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How I’m Preparing for Columbia Law School

Some incoming 1Ls are trying to get the jump on everyone else by reading hornbooks or briefing cases before classes start. But here’s how I’m getting ready for law school at Columbia.

After two months of careful training, I’ve managed to increase my alcohol tolerance. Sure, I’m still a mere shadow of my former undergraduate self, but my social reputation should survive all the debauchery orientation week has to offer.

Holding down my alcohol will help, but making friends and networking is so important that I’ve finally taken my unopened copy of How to Win Friends & Influence People off the bookshelf and placed it on my bedside dresser. I’ve had the book for years, and by the time classes start I’ll manage to knock it behind the dresser, still unopened, and settle for reading the Wikipedia page.

Anyway, I’m too busy exploring New York City to really do any reading.

I’m trying to become a real New Yorker. I am no longer hella friendly. I’m “mad” friendly. I fold my pizza, jaywalk, hate the Red Sox, avoid Times Square, eat late, and read the Post.

The other night, a man, naked, save for a pair of improvised underwear, shouted abuse at me in a subway car. I teared up a bit. This was my first authentic New York City subway experience. It was just as I’d imagined it would be. Sadly, the man refused to take a photo with me to commemorate the moment.

Becoming a real New Yorker isn’t all fun. You have to learn some hard lessons. One beautiful sunny afternoon, a suspicious drop of something wet hit me in the eye. Twice. Lesson learned: don’t stop to look up after something falls on your face.

Last night, I met up with a few other incoming Columbia 1Ls to share what we’ve all learned about the City, and to play a sophisticated game of beer Scrabble. One guy had incredible hair, and as a group they were exceptionally friendly and hilarious.

I get the feeling that it’ll be a wonderful year. Or maybe I’m just still a bit buzzed from last night.