How ’bout Them Yanks?

It’s October, so for some fortunate fans, it’s playoff season in baseball. For a Yankee fan in New England, this can be a tumultuous time, especially with the Red Sox still in the hunt.

This may not have been the case not so long ago, in the late 90’s when the Red Sox were lousy and Fenway Park enjoyed middling attendance. But the resurgence of the Sox in the early 2000’s renewed interest in the franchise, and with it, interest in the age-old rivalry between Beantown and the Bronx. I was in college just down the road in Providence, RI, when the enmity was at its peak. I remember sitting at a bar watching the Red Sox play the Oakland Athletics, and for some reason, the bar patrons began chanting, “Yankees Suck,” despite the fact my beloved Bronx Bombers were not even playing that day.

So it was with great pleasure that I watched the Yanks face the Red Sox in the 2003 ALCS, and in the bottom of the 11th inning of game 7, in one of the greatest playoff games in history, Aaron Boone launched a solo home run to bring the American League pennant back to NYC. (Boston fans probably know him better after that as Aaron F. Boone—no relation to Bucky F. Dent). Perhaps it should have been beneath me to turn my cheap computer speakers out my dorm room window that night and blast Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” as dejected Red Sox fans walked by. But it sure felt good.

It might have been that karma that brought about the 2004 ALCS– another face off between Boston and New York. While it sounds like revisionist history, I distinctly remember being up three games to none and still having a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something wasn’t right. Sure enough, the Yanks dropped games 4, 5, and 6, and once again we were facing a game 7 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox. This time around, I was actually in that old cathedral of baseball—the “House that Ruth Built”—to witness the game. It might have been better to stay home. Just two innings in, the Yanks were down by 6, and they never recovered. It was a dark time. The Red Sox went on to win their first championship ring in 86 years that year.

More recently, it has been a tough few years for the Yankees, while the Red Sox have generally fared a little better. This year, the Yanks managed to stay atop the AL east for a little while, but the Red Sox took over after a long win streak and never gave back the lead. Still, the Yankees kept up the chase all the way up to the bitter end, winning a playoff spot with a wild card spot. The rivalry lives on.

(Side Note: The Yanks also provided one of the best law-related moments of the year, welcoming Justice Sotomayor to the “Judge’s Chambers” in right field, where she wore a judge’s robe complete with the team logo.)

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All Rise!

Last night, the Yanks played the Minnesota Twins in the single-elimination wild card game, and half-an-inning in, I had that sinking feeling that I was watching a replay of the 2004 ALCS game 7 debacle. The Twins were up by 3 and the Yankees looked shaken. But just a half-an-inning (and one Didi Gregorius swing) later, the game was tied, and we had ourselves a ballgame. It was a long affair, with lead changes and pitching changes galore, but it was great baseball.

It’s a little early to say, but after the wild card win last night, we could find ourselves with another ALCS showdown between the Sox and the Yanks this year. It would make for an October classic, but it will also lead to some tense times for local Yankee fans.

For those Yankee fans out there in Boston, just know this: you are not alone. Sure, you may have to endure the taunts of Sox fans who will tack on a “Yankees Suck” chant to any group event. You may have to endure the bandwagon fans who sprinkle local college campuses with their “pre-worn” Red Sox caps with the tags still on. You may even have to endure the arguments over whether using Apple Watches to steal signs is cheating or not. But in the end, remember a few things:

1) The Yankees are young this year and are going to get better, no matter what happens this season.

2) Our law school’s venerable dean, Dean O’Rourke, is rooting right along with you.

3) Justice Sotomayor is probably tired on her third day of the Supreme Court’s term after watching last night’s wild card game.  Tired, but happy.

4) Finally, and most importantly: Twenty-seven is much, much greater than eight.

Beantown Beats

I’m often asked what I like to do in my free time, and the truth is that I love to consume music. From the first sour cold call of 1L through my most recent challenging week, music has kept me both mentally grounded and spiritually afloat.

