Why did you come to The School of The New York Times (SoNYT)?
I came to SoNYT for several reasons. The primary reason was because the course that I was interested in was going to be extremely helpful to make decisions about my future career path. I was also very excited to attend anything that was organized by The New York Times. Just to be able to learn from people who are some of the best in their respective fields, and to learn in an environment that follows the values of The New York Times was a very big incentive. Finally, it was in New York, which may seem slightly superficial, but it was actually important for me. Spending those two weeks in New York, living in dorms and exploring the city, while still doing quite a bit of academic work, was a great preview to what university life would be like in NYC.
Which course did you take and why?
365体育备用网址I attended the course A Million Lives in the Law. I chose it because I was considering becoming a lawyer later on, and this course was offering the perfect opportunity to learn more about what a career in law would be like, and explore other options I could pursue with a law degree.
What are your key takeaways from the course?
First and foremost, I was surprised to learn about the vast amount of career options available to law school graduates. I also learnt that I am quite interested in branches of law that I never even considered before because I knew very little about them, such as immigration law. Furthermore, I found out that being a lawyer is not as glamorous as it’s made out to be. Many lawyers work extremely hard, but do not get the benefits proportionate to their efforts.
What was your favorite part of the course?
365体育备用网址My favorite part of the course was when we would have class discussions about relevant topical issues or a case we studied. For example, we discussed the Carpenter v. United States case and the consequences of the ruling of the case on society in America. I loved these debates because it wasn’t just a teacher to student flow of knowledge. Everyone in class learnt from each other as we were allowed to express our opinions openly, without being judged. As everyone was interested in the chosen topics and wanted to participate, the brought-up ideas were intelligent and varied, because we were such a diverse group.
Did you have any favorite site visits or guest speakers?
365体育备用网址My favorite site visit was when we went to the second circuit court of appeals to talk to Judge Oetken. I loved this site visit because we were able to attend an arraignment and part of a court case, which I thought was very fascinating. All of the officials involved in the arraignment (the prosecutor, defense lawyer, federal law enforcement officer and Judge Oetken) willingly took time out of their busy schedules to talk to us and explain their role in court. This made what we were learning feel much less theoretical than when we are only in the classroom. For me, the highlight was when we had a Q&A session with Judge Oetken because I learnt a lot about the judicial system and his personal experiences within it.
What was your final project?
For our final project we all wrote an article about our favorite site visit or guest speaker. Unfortunately, I had already started working on my final project when we spoke to Judge Oetken, so I couldn’t write it about him. However, I wrote an article about another great site visit, which was when we attended a naturalization ceremony. I described the process, along with the strong emotions that accompany what is no doubt one of the most important days in the lives of many of these new citizens. My only comment would be that I would have liked to have more feedback on our earlier writing assignments so that I could have profited from it and used it for my final project.
Who do you think should take this course?
365体育备用网址I think this course is perfect for someone who is interested in law and wants to learn more about it and all the different careers that are open to law school graduates. It is not as beneficial to someone who is already quite knowledgeable about law and the judicial system, as was the case for some of my classmates. The course is also great for someone who is willing to discuss somewhat controversial topics and be open to other people’s opinions.
What were your faculty like?
365体育备用网址In our course we had two teachers, a TA and an RA, and they were all phenomenal. Whether we were in the classroom or on a site visit, our supervisors all managed to balance the learning with a good time, and they always made sure that everyone felt included. Our supervisors were enthusiastic to teach us about topics that they had so much knowledge about and experience in. They constantly encouraged us to express our ideas and ask questions.
What does The New York Times mean to you?
It means many things to me: professionalism, reliability and quality of writing. I think The New York Times has successfully managed to keep the traditional principal of excellence while keeping up with modern day technology. In the decreasing number of newspapers, it remains as one that stands for important principals, such as reporting facts and always staying ethical, even in the midst of a barrage of criticism and the propagation of lies and hatred towards the media.
What does it mean to you to study in New York City?
It means studying amongst some of the most interesting peers, with such eclectic backgrounds. By studying in NYC you will have a lot of chances to meet and talk to very experienced professionals in your field of study. It also means that you will be in the middle of one of the greatest and most interesting cities in the world, therefore you will also be able to do amazing things, like watch Broadway shows or see fireworks in Coney Island, whenever you can take a break from studying.
What do you think you want to be when you grow up?
I am definitely still considering becoming an international humanitarian lawyer although this course has also lead me to believe that corporate law is another viable option for me. However, this course has opened my eyes to some of the more negative aspects of being a lawyer. Therefore, I have started to think about using my future law degree to pursue other careers. I think it is important for me to keep an open mind and not lock myself into one path.