One of the most popular questions I get from prospective students and visitors to St. Louis is “What should I do when I’m in town?” After all, St. Louis is a good sized city, but it is no New York or Chicago. But fear not, there are plenty of things to do in St. Louis, so I put together this weekend guide to STL to help you out when you visit the city! I’ve also included a map to help orient you with the places I’m talking about (props to Kailey and our good friends at Google for putting the map together).
Where to Stay
The Moonrise- This is my top suggestion for lodging. The rooms run in the $130 range, but it is a very nice hotel with a unique vibe. It is located on the Delmar Loop and is a very short drive from campus. There are a lot of places to eat and drink along the Loop, which would make this a convenient place to stay.
Clayton Sheraton- This hotel is a little farther from campus, but it is also cheaper than the Moonrise. It is a good hotel and is located in the nearby suburb of Clayton, which is a fantastic area. The hotel also supposedly has a shuttle service that can help get you around town.
Dinner: Cicero’s- It’s Thursday night. You just got into town, and you’re looking for a quick place to grab a bite to eat. If you’re at the Moonrise, it’s just a short walk (or a short drive from the Sheridan) to a great restaurant/bar called Cicero’s. Cicero’s is a Wash U Law hotspot for food and drinks, as they have over 200 beers (including a great tap selection) and some of the best pizza and wings in town.
Drinks: Bar Review- Every Thursday night, Wash U Law students have Bar Review at a different bar in town. There are usually good drink specials and a lot of law students show up every week. If you can find out where it is being hosted, this would be a great way to meet some current students and get their take on the school.
During the Day: Visit- This is, of course, your most important part of the trip! If you are here for an Admitted Students Weekend, the Admissions Office is sure to have a full day planned with a tour, a class to observe, student and faculty panels, lunch, and a reception. If you are just here visiting on your own, definitely be sure to schedule a tour and sit in on a class. Try to talk to some current students to get their perspective on things like jobs, student life, and classes. And take some time to walk around campus, because it is downright beautiful.
Dinner: Pi Pizza- After a long day of meeting people and hearing about Wash U, you’re probably hungry and ready for a beer. I recommend you round up the gang and head on over to Pi Pizza. Pi is located in both Central West End and the Loop, but I recommend trying the Loop location because it is so close to campus (and it is right across the street from the Moonrise). Pi has a great beer selection and their pizza is absolutely outstanding. The thick crust is delicious and it is the closest thing to Chicago deep dish you’ll find in St. Louis. Ugh… just writing about Pi is making me want Pi! (Stupid low carb diet…)
Drinks: Blueberry Hill- One of the best parts about attending an ASW is meeting people and having fun with potential classmates. I met people last March at the ASW that I am still friends with, including people who wound up attending WUSTL and even some who didn’t. After spending the day at school, we got together and had an absolute blast at Blueberry Hill, so this is where I recommend you head on Friday night. Blueberry Hill is a large bar in the heart of the Loop with great food served all night and a pretty good beer selection. My favorite part of Blueberry Hill is the dart room. Having a few brews and playing a few games of darts would be a good way to finish up your Friday. And if you get the late night munchies, try the toasted raviolis! They’re a St. Louis delicacy.
Morning: STL Zoo-Now that you’ve seen the school, it is time to get out and see the city! The St. Louis Zoo is one of the top zoos in the country and the admission is free. It opens at 9:00 A.M., so you can go there in the morning and leave plenty of time to explore other parts of St. Louis in the afternoon. The zoo is in the middle of Forest Park, so it isn’t too far from WUSTL’s campus.
Lunch: Pappy’s Smokehouse- A lot of cities boast great barbecue, but few can hold their own with a good St. Louis style BBQ. Here in St. Louis, Pappy’s is the best of the best. It has gotten a lot of hype after being featured on Man vs. Food, and it lives up to it. The place only makes so much food on any given day and they close up shop once they sell out of food. The lines are probably going to be long on a Saturday, but take it from a man who loves his food: it is well worth the wait.
Early Afternoon: The Arch- The Arch is both an American and St. Louis icon. For $10, you can go up in the Arch and get a nice view of the city and the great state of Illinois. It isn’t the most exciting activity on the list, but it is something that anyone living in St. Louis should do at least once.
