Wednesday, October 10, 2012

JFCY Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Kattapuram

This post was written by Rachel Kattapruam, a JFCY legal intern and volunteer on the PLE Team.  Rachel discusses her first month of law school...

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Noting the humid air and heavy overcast as I stepped out of my apartment building, I had only one thought: I’m going to have a seriously bad hair day on my first day of law school. In all seriousness though, I had a lot of thoughts running though my mind as I walked towards Flavelle House to begin my orientation into the UofT Faculty of Law, the legal profession, and the next phase of my life.

It was both extremely exciting and extremely intimidating to meet the 190 students with whom I would be spending the next three years. All brilliant, articulate, and from a variety of interesting educational and professional backgrounds, I felt incredibly privileged to stand among them. These are the people who I’m sure will help shape my thoughts, opinions, and lessons learned, academic and otherwise, in my time at law school. It was not only the students, however, that awed me on that first day. Admittedly, I think I’ve watched Legally Blonde a few times too many, but I was under the impression that all law professors are stern, no nonsense types who would no sooner crack a smile then offer you the answers to the exam. I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of Dean Moran’s speech to our class, speaking openly and earnestly about her career in law and her high hopes that we should all succeed at law school. The other professors that spoke too impressed upon on us not only an academic and career oriented perspective of the law, but also they ways in which the things they had done over the course of their legal careers had shaped their lives.

Of course, it hasn’t been all inspiring speeches and orientation festivities. The long and short of it is, law school is a lot of work. I mean, a LOT of work. I can still feel the panic that flooded my lungs when a professor announced our first research assignment. But for some reason, I love it. Maybe it’s the sense of community in taking all of my classes with all of the same people. Maybe it’s the high school throwback to being in having a locker again! Maybe it’s the inspiring professors and amazing opportunities that UofT has so far provided. Maybe, its as a second year I met during orientation day put it, “First year is a lot like being on a sinking ship….with a lot of really great people….and you never sink.” 

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