If you’re a prospective Princetonian reading this and already know you’re considering law school, congratulations! You’re much further ahead in cementing your career goals than I was back when I was in your shoes. When I came to Princeton, I didn’t have a clue what I was interested in pursuing for a career. I knew I loved American politics and wanted to dedicate my life to service, but I didn’t know how that translated into a career path. As I arrived for my first year, I was bouncing a variety of future plans around in my head — everything from investigative journalism to opening my own veterinary practice.
I first became interested in attending law school during a freshman seminar I took on constitutional war powers. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I found arguing and analyzing the law and its controversies far more fascinating than any academic discipline I’d previously encountered. By the end of my first year, I was pretty sure law school was in the cards for me. The research I’d done, both on my own and with the help of the gracious Center for Career Development advisers, helped to cement the idea that I could combine my prior love of writing and passion for service with my academic interest in law.
Two points I’ve already highlighted — the availability of incredible law-related classes here (taught by world class faculty) and the rigorous support provided by the Center for Career Development—are just two of many reasons preparing to go to law school at Princeton is a privilege. There are a variety of course offerings, across a number of different departments that allow students to explore diverse fields of law within the contexts of their academic specialties. Many of those offerings change every semester, meaning that there is a wealth of fresh opportunities available if you aren’t feeling any one semester’s worth of law-based courses. The professors who teach these classes, both permanent faculty and visiting professors, are often themselves distinguished lawyers with unbelievable career experiences.
There are also many co-curricular ways to explore an interest in the law. Princeton Internships in Civic Service and the Guggenheim Fellowships are two of many Princeton-supported programs that offer undergrads unique summer law opportunities in public-service. Many student groups here provide an additional avenue, during the school year, to explore legal interest, whether through pre-professional organizations or activist work.
I didn’t pick Princeton for its legal-studies opportunities. After all, I didn’t even know it was something in which I was interested! But I’m incredibly lucky to have stumbled upon a community which provides what I believe is one-of-a-kind for students interested in learning more about law.