Late Afternoon: Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour- Now we’re talkin’. You know that beer you had at the bar last night? Well the AB Brewery is where all the magic begins. Anheuser-Busch is another iconic and proud symbol of St. Louis, and it is definitely worth a trip for anyone coming from out of town. The brewery is full of interesting history, and the sheer size and volume of the place is amazing. The tour is free and you get some samples of beer at the end. The brewery is located near the Soulard area of town and is not too far of a drive from the Arch, but hurry over there because the last tour is at 4:00.
Dinner: The Hill- The Hill is not just one restaurant, but a whole neighborhood full of incredible Italian restaurants and bakeries. I suggest “The Hill” because I couldn’t narrow it down to just one place, and any of the dozens of restaurants would be a fine choice. Charlie Gitto’s is quite possibly the best Italian I’ve ever had, but it is pricey. If you want some awesome Italian chow at a reasonable price, I’d try Zia’s. You’ll definitely need a reservation on a Saturday, though.
Drinks: Bar Louie- If you aren’t completely worn out from all the food and drinks I’ve led you to already, you should head on over to Bar Louie in the Central West End. Bar Louie is a popular hangout for many law students and it is located in one of the most popular residential areas for Wash U students (many of my friends live in CWE).
Brunch: Wildflower- I have not yet eaten here for brunch, but I’ve heard good things. I’ve been here for drinks and for lunch, and I enjoyed it both times I visited. Wildflower is located in Central West End.
Before You Leave: If you have time to drive around and visit some neighborhoods, I’d recommend checking out the Loop, CWE, and Clayton. These are popular places for students to live, and you should try to check out a few areas before you head out of town just to get a feel for the different parts of the city.
Obviously there is much to do in St. Louis and only so little time during the weekend to do it. If you want to do other things while you’re in town or you’re coming back for “seconds” in the future, here are a few more suggestions!
Ted Drewes- The only reason Ted Drewes didn’t make the guide is because I didn’t know where to squeeze it in. It is a little out of the way, but this place has the best custard anywhere and is well worth the drive.
Cardinals/Blues Game- If you are visiting St. Louis while the Blues or Cardinals are in season, you should try to catch a game. Hockey games are fun even if you aren’t a fan of hockey (and I’m not) and Blues fans are pretty rabid. And while I am admittedly biased, I can honestly say that there is no better baseball city in America than St. Louis. The Cardinals are almost a religion to some here in St. Louis.
City Museum- I love my parents, but the one lasting grudge I hold against them is that they didn’t take me to the City Museum when I was younger. Nonetheless, I still find the City Museum to be an awesome time as an adult. The facility features a 10-story slide, a network of caves to climb around in, and tunnels that hang high above the ground. I don’t fit into the tunnels and nooks quite as well as I would have when I was 10, but this place is worth seeing even as a grown-up. And here’s a little fun fact: the City Museum is housed in the old International Shoe Company building, and International Shoe is one of the most important cases you’ll read in Civil Procedure. Take that, law school!
Fitz’s- This place has the best root beer I’ve ever had and features a delicious assortment of American classics. It is located on the Delmar Loop right across from Blueberry Hill. Their root beer float is epic.
The Pageant- The Pageant is one of the coolest venues to see a show that I’ve ever been to. It is big enough to bring in some quality shows, but small enough to maintain a close, intimate atmosphere. It is located on The Loop and is right next door to the Eclipse and the Moonrise Hotel. If there are any good shows in town during your trip, I doubt you could find a more fun and convenient thing to do.
Museums- One of the best things about the city of St. Louis is that most of the museums (as well as the zoo, as mentioned above) are free! Most of them are located in and around Forest Park, so if you want to spend an afternoon visiting them all, you can easily do that. I am especially big on the science museum, but I’m quite a nerd.
I hope this is helpful to those of you who are coming to check out the school. If you have any questions, feel free to post your comments below!
