I understand Wharton's Lauder program is now taking a few law students. Do you know anyone in the program? It sounds like a great opportunity to increase one's proficiency in a foreign language, but I am concerned that the intensive summer language program following 1L would be a disadvantage because the students would not be doing anything law-related.
I'd like to chime in if I could. I am also a rising 2L at Penn and though I think I was in a different section than the other Penn-posters here (I was in section 1), I share many of the great opinions and perspectives they've already expressed. As to the above question, I have a good friend who is in the Lauder program and is currently in Beijing perfecting his Mandarin. He absolutely loves it, and it IS a wonderful opportunity to improve you language. Just before being sent out to the wilds of China, the Lauder program put him through a few very intensive business and language-oriented courses that both challenged him and taught him a lot. Even though the month-long (or so) classes were quite intensive and were in play while everyone else was relaxing post-finals, my Lauder friend was extremely impressed with how the classes were run, and the way his fellow Lauder students worked together in a very "Wharton-esque" way. It sounded great and like a breath of fresh air for him.
Also, I don't necessarily agree that Lauder students are at a disadvantage at all. Like Georgiana mentioned earlier, there are Penn Law students summering in many many offices and locations worldwide. I even have several friends in Europe, a friend in Venezuela, another in Mexico, and at least one (but maybe two) are currently in Taiwan. That said, the diversity of poisitons within the US is pretty amazing as well. I have several friends in US Attorney's offices (including myself), a few landed firm gigs, several are with Magistrate Judges, state judges, non-profits, Fed District Judges, and institutions. This is all to describe that the type of work done over the 1L summer is extremely varied, and the 3 Legal Rs (Reading, Riting, and Research) are experienced with similar variation. At OCR, there will be many people who have a nice, polished writing sample to show their interviewers, others who will be able to talk of how their summer positions well reflected their passions, and others (like Lauder students) who will be able to talk not only about their amazing cross-cultural experiences and international team building, but their foreign language fluency as well. I suppose I'm saying that spending your 1L summer abroad with the Lauder program not only helps you to come across as a very interesting person, but polishes language skills that are an increasing priority for firm recruiters. In my opinion, you will certainly not be at a disadvantage if you pursue that avenue.
1. We have to pay to use the Pottruck Center right?
The Pottruck center is an amazing gym. My wife and I were both members there last year, and we plan on continuing our membership through graduation. I forget exactly how much it was, but I think it cost us roughly $200/year for each of our memberships. TOtally worth it if you live nearby.
I wasn't trying to say you would spew hate, just putting it out there that if you're a christian conservative against homosexuals, reproductive rights, etc and so forth, it may not be the best choice... That said, I do know people who are against all of those things and are still at Penn. You find people that not necessarily agree but will listen without jumping down your throat. There are people who will judge you for your beliefs, but this is true everywhere and based more on the individuals than the school. Law schools tend to be made up of liberals, some are more open and accepting of non liberal ideas than others
I completely agree with this sentiment. Being a bit more conservative on some issues than what seems to be the average Penn student, I've been very pleased to have had great, non-confrontational conversations with many of my more liberal classmates on some of the more hot-button issues mentioned by Georgiana. One of the great things about Penn Law is that it provides a forum comprised of very intelligent and nuanced individuals, who can (usually) recognize and understand the nuances in others' viewpoints. While we certainly have more reactionary-type students here as well (from both sides of the political spectrum), I have wonderful friends and have had great conversations with classmates with whose political positions I don't agree (and them with mine, I'm sure). Having an opinion on when life starts or sexual morality or fiscal maturity (spin!) is not wrong from any perspective, but to grow and develop that opinion requries engagement across the spectrum and with an open mind to the nuances and reasons behind others' opinions as well. Fundamentally, nobody can completely explain their positions because at some point we all rest on an "It's just what I believe" foundation. Thankfully I've found many students from the other side who are willing to engage on that interesting and mature level. I wouldn't worry.
The LGBT group at Penn is very tight knit and active... conservative groups not so much
In my experience, the LGBT group is a very active and engaged group, and they offer some very compelling forums and discussions for getting their messages out there. As to the more conservative groups, I have to disagree with Georgiana on this one. The Federalist Society (generally the standard-bearers for the "right") holds many very well-attended forums throughout the year on all the hot-button issues. They usually pair with the ACS (the generic standard-bearers for the "left") to choose their topics and speakers, and the debates are often very fascinating. I am actually a member of the ACS (not the Federalist Society), but in my opinion there are some very prominent and visible conservative groups on campus. Of them, the Federalist Society is probably most at the front and "center."
Hope this helps!