Hometown: Rutherford, N.J.
- Drexel University, Dramatic Writing
Job: Clerkship with the Hon. Lee A. Solomon, Supreme Court of New Jersey
Program: Part-Time Evening
How do you know someone is in law school? They talk about it. Constantly. Drinks with friends, date nights, and holidays all devolve into law-school ramblings and related excitement, dread, or likely some combination thereof. Even hangouts with classmates, preceded by promises not to talk about school, quickly end up revolving around school. Law school can be an all-consuming endeavor that, as one far brighter classmate aptly explained, has made it impossible to be the student, employee, or partner we have all wanted to be these past few years. For many of us, even the decision to come to law school came with the significant sacrifices of others.
This is all to say that law school is an individual pursuit, but it does not operate in a vacuum. I would be absolutely nothing without my girlfriend to come home to and I have either direct knowledge or a sneaking suspicion that each one of my classmates leaned on family, friends, partners, mentors, and student leaders for support during these past three or four years. Graduation is about us, but the care, understanding, and effort of many others were needed to get us here.
If I had not been so lucky so often with the professors I have had at Temple, I could do well by writing “Professor Monroe” 100 times. I had Professor Monroe for Torts and served as her TA several times thereafter. There are not many people—let alone teachers—who have been as generous to, or left as large an impression on, me as Professor Monroe. Her kindness, patience, and ability to pinpoint and address hidden issues are all one of a kind.
I will copy a past student by adding professors with whom I enjoyed multiple classes, an imperfect barometer that, somehow, leaves out the greatness of Professors McCarthy, Rebouché, Rieser, and others. Professor DeJarnatt has been a sounding board since our first semester together and Professor Natali is a legend. Professors Green and Little were both fabulous in doctrinal courses and then led Dead-Poets-Society-level experiences in writing classes. Both spent countless hours of their personal time guiding me in the right direction as I repeatedly spun off course. Taxation with Professor Bartow was a favorite during my time here and he then spent the following semester meeting weekly with me as we trudged through a very tedious guided-research project on housing tax credits. If I had to list the ten best things about Temple, it would be filled with the names of professors.
Law School Lessons
You are never quite as great or inferior as you think you are. It is easy to look at how you performed during your first semester or two and assume that, good or bad, that is how it is going to be. That has not been my experience. What works in one class or for one semester may not work in the next. Success does not necessarily beget success and failure does not necessarily beget failure. We rededicate ourselves each semester. Nobody is so far ahead that they cannot be disappointed or so far behind that they cannot rise up. Taking successes and failures in stride is almost as important. Pretension and self-pity are inevitable, but the most intelligent people I have met here tend to not take themselves too seriously.