I hope this post finds you doing well. I had a totally INSANE week! The beginning of the week was packed with meetings. The Animal Law Society kick-off meeting went well, we had delicious vegetarian lunch offerings from Snarf’s for everyone and discussed a great many exciting issues. We also heard back about job interviews this week, AND I attended an Open House at a big downtown law firm. PHEW.
Not only was I busy with meetings and lots of reading, but I slipped and fell on the ice in front of my apartment Thursday morning and SHATTERED my laptop screen and injured my back! I survived, luckily, but it was a traumatizing and expensive mishap (all because of some silly frozen water…ugh!). Then, Friday I went on a field trip to the Federal Courthouse downtown. We met with a judge who told us all about his career and answered our questions. It was quite a delightful way to end a ridiculous week.
Anyhow, now that I’ve complained about my struggles, I thought I’d address a topic that also came up this week: classroom etiquette. If you go to a big school for undergrad, you may be used to giant lecture halls where you can essentially come and go as you please without disturbing your classmates. At WashU, even though a few classes have 100+ students, the lecture halls are shaped in such a way that this usually won’t fly. Nor will facebooking throughout class or whispering comments to fellow classmates. Most of us are paying a lot to go to law school, so even if you don’t get called out by the Professor, you might receive some scowls from your fellow classmates. Here are some pointers to get you through:
1. Be on time: Don’t walk into class late. Sure, it happens to all of us and I’m not saying I haven’t been tardy once or twice…but you’re paying for every precious minute so take classtime seriously. Additionally, your professors will be world-class legal scholars who you will look up to, and insulting them by strolling in with a coffee and a grin is never good.
2. Dress Appropriately: Pajamas are not law school appropriate. They just aren’t. Some people rock sweatpants, but I’m not a fan of that either. And don’t get me started on leggings as pants. There are constantly lawyers and other professionals visiting the school, and having your act together (or at least appearing to) never hurts. And back to #1, you don’t want your professor to remember you for snoopy slippers or a college drinking t-shirt, you want them to remember your brilliant legal analysis!
3. Don’t Goof Off: I’m not allowed to use my laptop in most of my classes for this very reason. If you are allowed, don’t be on Facebook or shopping online. This is disrespectful to your classmates and can be really distracting. If you’re Gilting it up at noontime and get called on, and have no idea what is going on, you are wasting your classmates’ time and money. This isn’t fair to you or them, so take the little time you actually spend in class seriously.
4. Don’t Chit Chat: whispering and giggling in class is really a pet peeve of mine. I prefer a “knowing glance” at my homegirl Lily who always knows what I’m referring to. Talking just isn’t appropriate, and you’re never as quiet as you think you are! We can hear you!
5. Do Your Reading: Do it! You will get cold called. You will stumble. BUT if you’ve done your reading, you will make it through. If you don’t, you risk embarrassing yourself and wasting your and your classmates’ time. Professors will make you dredge through a case to make an example of you. It will be terrible. If this happens, please be respectful throughout the process. Sometimes people sass a professor, and then things get awkward. Don’t make it awkward. Don’t make your classmates cringe and want to apologize for you. Just be polite, take one for the team, and next time get it together. It’s also OK to admit you don’t know (and beg for mercy). Kidding. It’s not so bad. But seriously, just read.
These are just some thoughts and suggestions based on some recurring experiences I’ve had since August. Use common sense and you should be just fine. This week it’s back to a routine with hopefully more jobs and less falling. Wish me luck!
Hey there prospective students! My name is Justin and I’m joining Kailey as the newest 1L student blogger. If you are reading this, it is likely that you are considering Washington University for law school, so congratulations! Wash U is a great place to spend three years, and I hope that my blogging (along with the great stuff Kailey has already blogged about) will help give you an idea of what going to school here at Wash U Law is like.
I grew up in central Illinois and attended Millikin University for undergrad (ten points to anyone who has actually heard of it!) Besides romantic poetry and long walks on the beach, I enjoy politics, sports (go Cardinals!), hunting, and cooking. I hope to spend my career in the courtroom doing litigation, but I am not 100% certain what areas I would like to go into. I am very interested in criminal and tort work at this point, but I am sure I will be like most law students and change my mind multiple times before I graduate.
