Ember Eyster '15L
Ember Eyster '15L
It is hard to believe that at about this time three years ago I was submitting a seat deposit to attend W&L Law.
My first real encounter with W&L, aside from numerous helpful e-mails and phone calls, was my visit to Lexington for Admitted Students Weekend. I fully intended to attend a different law school, but was excited to get away for the weekend, and W&L provided me that opportunity. I truly had no idea how that weekend would change the course of the three years that followed. Now, here I sit, just days from graduation.
One of the main factors in my decision to attend W&L was the quality of the professors. While I have been astounded time and again by their intellect and ability to convey what I imagined to be even the most boring of subjects interestingly (contracts), it was their enthusiasm in helping and connecting with students that really drew me in. An "open-door policy" does not begin to describe the support and accessibility of W&L's faculty and staff.
In my first year, as I learned to navigate the law school seas, my professors were invaluable. It was the little things, really. On the days when I was the most stressed, I had professors who would listen to me vent, tell me about their personal law school horror stories, or otherwise put things in perspective. When I began internship hunting, a professor (whom I met at Admitted Students Weekend, but whose classes I never had the opportunity to take) would invite me on walks to get out of the law school and discuss job search strategies. If I had to miss class or found myself terribly confused, my professor was willing to chat by phone during his commute to Lexington to discuss questions I had regarding the material.
In my second year, as I settled in to law school life, I had meaningful and authentic conversations with these amazing people from whom I was fortunate to learn. My viewpoints were challenged, and I was forced to think critically. I remember vividly a tear-filled conversation about mental illness, death penalty volunteers, and paternalism. I had the opportunity to debate the merits of criminal charges for vice crimes and examine the protocol for lethal injection. On a lighter note, I'd receive e-mails about local events or news articles that professors thought may be of interest to me.
Finally, in my third year, these professors I had grown to admire have readied me for my career. While I have much to learn, I do not believe any law school could have better equipped me for the road ahead. This year, I tried criminal cases. I met with clients in jail, at their homes, or at McDonalds. I interviewed witnesses and issued subpoenas. I conducted direct examination, cross-examination, gave closing arguments, and argued for lesser sentences. This year I practiced law, and I could not have imagined better support and guidance.
I will miss the great professors, great friends, and great community. I will miss running on the Appalachian Trail and drinking strong Brief Stop coffee (I've tried to replicate the strength-it can't be done). I will miss Sweet Things ice cream and drive-in movies. I am unbelievably excited and ready for what lies ahead, but believe it or not, I think I'm going to miss law school.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have spent (nearly) three years at W&L Law and in Lexington, VA.