ChiefMango wrote:Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies, guys! I imagine it's quite easy to spread out on the 8000 acres of beautiful, palm tree covered pastures that Stanford provides.
For those of us who are coming straight from undergrad, how important do you guys think it is to figure out what you want to do before going in? Are there any areas of law that you think Stanford might not prepare you well for, or are all of the bases covered? Also, do you guys think students run the risk of becoming separated from the outside world or from a sense of social justice & public advocacy while on the farm?
I apologize for the string of questions. I'm just incredibly curious and haven't been able to find these answers online.
It's definitely not that important that you know what you want to do. I took a few years off from undergrad and thought I knew what I wanted to do, but I've gone back and forth with different areas of the law since coming here. It's kind of expected that a lot of students don't truly know what they want to do until they've at least gone to school. One important qualification, though. Be sure that you know that you want to become a lawyer. If you don't want to become a lawyer, you will be miserable. There have been several times where I've questioned things. If you're on the fence before coming to school, I'd recommend deferring or waiting a few years and getting some experience. (I'd actually recommend taking a few years anyway).
I think all of your bases are covered at Stanford. We have a ton of resources, and if there is something you want to do, Stanford has the means to make it happen. There are very few circumstances in which I would say one is "better off" at a different school than S for a specific career path (exceptions being going to Yale in general, Harvard for politics, and tie-specific secondary market considerations in certain cases).
S has an awesome social justice/public advocacy sense. You do not have to worry about getting separated from the outside world. There is a strong public interest community here, and the school has been very responsive in light of the recent social justice concerns. There have been protests, social justice seminar courses added to the schedule, and special events featuring some pretty renowned speakers. I think it's somewhat easy to get separated during 1L because of the workload and stress, but, kinda like becoming claustrophobic, it only happens if you let it and can happen anywhere.