My goal is to put up a new blog post every few weeks, but I will definitely be checking in periodically to answer any questions you may have. If you want to get in on the conversation, feel free to post a comment below my posts and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
Howdy! I am writing a couple of days late because I wanted to give you the full details of what went down this weekend. The life of a 1L can get pretty hectic…
Client Counseling Competition: On Friday night I got together with one of my fav gal pals at Pi (a mega-delicious Pizza place 5 mins from campus) to go over our plan of action for the Client Counseling Competition. This competition, as well as the Negotiation Competition (which happens in the fall of your 1L year) are both opportunities for first-year students to practice lawyering skills and get feedback from local attorneys who volunteer to judge. The Client Competition works like this: You and a partner receive a very brief description of a client and their problem, you have a day to prepare, and then you have a mock-meeting with the client at school in front of the judges. This client is a 2L or 3L who is volunteering, and you will interview them for 30 minutes and try to figure out exactly what their issue is and how to best solve it as their attorney. Both this and the Negotiation Competition are great opportunities to meet people and practice skills you don’t often use in the classroom during your first year. After practicing Friday night, my partner and I suited up and met our client on Saturday afternoon. Despite the fact that we didn’t win (read: bitter), it was a really cool and valuable experience. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of these competition opportunities if you come to WashU!
Barrister’s Ball: Directly after competing in the Client Counseling Competition, I ran home to get some housework done before getting dolled up for the Barrister’s Ball (also known as: Law School Prom). This glorious event is open to all law students and was held at “Windows Off Washington” a super cool venue on the 10th floor of the City Museum. Tickets were $50 and included dinner, an open bar, and dancing from 8pm-12am. It was really fun to see everyone all dressed up and to dance the night away.
Here is a prom-tastic photo for your enjoyment:
Dim Sum: After balling all night, I was pretty exhausted, but when Sunday rolled around, I knew there was no escaping my CivPro and Crim Law reading assignments. There is one sure fire way to cure all ailments in my opinion, and this cure comes in the form of Massive Dim Sum Intake + 3 Hour Nap. A couple of law students and I went to LuLu’s (just 10 minutes from campus), where on Saturdays and Sundays they have a delightfully chaotic Dim Sum brunch until 3pm. After this delicious and refreshing combo, I was ready to tackle some precedent cases!
This is Rob (a 1L from Chicago who enjoys Mario Kart and long walks on the beach), dining on Sunday:
Ignore his free promotional t-shirt.
So between Client Counseling, Law School Prom, Dim Sum, napping, and reading for my classes this week…I am fully back in the swing of the hectic law school lifestyle. Ahead this week: the debut of WashU’s first Animal Law Society (which I co-founded), a field trip to the Federal Courthouse, and whatever other ridiculous surprises come my way.
I’ve decided, with a bit of hesitation, to write a post about this blogger’s most requested topic: Law School Romance. With Law School Prom and Valentine’s Day coming up, I guess it’s somewhat appropriate, so I’ll oblige despite being intimidated.
In general, it seems that people have pretty strong feelings about dating in law school. Before I started at WashU, I was told by many friends at other schools that I should absolutely refrain from dating my classmates. This is because, as you may have heard, law school is a lot like high school (we have prom, we have lockers, and there are only 275 1Ls so we all know each other). Essentially, the warning goes a little something like… “not only will everyone know you’re dating, but if it ends, you will have to see that person all the time afterwards.” I think to a certain extent, this is good advice. Law School is stressful enough without having to add heartache or trauma into the mix…
But did I heed this advice? Of course not. I promptly began dating a fellow 1L and things are going swimmingly. I hope there isn’t a blog curse of some kind that I’m unaware of. Yikes…
Moving away from my love life, I will say that lots of other people started dating each other too. How do I know? Because law school is like high school and we’re all in the same building all day long, we go to the same bars on the weekends, and we are often too tired to discuss anything but law school or people at law school. Just keep this in mind if you’re single and ready to mingle. Other things to keep in mind if you plan to look for love at law school:
Don’t get entangled too early. It takes at least a month for you to figure out who these people are and what they’re up to.
Keep it classy. Nobody likes to feel gossiped about and as I previously stated, with only 273 other people in the 1L class, word will travel.
