NYU Law Fashion Week(ly)

Written by Ijeoma Eke | Photography by Ajani B. Husbands

When you walk down the halls of Vanderbilt and Furman, not only do you see some of the smartest and most accomplished people in New York City, but also some of the most fashionable. NYU Law has style and it is time we show it!

This week, we are featuring three fantastic law students: Sarah Hsu ’17, Solomon Brown ’17, and Brendan George ’16.  Solomon even has his own line of quality mens ties.

Who says aspiring lawyers cannot be fashionistas as well? Check out the different styles of NYU Law! If you know someone (a fellow student, YOURSELF, or a member of the faculty) that you think should be featured, send us a tip at lawcommentator@gmail.com.

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Introducing: Scandal Day O’Connor

Hey, Greenwich Villagers. No, this isn’t Gossip Girl—Blair Waldorf may have gone to NYU for undergrad, but she wouldn’t be caught dead in the law school after snagging her Mrs. degree.

You may be familiar with my predecessor, Truth Bader Ginsburg. Back when The Commentator was in its prime (as in, still published in print), Truth was NYU Law’s original Dear Abby, a snarky voice of reason in a cacophony of legalese. But, like all good things (The Commentator included), Truth moved on, graduating from NYU Law and taking with her the entertaining gossip and advice this place had come to know and love.

Luckily for you, what’s old is new again. The Commentator has been revived, and there’s a new justice in school. Someone needed to pick up where Truth left off and scandal begins—and I’m happy to oblige.

It’s a new year and a new semester, and with that comes a certain amount of reflection. But, rather than make a New Year’s resolution that I’ll almost certainly break within the next week, I’ve decided that this year, I’m allowing myself to regress.

After all, as law students, we’re constantly pushing ourselves to overachieve academically in preparation for our impending legal careers. We’re treated as wise beyond our years in class; told by professors and law firm partners that we’re the next generation of influential legal minds; assured that, quite soon, we’ll be the ones pulling the societal strings. And yet, at the same time, we live in this bizarre social bubble where school-sponsored binge drinking occurs on the reg; where 30-year-olds can live in dorm rooms without feeling shame; where section-cest happens at alarming (and entertaining) rates. Sure, we graduated from undergrad a few years ago—but that doesn’t mean we have to act like it.

So for now, I’m going to embrace the past until the moment I’m dragged into big law by the weight of my student loans. Retro is in, people. The theme of this year’s Fall Ball? #TBT. The biggest album of the year? Taylor Swift’s 1989. A Friends reunion is happening. Netflix is rebooting Gilmore Girls. I’ll take all that as a sign the universe wants us to make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young (#FreeKe$ha).

And finally, down to business. To set loose the inner gossip in all of us, I need your help, my fellow law students. Have a question about law school hookup etiquette? Overhead something at bar review that made you blush? Send me a question or a tip at lawcommentator@gmail.com. No identifying names, please (I’m not a cruel mistress).

Until next time,

Scandal

#3MonthsLeft: Third Year Soliloquy

Written by Rucha Desai, Columnist

There are 90 days left until graduation. For some, that means only 90 more days of searching for old outlines, of posting political tirades on Coases, and of running late to class because the Monday schedule is arbitrarily moved up ten minutes. For others, it means only 90 days of ignoring the loud Mamoun’s consumption in the library and racing to The Cave for a spot on the couch.

For me, this means there are only 90 days left to be a student. That is, 90 days of discoveries and rediscoveries, of expected unemployment and unexpected audacity, of embracing and cherishing and being energized by this beautiful city. There are 90 days of unbilled, unmeasured time in a race against the clock.

So, instead of #3LOL, I am #3MonthsLeft. I will chronicle one experience—old or new—every week, for three months, to uncover the little treasures this city has to offer (outside of Vanderbilt Hall).

Last Saturday, I discovered wintertime Hamptons. To celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday, we took a party bus tour of the Hamptons through First Glass Wine Tours. The bus was stocked with water bottles, ice buckets, and red solo cups filled with nostalgia. We unapologetically blasted Justin Bieber’s new album on a loop as we rode from Midtown East to our first stop, Raphael. The winery had a wooden, warm tasting room with high ceilings, live music, and a view of untouched, snow-covered vineyards that reached the horizon. For $11, I tasted four Long Island wines, ate a thick grilled cheese sandwich with hot tomato soup, and took selfies against the immaculate terrain (after aggressively judging girls who take selfies).

Everything was clean, white, and simple.

Excitement levels heightened, our next stop was Baiting Hollow, where older blond women were dancing in celebration of each other and the winery’s live band played 90s pop covers. In the midst of a fierce debate about boy bands (Backstreet Boys versus *NSYNC), we had one bottle of Riesling and one bottle of cabernet franc, with a creamy spinach artichoke dip that was grossly lacking in salt. We finished our bus tour at LIV – not the club in Miami, but the distillery on Long Island. For $10, we tasted potato vodkas infused with sweet fruits, with espresso, and with nothing. We swished, we clinked, and we sipped.

And the clock struck midnight (6 p.m.), so we had to run back to our coach (mini party bus) before it turned back into a pumpkin (charged us a penalty).

