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January 26, 2009: Pearls Before Swine

Seth Victor

January 26, 2009

Pearls Before Swine

When people get older, so I have noticed, people get the impression that they are entitled to give you advice, or at the least, impart their own experiences onto you, content in the belief that their wisdom will somehow affect and shape your own life experience. When I say “people,” I am of course using the colloquial use of the word, hereinafter to be read as “my father.” Sitting at the breakfast table, this man, my elder and the source of the knowledge that I would need to transition into that daunting nirvana of manhood, would drop such pearls as, “If you get down to the docks on the Detroit River before dawn, you can get free fish, but you shouldn’t eat them,” or “Chili dogs can be combined with White Castle burgers to make a pretty mean meal.” I should at this point mention that most of my dad’s advice relates to food and its consumption. While this variety of counsel was and is welcome and essential in many cultures, even in ours not 90 years ago, I’ve found it particularly hard to apply in law school outside of Lackmann’s caf food. Thus, as I grapple with my own law school age, a weathered 3L in his last semester, I exercise my own pretentious right to give advice to you, the young 3Ls of tomorrow (I’d say lawyers of tomorrow, but even with a few months left, I don’t want to assume anything):

  • If you can, live in White Plains. It’s not the greatest college town, especially when NYC is down the road, but it’s not bad. Living here makes it much easier to get to know other students beyond the train station.
  • Talk to professors outside of class about something other than law. It’s crazy, I know, but they are pretty interesting people who can teach you a lot beyond statutes and cases.
  • Wear something weird and outrageous every once and a while. Law school can be a stuffy place, and can get a little full of itself. Shake it up.
  • Sign up for every club, and attend every lecture you can. You might learn something, but more importantly, often there will be free food (okay, so dad’s advice still works here).
  • Whether at a lecture or not, free food that is offered at 6:00pm will be gone by 5:55pm.
  • Try out for moot courts and law review. Do it only if you really want it. If you don’t get it, smile and enjoy the free time.
  • It is never too early or too late to take a nap.
  • No matter how close to the exam it is, or how late that paper is, or how behind you feel, remember that you are here because you chose to be here. Enjoy it, because really, when you get down to the end, law school is a great time.



Seth Victor

3L Day (Class of 2009)

Environmental LawInternational Law, and Land Use Law

Lopatcong, New Jersey, USA

Undergraduate degree:
B.A. (with honors) in History, and English Language and Literature from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF), Public Interest Law Scholarship Organization (PILSO), Environmental Law Society (ELS), and RA in Dannat Hall