9,055 Frequent Flyer Miles Later...

>> Sunday, May 03, 2009

In March, we made a trip to the US to visit many of the east coast law schools that I was considering.  The schools I visited were having admitted students weekends in which they invite their admits to come and visit (most schools reimburse travel costs, which is why this trip was possible) and they talk about the school's strengths and give the admitted students the opportunity to sit through a million Q&As and panel discussions to try and make the law school decision a little easier.  Though I had hoped that I would love one school and hate all the rest (and thereby have a really easy decision), that of course didn't happen and I liked all the schools for very different reasons.
After sitting in Managua's airport for a four hour delay, we finally arrived in Boston.  Though our Google Map directions to our hotel didn't quite work out, we did get a nice tour of Boston at night.
We brought along all the pants and long-sleeved shirts that we had, but we still had to do a couple of emergency Wal-Mart and Target trips to get weather-appropriate clothing.
Our first stop was New Haven, Connecticut to visit Yale.  The architecture was really pretty, but since Yale rejected me just a few weeks after the visit, no need to dwell much on the school (no hard feelings, though).
By far the most successful part of the Connecticut trip was our visit to its gigantic Ikea.  We were like kids in a candy store looking at all the neat, cheap stuff they had on display.  All potential law school cities were vetted that night to make sure they had an Ikea nearby (they all did).
After our night in New Haven, we went back to Boston via Providence, Rhode Island and met up with Dylan and Stefani, our wonderful Harvard hosts.
We had a free day before the admitted students weekend events began, so we went into Boston to do some touristy stuff like eat famous pastries, sample some awesome New England clam chowders, and take pictures of Barack Obama cutouts wearing Harvard t-shirts.
It was a remarkably nice Saturday for Boston in March (or so we were told) and there were lots of street performers out and about.  This guy ran and did a flip over these five people.  He cleared them easily--he probably could have made it over six.
After all the fun, I actually did spend three days at admitted student events to learn about HLS.  Here's Harvard's Langdell Hall:
After Boston, we took the Bolt Bus to New York City (I'm quite proud that our two tickets were $11 total thanks to dedicated Internet sleuthing).  Though we only had a couple of days there, we visited both NYU and Columbia's law schools and squeezed in a pretty impressive number of sites like Times Square.
Equally impressive was that we were able to squeeze into our tiny hotel room.
Rockefeller Plaza
Museum of Natural History
Here's Paul at Columbia--proof that we actually did visit the law schools along with all our touristing:

From New York City, Paul had to go back to Managua and I continued the law school tour on my own. I went from New York City to Ann Arbor, Michigan to see the University of Michigan Law, also known for its impressive architecture.
This is the reading room, though it could easily substitute for Hogwarts' Great Hall.
Apparently all the buildings on the law quad have to be built in the style seen above.  When it was time to build the new law library, the stones were too expensive.  Instead, they built the library underground with a strange, modern-looking triangle dug into the ground to let light in.
I really loved Michigan's campus and the city of Ann Arbor.  Everyone was really friendly and there was a great sense of community.  Even the squirrels were really welcoming:
After Ann Arbor, I got to go spend a few days in Springfield to catch up on laundry, replenish our dwindling mac & cheese supplies, and of course spend time with family and friends.

From there, I went back to New York City for a scholarship interview at NYU and their official admitted students day events.  I couldn't get a flight back to Nicaragua the afternoon of the interview, so I had an extra afternoon and evening to fill seeing some of the sights Paul and I hadn't made it to on our first visit. I went to the Central Park Zoo and saw the polar bear and seal feeding show:
And I spent a long time just walking around Central Park.  I must say, it has Masaya's Parque Central beat.
From there, it was back to the stifling heat of Nicaragua and the daily grind of school.  I wasn't even close to being ready to choose a law school because they all seemed great, but in very different ways--Harvard has classes, clinics, and opportunities to do anything; NYU had beautiful facilities in the city that never sleeps, and Michigan had midwestern charm and people that really seemed happy to be there.  I was becoming quite nervous about how to weigh these criteria and how to pick which school to attend,  and I still had Stanford to visit... fortunately, in the end, the decision was an easy one.


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