A report from a 1L at George Washington law school:
We have assigned seats. In my four classes I sit next to a Mormon from Idaho who has never tasted alcohol; two army vets, both of whom served in the mid-east; a vegan; and a former aid to a Republican congressman. One of my professors was the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Review.
There was a "how to study for final exams" session a few weeks ago at 8 PM on a Wednesday. Over a hundred people showed up.
My first impression of the student body came when I met a few dozen of my peers for a trip to the zoo on a Thursday afternoon. Half of them had "pre-gamed" and were already intoxicated.
Someone told a friend of mine that he was starting a study group, but that she probably wouldn't be interested because she didn't strike him as the type that "goes above and beyond."
One of my professors is three years older than me.
Three of my five classes have 104 people in them, 70 of whom are men.
For my civil procedure class, for each class, randomly and without prior warning, one student will be called on and forced to answer questions about the prior night's reading. This "Socratic" interrogation of one student will occasionally take up the entire one-hour class. In my contracts class, a student didn't know the answer to a question, so another student raised his hand and answered by reading a passage out of the casebook. The first student yelled at him, right there in class, "Yeah, I could've read the answer out of the book too."
I spent ten hours yesterday reading criminal cases. I read about a crack addict who had an overdose while pregnant. The prosecution managed to get a conviction at the trial level under a law prohibiting "delivering drugs to a minor." I read about a woman who was stalked for five months. She couldn't get the stalker arrested because he never touched her. Then there was the alcoholic who was arrested in his home, dragged into the street, and charged for public drunkenness. Finally, there was a man who had served a long sentence for sexual assault and was about to be released. Just before his release the state legislature passed, and the US Supreme Court upheld, a new civil law that locked him up for "an indefinite period of time." [Criminal Law is definitely one of the more interesting classes in law school. It's a field, like Constitutional Law, that many people love studying but don't end up practicing. - Anna]
Our books are so heavy that you cannot carry them home. Students are forced do everything at school and leave their books in their lockers.
Most people graduated from college in '05 or '06, and I feel quite old. I have a friend who's a third year and is 22.
Four of my five professors never assign anything to hand in. Our entire grade is based on a single final examination.
I have no sense of the number of Republicans and Democrats in my classes. The student body is truly national.
I've met more Texans than Virginians, and I haven't met anyone from Manhattan.
I'm pretty happy with how things have gone thus far. I'm sure I made the right decision to attend law school.