try to prepare for law school, you are not going to have any idea about what these three years will be like. Which means that most of this experience will be new and unexpected. This heavily applies to the classroom, homework, final exams, and law school learning curve, of course. But I think this also applies to other things. You may not expect to fall in love with an area of law that wasn’t in your original “plan.” You may not expect to hold certain internships, or participate in different moot court competitions. You may not expect that you’ll experience some profound challenges and hardships personally and professionally, all of which will force you to find superior strength and resiliency within yourself. All of the aforementioned happened to me over the past three years at BU Law. And while none of it was planned, I’m still so grateful. I’m so grateful that I took chances and found academic and professional passions I had no idea existed. I’m grateful I took the chance on a judicial internship during 3L even after I had all but written them off after 1L. I’m grateful for finding a place in the niche area of Admiralty law and the Admiralty Moot Court competitions. And while I certainly didn’t want, ask for, or even think I could handle the myriad of challenges thrown my way, I’m grateful I pulled through with flying colors. When I look back on this time period, I believe the unexpected experiences are the ones I will remember the most—and not the things I had all “planned out.”

But man, I’ll tell you one thing: you’re going to learn. A LOT.

Yes, you go to law school to learn. But you go to law school expecting to learn the law. And while you’ll learn a bit, you’re also going to learn in so many other areas. I’ve learned so much more from professors than just what the law is; they’ve become confidants, and mentors, and career coaches, and bearers of reality, and cheerleaders. I’ve also learned an incredible amount from my classmates, and feel in awe of so many of them and their passions and determinations. From my 1L section mates to the new LLM friend I shared a class with this semester, every one of my classmates has so much to impart on our community. I’ve learned from experiences, successes, and rejections. I’ve learned from alumni and staff. I’ve truly spent every day of the past three years learning in every area of my life.  

And you’re going to gain invaluable things: like being in the room where it happens.

Our commencement speaker, Robert S. Khuzami ’83 (who was great, by the way!), borrowed from Lin Manuel Miranda and quoted that all of us—as newly minted BU Law grads—are now going to be “in the room where it happens.” While I don’t have a transcript of his speech, unfortunately, to elaborate further on his interpretation of this, I do have my own interpretation. A law degree opens doors to the rooms where things happen. It opens doors to rooms in which we—because we have a J.D.—will have an important role to play in making things happen. This could be making an IPO go smoothly. Or mediating a dispute successfully. Or negotiating legislation. Or issuing an injunction as a federal judge. We won’t just be in these rooms as bystanders; we will have the capacity to be leading what happens in these rooms. This is a powerful thing we’ve just earned. And, as Khuzami stressed, leading the room comes with duties: to rely on facts and rely on the truth. The past three years at BU Law have given me so much that it would be impossible to name everything I have gained. But perhaps, most importantly, BU Law has opened the doors to the rooms where things happen, given me the tools and training to lead what happens in these rooms, and gave me the courage to always lead with truth, honesty, and doing the right thing.  

 

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