For my 30th birthday (which coincided with my very first day of law school!) I bought myself a bass guitar. I figured the zen-like repetition of practicing fundamentals would serve as a helpful break from “the law.” I was right. My bass chops are nothing to write home about, but gosh can I groove to major and minor scales!

In addition to piddling around on the bass, I love going to concerts – and I must say, Boston boasts some excellent venues.

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Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory

I’m a lover of classical music, and while tickets to the Boston Symphony are rather pricey, the New England Conservatory is a fantastic place to spend a Friday night. Last week I heard one of my favorite contemporary orchestras, A Far Cry, premier a Philip Glass piece at the exquisite Jordan Hall. Listening to any world premier is a privilege; listening to a premier of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century was nothing short of surreal. Boston also is home to the venerated Berklee College of Music, a great place to hear up and coming jazz artists and the latest avant guard compositions.

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Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Gardner Museum

I also enjoy catching A Far Cry concerts at the Isabella Gardner museum, where they are the highly revered Chamber Orchestra in Residence. The intimate setting of Calderwood Hall changes the way you experience their music, described by Boston Magazine as “[a] thoroughly modern, century-spanning, globe-trotting sonic adventure.”

Paradise Rock Club - image via www.festivalfootprint.com

Paradise Rock Club – image via www.festivalfootprint.com

While I adore Bach and Glass, I also enjoy the raucous Paradise Rock Club, conveniently located a half mile from the BU law tower. In fact, I pass its bold marquee every day on my way to and from school. Last Thursday I scanned the marquee, as usual, and was overjoyed to discover that one of my favorite bands from college was playing that night. Let me tell you, Gogol Bordello rocked the house.

Had I not been sick in bed this afternoon, I would have headed to Franklin Park for a free Boston Pops concert. Next time!

 

 

1L Summer Internship Experience

So now that I’m officially back in the swing of things in Boston, I wanted to do a post on my summer internship experience in New York. I had internships throughout undergrad and during my gap year, and I can honestly say that this was the first time I was truly sad when my internship came to an end. It was like leaving camp after ten short weeks that I didn’t want to come to a close.

I worked at a media-non profit this past summer, and it was the perfect blend of what I’m hoping to eventually do within my career. Much of my work revolved around licensing agreements and contract review – where I was able to gain hands-on exposure to some of what we covered in Contracts as a 1L. I reviewed contracts from old programming (many from the 1960’s and 70’s) to see if we still had adequate rights in the event that we wanted to stream them online. It was interesting not only to see how differently contracts were formatted and created back then, but to read about the topics that public television covered at that point in time.

I was also responsible for updating agreement and amendment templates for projects that we had with other entities, and since I’m all about the details, this was honestly fun for me. I also gained exposure to copyright law and fair use – and since at that point I had not yet taken classes covering those topics, it was great to get a preview as to what was to come in IP (a course I am taking this semester).

The legal department where I worked was small, and since I thrive in smaller settings in general, it was the perfect fit for me. It was so rewarding to gain first hand experience to an area within law that I seek to build my career within, and I feel grateful to have spent ten weeks dipping my toe into that pool. While I’m very happy to be back in Boston after my summer in New York, I will always look back on this internship experience with fondness and gratitude.

One Month into 2L

What a year a difference makes! It’s so hard to believe that exactly a year ago I was only a month into 1L – a year that was equal parts challenging, frustrating, invigorating, and exhausting. The one common thread and the main word that I use when I either reflect upon 1L to myself or talk about it to others is this: transformative. I learned more in eight month period of time than I ever have before. I was constantly challenged and my stamina and threshold for stress increased tenfold. When they say it’s a marathon, they mean it.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted my first post back to be about, but I think comparing 1L to 2L is an important thing to do (especially for any prospective law students who are daunted by the idea of law school in general). I’m only a month into 2L but here is what I’ve noticed so far in terms of difference:

The stress does lessen, and (at least so far) I have much more time to be balanced. This means sleeping more, exercising more, going out with friends more, and exploring Boston more. There is still a lot of school work to be done and the workload is still demanding, and depending on where you are at in the job-search process, time does need to be set aside for networking and applications. Overall, though, I’m finding that there is a little bit more breathing room – which I am so grateful for.