Win the future. Remember that your law school classmates will be your professional colleagues in the future, so maintaining friendships and respect for one another is important.
But for those of you who are currently in relationships, don’t despair! I would estimate that a solid 60% of law students are taken. A few are fully-grown adults who are married with kids, others are younger adults who are more recently married, and the rest of us are either dating each other or have significant others back home. A lot of people are doing the long-distance thing. This can be great if you have a really supportive mate, but it can be hard too. I’ve seen it affect my fellow classmates and my heart hurts for them. Law school is a huge commitment - it costs a lot of money and a lot of time. Before you invest, make sure your partner knows that you’ll be busy, because when finals roll around and you’re camping in the library and can’t remember how to spell your own name… you certainly don’t want passive aggressive text messages piling up in your inbox on top of it. Not that any of your significant others would do that.
Regardless of your relationship status, you’ll find it easy to make friends and enjoy the intellectual suffering that is law school. I hope this post satisfies everyone’s desire to hear my opinion on this subject. I also hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Hello and Happy Friday to you! I am coming to you live from a winter wonderland since St. Louis had a mini-blizzard this week. Classes were still held though, don’t you worry, so I’ve got lots to tell!
When you get to law school you will experience a new and unique type of panic. It’s the panic of sitting in a room with 100 competitive, brilliant people you hardly know, and without notice, having to answer difficult and often confusing or misleading questions aloud in front of them. This panic of which I speak is that incited by cold calling, and it will make you fear the sound of your own name.
Now, I have written about this before, and about overcoming my fear…but on the first day of school this week…I was re-traumatized when… wait for it…
I WAS THE FIRST PERSON COLD CALLED IN BOTH OF MY CLASSES. The day started with Criminal Law… where my professor asked me and only me questions for a solid 45 minutes. While this was completely and totally terrifying, I did actually pay attention to the reading so I was able to coherently respond. Not only that, but because it was the first day and everyone else was relieved I had taken up so much class time, I was rewarded with numerous high-fives and “good jobs” for the rest of the day. This wasn’t so much the case in Civil Procedure. When my professor said “Where is Kailey Burger,” the entire class erupted in laughter. Was it really possible for someone to be the first person called on in BOTH of their classes on the FIRST DAY of school?! Yes. It was. And of course it happened to me. Despite my diligent reading and note-taking, I had no idea what “civil procedure” really even meant so my answers to my professor’s questions were less straightforward and included numerous awkward pauses. Thankfully, after a few questions, he moved on. As you might imagine, there were fewer high fives and more “you hung in there”-esque remarks after my 2nd round.
This anxiety-ridden first day back reminded me how important class preparation is as a component to law school, and it started my semester off with a bang. It also gave me a funny story to tell you and anyone else who will listen. Cold calling certainly isn’t the end of the world, and both of my professors were considerate, helpful, and kept me on track so I didn’t feel embarrassed. I won’t say I enjoyed it though.
This semester, the 1L curriculum consists of Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law, as well as Legal Practice and Legal Research. Our Constitutional Law book is five inches thick. Seriously. I have decided to leave it in my locker because transporting it back and forth to school is a burden. So far I’ve really enjoyed the material we’ve discussed in these classes and my professors are awesome. My Crim Law Professor plans to take 10 students at a time out for coffee or ice cream to discuss our progress in class…how wonderful is that? Really wonderful. Constitutional Law has been compelling so far. As a political science major, I’m finding it interesting to dig into some of the ideas I’ve already studied and examine them from a legal perspective. The jury is still out on Civil Procedure. My professor is great, but I’m still not 100% sure what is going on. I think a study group might be in order.
I wasn’t very social this week because getting back into a school routine can leave a person pretty sleepy. But last night I did go to the first Bar Review of the semester with a big group of friends. It was great to hear about everyone’s new classes and regale them with my cold calling tale. I’m sure I’ll be out and about in weeks to come…Barrister’s Ball b.k.a. “Law School Prom” is coming up the first weekend in February so look forward to a full report about that. Until then, stay warm and have a lovely weekend!
