mj1989 wrote:Hey folks. Just wondering what you think of commuting to law school -- I hated the idea in undergrad, but now I'm pretty well settled near Santa Clara U -- about 20 minutes away without traffic. I can get to the Caltrain station pretty quickly, and I'm thinking that's what I'll do when school starts...but do you think it has a major (negative) impact on the 1L experience to not live on campus or in PA?
I'm also curious about this. My fiance and I have two cats, so unfortunately on-campus housing won't be an option for us. We'd like to stay within ~10 miles of the law school. Is this going to be a huge bummer during 1L?
I don't think it will be a huge bummer - it's a lot of what you make of it. A lot of talks/presentations are lunchtime events, held in between your classes, so you'll definitely be able to attend those if you want. Every Thursday night (starting about 9/10pm) is bar review - it's been very popular among my 1L class, but it did start to peter out the closer we got to finals. Some groups hold their meetings in the evening (around 6:30/7pm), so that might prove to be a small annoyance if you don't want to hang around campus long after classes are over (granted, if you live close enough, you can always come back). Additionally, depending on what journal you choose to be on (if you choose to be on one, that is), you might have afternoon/evening meetings for those as well. Toward the beginning of the year, my class threw quite a few parties in Munger on Friday and Saturday nights, but that also decreased the farther we got into the quarter. I've definitely seen some people who live off-campus at our parties, so it definitely can be done!
That being said, with the class being so small, you'll know almost everyone in your class (except for your ghost section, possibly). If your FB group is pretty active (ours is), you'll definitely be kept in the know about different things going on. Sections will throw small section events and even host cross-section events. I have to say that having all of your autumn quarter classes (and most of your winter quarter classes, too) with your section is really nice, as well - you'll get to know everyone, make friends, and I think that's a lot of what makes the 1L experience.
Hope this was helpful.
ETA: I just want to reiterate that I don't live off-campus, so I am only speaking from my experience and what I've seen with some of my classmates. So this might be another good question to ask at ASW, if you come (and I hope you all do!).