Another beautiful part of this year is the simple fact of already knowing people, being settled in my apartment and in the city in general, and having a years worth of classes under my belt. So much of the anxiety of any new experience is the not knowing, and the not-yet-being-comfortable-and-rooted. The most disorienting parts of any transition are usually the beginning; and now as a new 2L, the most true piece of advice I can give to a prospective 1L is this: the stressful whirlwind will end, and you will be stronger and more complex, confident, and interesting at the end of it – and it will all be worth it.

So much of last year felt like learning how to ride a bike for the first time. It was shaky and uncomfortable and I stumbled and fell down and got back up again and rode a little more steadily, and the same thing happened over and over again as I slowly gained confidence. This year I feel like I have finally found my equilibrium – I am riding steadily, finally reaping the benefits from the time it took (feeling very uncomfortable!) as I learned all of these new skills. 2L, you are a welcome change from 1L, and I can’t wait to see where you take me next on this journey.

Mentors as the #1 Resource

One of the most important things that I’ve come to realize as a young adult is the importance of having mentors. Whether they’re friends who are a few years older or professionals who have been in the game for longer than you’ve been in school, mentors are crucially important. They provide you with advice and wisdom that can only come from experience. Mentors have remained an integral part of my experience in law school and have been vital in helping me succeed both as a 1L and as I begin 2L and the remainder of my law school career.

I don’t know how I would have survived 1L without upperclass mentors. I had both a student adviser provided by the school and a mentor through Women’s Law Association, and had unofficial mentors in my writing tutor and upperclassmen who were in the same clubs as I was. They hunted down outlines for every class I had. They gave me old study aids. They helped me navigate course selection, writing competition, and OCI. They connected me to people who had internships the previous summer that I was interested in and to people who had a landlord nightmare like I did. And as a 2L, I haven’t ceased relying on these mentors at all; in fact, I’ve even expanded my mentor base with 3Ls who are on ILJ with me and in classes with me. I think the biggest reason why upperclassmen mentors are important is because they will never, ever, ever fail to reassure you that everything will be fine. They’ve done it, and they’ve survived, and they’ll reassure sure you that you will, too.

I’ve also found so much support and mentorship from BU Law’s alumni network as well. Coming from a small undergrad, I was really excited to gain access to BU Law’s very large alumni network. My alumni mentor went to the same small undergrad that I did, so it was very easy to find common ground. My mentor was and still is very involved in helping me navigate law school. Since he works at a big firm he was my go-to for all OCI related questions that I needed an “inside” perspective on. Moreover, I know he’ll continue to be a great resource for me as I start my summer associate position next summer- regardless of the fact that I’ll be at a different firm. I’ve also found incredible engagement from alumni outside of the formal “mentoring” program. I’ve built a fantastic relationship with an alumni who I met at our 1L Career Day, and touch base with him consistently through email and at events. I also found all BU Law alums to be so eager to answer any of my questions about their firms when I was beginning the OCI process, and had phone calls with at least five of them to learn more about their work and their firms. To put it simply, alumni are an amazing, amazing resource with literally years of experience!

Outside of other students and alumni, I’ve found “unofficial” mentors in the faculty and staff at BU Law. There’s so many amazing people at the law school and you just have to find those that you “click” with! If you don’t click with your assigned mentors, take it upon yourself to find ones you do click with. From upperclassmen in student groups to alumni who attend the same event you attend, everyone is willing to offer even a little advice. People, in my opinion, are the best resource for just about any decision you need to make or problem you need advice on. And I’m so thankful to have found some of the best people during my time at BU Law.