This past week was a wonderful welcome back to law school. After what felt like months apart, I was thrilled to be reunited with my law school pals who traveled back home for break. We got together to have some fun, but also to learn about lawyering… so here’s what we’ve been up to:
1L Intersession – “Succeeding Early”
We were brought together all day Tuesday – Friday for the law school’s 1L Intersession Program. Intersession is the week before classes start in January and the time when the career services office gives 1Ls mass quantities of information about the legal profession. They do this by bringing in speakers from all over the world from different law firms, businesses, governmental agencies, and schools. The theme of the week is “Succeeding Early” and it was helpful in exposing us to different facets and opportunities within the profession we have just committed a semester of our lives to. Tuesday focused on legal specialties, career planning, and a variety of practice areas ranging from criminal law to health law to corporate transactional work to alternative careers. Wednesday was all about relationships and how to interact with others – finding mentors, interview tips, etiquette, resume do’s and don’ts, and social networking. Thursday focused on the day to day activities of lawyers in a variety of specialties. Finally, Friday wrapped up with clerkships, and some words of wisdom from extremely successful lawyers who had non-traditional paths to their current occupations.
While all of this information left me feeling a little overwhelmed, I was very grateful to have been exposed to so many new contacts and potential job opportunities. Many of the speakers were not only brilliant and charismatic, but had outlooks on the legal profession that I could relate to, respect, and admire. The importance of caring, of working hard, and of giving back to your clients and community were messages that resonated with me and that continued to be mentioned by various speakers. This is just another example of a huge effort made by WashU to help us get ahead in the legal job market. Having a full week of programming, receptions, and networking opportunities with such a wide range of interests represented allowed each student to gain something (and also helped get us back into school mode).
A Brief Comment on Grades
Some (not all) of our grades came out this week and that put some people in a tizzy. I’m satisfied with what I have going on, and they were pretty much what I expected. Most of my friends aren’t discussing them with each other, which I think is a good thing. They were made available on WEBSTAC, which is WashU’s online portal where you can pay your tuition bill, register for classes, check your transcript, etc. I don’t think I am mathematically gifted enough to understand the concept of grading on a curve, but that’s how grading is done in law school, so if you want to know more you can read about it here.
To celebrate everyone’s triumphant return to my favorite city, I hosted Stache Bash 2k11… which involved me purchasing 72 peel and stick moustaches, inviting over a bunch of friends, and having a wonderful time. I have found that as time has gone on, anytime a law student has a birthday/party/concert/event, most of us make an effort to invite just about all of our classmates. We’re all in this together, and it’s nice that we can hang out and have fun. Last night for instance, about 20 of us got together and went bowling…it was a blast! Keeping law school talk to a minimum is difficult, but we’re getting better.
This goes back to intersession as well, because many of the attorneys stressed the importance of making friends and staying connected with law school classmates because they will send you business or serve as references later in your career. This certainly isn’t why we’re all donning moustaches or going bowling, but it is good advice to consider and I’m glad that WashU students are so friendly!
And Now, Back to Reality
Starting Tuesday morning I’ll be back at it full time! My classes this semester are: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Legal Research (part deux), and Legal Practice (part deux). Stay tuned for more tales…I’ll be back to posting every Friday from now on.
I was having a bit of writer’s block today…mostly because I have been spending the last week compulsively cleaning my apartment, watching Law & Order SVU, and sleeping for 12-14 hours a day. If I blogged about what I was doing, the post would stop right here.
So in an effort to write something more worthwhile, I sought the advice of my friends on Facebook…
Kailey B: Law School Friends: NEED BLOG IDEAS. HIT ME WITH SOME TOPIX RIGHT QUICK:
Jonathan S: ILL BEATZ + RYMEZ
Wynn M: How to be a baller. In other words, write about the transition from undergrad to grad.
Clearly extremely helpful. These are both law students by the way, with great senses of humor…and though they may be joking, I’m going to craft these comments into a blog post for you! (think of it like a cooking show where they give the contestant radishes and peanut butter and tell them to make a birthday cake).