Our souvenir tasting glasses in our pockets, we climbed back onto the bus. Disco lights blaring, we rode back into Manhattan, playing aggressive rounds of Heads Up and eating the complimentary cheese from Raphael that we stuffed into take-out containers. We reached Manhattan, and the crew dispersed – to the DL, to Caliente Cab, and to respective studios, where the jubilance and freshness of the day’s events allowed a deep, untroubled sleep. A familiar dread about Sunday’s activities began to creep over me—the antitrust reading, the dishwashing, the weight training—but I was able to fend it off for just a few more hours, nibbling on my last bits of cheese and swiping through my selfies against that untouched, white, immaculate terrain.

Dear 1L: You Survived Your First Semester of Law School. Now What?

By David Wang

Dear 1L,

Right now, you’re uncertain, stressed, and anxious. I know it’s easy for someone who has already been through the baptism by fire that is 1L to say this, but as former Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent vowed in The Dark Knight, “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.”

Now, I’m nowhere near as charming as Harvey Dent, but he’s right. There are many moods post-1L semester that permeate throughout the class: anxiety, elation, relief, disappointment, and doubt. These are all normal feelings, but I hope you’ll take it from someone who’s been there and back: the game is nowhere near over yet. So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the second semester, passed down by classmates and friends:

1) If you are disappointed with grades, start from the beginning. Contact your professors to see if you can come review your exam and ask about areas for improvement. You may be surprised by the feedback, but it is important to conduct this “post-mortem” to understand exactly what you need to do to improve. Of course, each class is different by content, but look for transferrable test-taking and studying skills you can apply to your future exams.

And if you’re concerned about EIW, the best thing you can do is to finish the semester strong academically. I firmly believe that it’s not about how you start, but how you finish. An academic record with a significant upward trend is an amazing comeback story to tell at EIW. It shows humility, self-reflection, and most importantly, perseverance. So, put EIW in the back of your mind and concentrate on the keys that will unlock the kind of EIW you want.

2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Outside of regular class attendance and office hours, you should look into the great tutoring services provided by the law school, free of charge. Your tutors can work with you on a one-on-one basis on both specific class content and general exam preparation strategies. Sign up here.

3) Please do not panic based on the clamor around the student body about 1L summer jobs. Internship opportunities and offers roll in at different times, and some of my friends with the coolest experiences did not hear back until May. You alone control your own fate, so ignore the noise and look for the best opportunities for you. If you need help, please contact alumni, 2Ls and 3Ls, or the Office of Career Services (OCS). We’re all here to help!

4) Talk to someone. 1L year is already overwhelming. Now add to that the fast-paced playground that is New York City. If you ever need to talk with someone outside of the law school, NYU offers free counseling through Counseling and Wellness Services (212-998-4780). Sometimes, it can be really helpful just to air your frustrations or discuss your concerns confidentially with an independent third party who won’t give you advice from a law school perspective.

Prefer to talk to someone you know? You’d be surprised how calming it can be     just to hang out with friends outside of the NYU Law bubble. Chances are, you’ve     let some of your past relationships slide because of the insane workload and     endless stresses of law school. Use this opportunity to reconnect with old friends and get a fresh perspective.

5) Continue to dream. There are only so many ways to say “Never give up!” without sounding cliché.  We all came to law school for a variety of reasons, but whatever your reason is, your dreams are valid and nothing else matters. Need inspiration? Check out this remarkable story about US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s 1L grades in The New York Times.

I’ll end with a quote from Randy Pausch, late author of The Last Lecture: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” So, play strategically, play smartly, and most importantly, play true to yourself. Expect as good as you give. You may not have been dealt a royal flush, but do not forget: the dawn is coming.

Introducing the Lifestyle Section

Some of the best advice given to first-year law students (aka 1Ls)—who are eagerly looking for the code to crack the mystery of law school—is to remind them that prior to stepping foot on NYU’s campus (well, walking down public streets and entering the Halls of Furman and Vanderbilt), they had a life that consisted of hobbies, interests, and other pastimes. The people who seem to do the best in law school, and the ones that are the happiest doing it, are those who have found a way to maintain themselves despite urges to become the no-social-life having, always-in-the-library law student.

Thus, the Lifestyle section of The Commentator serves to provide a forum that addresses the non-law aspects of your life. We will bring you creative pieces written by your peers, fashion blogs, spoken word poetry, health and workout tips, and just about anything else you want – whether it’s fit to print or not! (Editor’s note: just kidding – it will totally be fit to print.)

Our primary goal is to encourage you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But we also want to create a safe space where you can express yourself. Help us prove that law students are not only some of the smartest people you will meet, but some of the most creative as well.

Introducing Our Paper

by Naeem Crawford-Muhammad, Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to The Commentator, NYU Law’s official student newspaper. We chronicle all things related to New York University School of Law and its students, faculty, and administration. The Commentator presents its content in three sections: News, Opinion, and Lifestyle.

The News section will keep you up-to-date with the latest happenings at the Law School. Opinion will feature students lending their voices to the pressing issues of the day. And in the Lifestyle section, students are invited to share their creative energies with the world.

The first version of The Commentator was a student-run, print publication at NYU Law. Renowned for its wit and biting edge, it was distributed biweekly in a black-and-white, tabloid format. Our new incarnation of The Commentator will be online-only. This allows us greater flexibility in getting news and information to our audience faster. It will also allow us to experiment with and better incorporate photography, video, and social media.

If you’re interested in writing for us or would like to share your thoughts or feedback, contact us.

We hope you enjoy our company. Visit often and stay awhile.