A Message from the Dean
Mission Iraq
A 1L Odyssey, Part 2
Isabelle Johnston Bids Farewell
Gloria Watts, Beloved Registrar, Gets Big Send-Off
The Brief
Graduation / Reunion
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
A 1L Odyssey, Part 2 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

It’s gratifying as well when your efforts are rewarded. Melissa’s brief laid the groundwork for a stellar performance at oral argument, where the judges praised her poise and preparation. Paying her the ultimate compliment, they said she and co-counsel, Steve Park, made the best presentations of all the 1Ls.

Melissa’s first year is fading fast, and so many decisions lie ahead. After a taste of different areas of the law, she is still mulling what she wants to do after law school. Regulatory law? First Amendment issues? General Litigation? Transactional Law? International Law? All are possibilities.

“That’s the beauty, I guess, of having a law degree because you can do a lot with it,” says Melissa, who during the first semester began to waver about public service work.

More immediate is her need for a summer job. The job market is competitive. It is next to impossible for most 1Ls to snare a high-profile position in a major law firm. After a few false steps, Melissa nails a job – as a research assistant to Jason Johnston. Johnston, who taught Melissa in both semesters, sees progress in her grasp of the material. By the end of the year, he says, she seems “more comfortable and confident.”

That confidence will be put to good use in the fall, when Melissa will be at orientation to help ease the new 1Ls’ transition to law school. And what will she tell them?

She will advise incoming students to embrace the Socratic Method, to focus as much on learning as on grades, to plunge into extracurricular activities, and to drink in all that Philadelphia
has to offer.

Oh, one other thing she will confide: “You will be able to write a 35-page appellate brief by the end of the year without dying.”

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