First, let us highlight some of the differences between Undergrad and Law School:
Handholding: I can’t speak for every undergraduate institution, but from my experience I can say that the transition from high school to college was pretty easy. I had a guidance counselor, I felt like I recevied e-mails every 15 minutes directing me to my next move, and there seemed to be lots of staff dedicated to making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. At law school, you are given enough information and guidance to get done what you need to get done, but they definitely are not going to hold your hand. No one taught me how to swipe my ID card, or how to hook up my laptop to the printing network, or where my locker was. The middle man isn’t there. This doesn’t mean it’s difficult, it means we’re grown ups and we have to do things we are completely capable of doing. It might be a little startling at first, but you’ll soon realize that there are vending machines on the 3rd floor, and that the best library printers are on the second floor, and that…. well, you’ll figure it out! (and if you don’t, you can ask me or computer services or the registrar or any of the other numerous wonderfully supportive people at wustl). Just make sure you read your e-mails, set your alarm clock, check your syllabus regularly for changes, and make some good friends who will remind you in case you forget!
You won’t always be the best: If you are considering a top law school, chances are you’re one of the best at your college. You may be THE best. You may have been THE BEST your entire life. Now, you’re going to head off to law school where everyone else is used to being THE BEST too! Hooray! This is something you don’t think about until you get here and I will admit it’s difficult to get used to. It really sinks in when you raise your hand thinking you have the perfect answer, the professor calls on someone else, and then you realize, “hey, that answer was way better than mine.” Sure, there has to be a top score in law school, and someone will be the best, but it is no longer guaranteed that someone will be you. Confidence is necessary to succeed, but knowing that you might have to work a little harder helps too.
How To Dress: I was never a big sweatpants person, so law school isn’t a big change for me… but for those of you who have been rolling into class in jammies for the past 4 years, this might be a rough transition. There isn’t an enforced dress code, and if you happened to be running a marathon after class and needed to wear workout clothes no one would say anything to you… BUT the law school building itself is gorgeous and full of interesting, influential people. Do you want to cross paths with your future employer whilst wearing sweats? Probably not. Guys usually wear jeans and t-shirts/polos/button ups.. I’m typically sporting a cardigan of some kind. You can still be comfy and casual.. but keep it’s best to keep it classy & covered up. Common sense goes a long way here.
Finally, Happiness! I feel like law school is really the place for me. In college you’re surrounded by very interesting and diverse people with all kinds of majors. This is a great experience, but meeting people at law school with similar aspirations, skills, and interests is truly wonderful. I feel like I fit in and I feel like I made the right choice. Law school is tough, miserable at times, but it is also really gratifying. Appreciate and enjoy this opportunity!
And Secondly, let’s discuss Cultural Events in St. Louis:
I’ve talked a lot about where to eat and drink, but now let’s focus on a few of the interesting cultural things there are to do.
PechaKucha - it’s the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat” but has now become known as a super cool artsy event held all over the world. Designed to spark conversation, PK nights gather people together to watch 20 works of art for 20 seconds each. St. Louis has had 5 successful PK nights so far with another coming in late January. You can follow the STL organization on Twitter.
The Pageant - the Pageant is a small concert venue in the U-City Loop (just a short walk from campus). They have a cool standing area as well as balcony seating with a full bar so you can enjoy the show however you like. I saw Iron & Wine there in November and it was magical. The Pageant brings in artists from all different genres… Upcoming shows include: Lauryn Hill, Girl Talk, Ben Folds, Story of the Year, and Ke$ha.
The Fox – the Fabulous Fox Theatre is a beautiful, beautiful venue. It is much bigger and more elegant than the Pageant and has featured performances from Broadway Shows (Wicked & Spamalot) to music artists like Drake and comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, just to name a few.
Powell Symphony Hall- this is another beautiful venue in STL where you can see the St. Louis Symphony perform (among other musical acts). They have amazing concerts and some of my favorites include “movie nights” where you can go watch the Wizard of Oz, Psycho, or the Lord of the Rings on a big screen while the symphony performs the score, live!
There are often student discounts available and student groups will sometimes organize outings and receive discounted prices as well. Be sure to sign up for sites like LivingSocial and Groupon when you get here to make sure you take advantage of good deals!
