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My name is Hala Furst, and I am a 3L. Before coming to Roger Williams I received a BA in Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota. In the three years between graduating from college and arriving here in Bristol, RI, I worked as a hotel concierge for a luxury brand, a loan officer and mortgage...

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Law Students Gone Wild

Posted by Hala Furst on 03/06/2008 at 12:00 AM

Remember the feeling you had the last week of school before graduation when you were a high school senior? At my school, we all took our finals earlier in the month, so we had literally nothing to do, or if we did, we didn’t care. I believe they call it senioritis. Anyway, that’s the feeling that is wafting through the 1Ls classrooms on this, the week before Spring Break. And understandably so. Last week we had our 18 page appellate brief first submission due, and it was a doozie. If you thought the memo was bad, this is it’s older brother, and it will not only take your lunch money, if will pants you and give you a swirly. Metaphorically speaking. Suffice to say it’s difficult. What ease you might have gained from your experience with the memo was mitigated by the additional length and research required. So while the writing might not have been as hard this time around, there was a lot of other stuff to be done. Now that the paper is done, and the weather is warming ever so slightly, my colleagues and I have found it somewhat difficult to concentrate on our studies. For the most part the professors recognize they are fighting a losing battle this week, so the class discussions have been less focused on rules and holdings, and more about our general impressions of the cases. We’ve all been working very hard, and we are all looking forward to the pleasures of a long week away.

For some of us that week will be spent at the beach, or skiing, or maybe even just chilling out at home with our families, but for me and 5 other students, Spring Break will be spent in Biloxi, Mississippi working at the Mississippi Center for Justice. The MCJ helps Hurricane Katrina victims with their legal needs, mostly with housing and governmental concerns. I have deep connections with the Gulf Coast because of time spent there on vacations growing up, and because of family still in the area, and so the Katrina trip students took last year was a really big selling point for me when I was looking at schools. While it won’t be a relaxing vacation, it will be an opportunity to put my newfound legal knowledge to the test, and really see what it’s like working in a day to day public interest environment. I am very excited for the chance to do some real work in the region, but I’m nervous about what I might encounter. I imagine it is going to be an emotional and intense experience.

And finally, to the prospective students: By now you are all probably getting your acceptance letters and notifications in the mail. It can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time, and I wish you all luck with your decisions. I hope to see you next year!