Sorry for the hodge podge of topics covered in this post. Next week I go back to school for intersession so there will be new and exciting things to tell you about! Until then, have a wonderful weekend!
Happy Holidays from St. Louis! (or if you’re not into holidays, Happy Wednesday!)
I’ve been traveling to visit family, so I’ve been a zombie for the past few days…but now that I’m up and at it, I am excited to post this extremely silly video I made for you all.
If you’re just tuning in – I grew up in St. Louis, so when I applied to WashU, the “moving to a new city is scary” variable was not a factor for me. But I soon discovered that my classmates came from all over the world, and I know it was a factor for them. SO, the point of this post is for me to tell you a little more about St. Louis from my point of view. I have lived here since the first grade, so I’m definitely biased toward the city. But, I have traveled to 40+ states and throughout Europe, so hopefully you can trust that I’ve had some places to compare it to. I hope this will give you some more info and insight, and maybe even make you a fan of the Lou!
I decided that a video would be the best way to accomplish this task. I’m not endorsing other similar videos here, but I did use the same video creation website. Also, the character choices were irresistible, so imagine that I am Queen Elizabeth and you are Neil Armstrong. Enjoy:
matriculated at Washington University Law School (where, despite being from St. Louis, I only knew one other student)
participated in a week-long orientation with 270+ people I didn’t know from all over the world (in a building I had only been in once before)
attended a full semester of law school classes (please include here the reading for hours, taking notes, and occasional voluntary participation)
was COLD-CALLED IN CLASS (sometimes humiliating, sometimes triumphant – and despite initially being petrified, I learned to cope and am now A-OK with this)
completed 3 finals – each three hours long and comprised of many essay questions
wrote two memos (had to re-learn how to write, darn English major!)
co-founded an Animal Law Society
volunteered as a member of the Public Service Advisory Board
PHEW! I’m pretty proud of myself people. I had such a blast this semester. Coming to law school with the right set of expectations – that it was going to take diligence and work hard, but that it wasn’t going to be impossible – was very important and helpful. I’m excited about applying the skills I learned to my classes next semester (but I’m also looking forward to a few weeks of relaxation).
I also made a bunch of wonderful new friends (many of whom are kind enough to read this blog – thanks guys!) and I have learned so much more than just Torts, Contracts, and Property. Being surrounded by such interesting, diverse people is an incredible experience and a great asset to Wustl. Having friends at law school is important – there is a lot going on and there will be days when you’re tired and forget about a meeting – you’ll want someone around to remind you. This is especially true during finals time when you want to bounce ideas off of someone who sat in the same class you did for an entire semester. I will admit there was a palpable air of competition, but this is inevitable because we are graded on a curve. That being said, I never encountered anyone who actively attempted to sabotage or harm other students’ grades. The manifestations of competitiveness came when people were deciding who to study with – wanting to work with people who had put the same amount of effort into the course and who would be able to keep pace with them. I didn’t have any trouble finding a study group that I felt comfortable with, and working with them was very helpful to supplement my notes and brainstorm answers to exam questions. Overall, everyone is working toward the same goal and has reasonable expectations and respect for one another- and outside the school setting, it is possible to have fun with these people!
As was evidenced Thursday night whenthe Student Bar Association threw a party for the 1Ls at Pepper Lounge after our Torts final. It was so much fun to dance the night away with my classmates after finals were over! We made it! Hooray!
And some St. Louis stuff for good measure: I had a grilled cheese at Rooster on Friday that was phenomenal. A favorite St. Louis adventure of mine is lunch at Rooster, perusing Left Bank Books (nerdy, but I LOVE a good bookstore), and walking around CityGarden (super cool art park). Downtown St. Louis has a lot to offer – great breakfast/brunch/lunch and shopping during the day, sporting events, and clubs/bars/casinos/dinner spots at night. It’s about a 15 minute drive from campus (all surface streets) but it’s also very easy to get there via Metro (and lucky you! you get a free Metro pass if you’re a wustl student!).
So there’s the wrap up for this semester. Over break I plan on getting my resume together, looking into summer jobs and enjoying wintertime activities in St. Louis. I’ll keep posting once a week so check back often and make comments. I’m happy to answer any questions you have!