Advice on Going to a New York Law School

I grew up in the great state of New Jersey. Yes, great state. We put Camden and Newark there to scare off the people who are just visiting, especially from New York and Philly. Go down to the Jersey Shore and it’s just like on TV – awesome. If you don’t like it, screw you.

Growing up in New Jersey, I know the appeal of New York. It’s like your cooler, older brother. Sure, you’re a little more laid back, but you always want to hang out with him. New York’s cultured. New York’s got more ladies. New York’s the person you look up to.

So I understand why a lot of you have a dream of moving to New York for law school.

Before you pack up and move (or pack up and stay, for you native New Yorkers), you’re going to have to understand a few things about New York.

First, whatever you think the cost of living is in New York City, you’re way too low. Subsidized housing can be available through the university, but not universally. Apartments are expensive. Food is expensive. Even New York McDonalds are more expensive than you’re used to. And if you’re a martini* drinker, expect to drop at least $12 on a drink – and that’s with well. If you’re a martini drinker, you probably have a taste for the classy stuff.

Second, transportation is much easier in New York than wherever you come from. I have not been to a single city that’s easier to get around than New York. There are buses, subways, and taxis everywhere. It’s not LA, where you have to drive everywhere. It’s not Boston, where the T is laid out by a drunk Irishman (rumored to be a long lost relative of yours truly). It’s not DC, where you have to go down halfway to the depths of hell to reach a platform. It’s not New Haven, where you risk getting stabbed by a hobo (take that, Yale!).

Third, make sure that you enjoy what New York has to offer. Yes, law school is a lot of work. But it’s not so much work that you can’t take the night off to enjoy a good meal, or a show, or any of the hundred other things to do on any given day.

*I, of course, refer to a gin martini. For those of you who think a martini is made with vodka, you’re wrong. A martini is a classy concoction of gin, vermouth, and possibly olive juice. What you’re drinking is vodka in a glass. Comrade.

4 Responses

  1. Will says:

    Thank you for the clarification on the issue of the Martini. I find it discouraging that we have entered into a 21st century where one can’t simply order a dry martini without ambiguity.

    • I concur. I’m sick of saying, “Barkeep, might I trouble you for a martini?”

      “Would you like flavored vodka, sir?” he replies.

      Agog, I quip back, “My good man, the only think in that sentence that I like is that you referred to me as sir. I asked for a martini.”

      “So just regular vodka?” he shamefully asks.

      “As I am a gentleman, I shall refrain from fisticuffs. However, it brings me great pain to have to explain to you that I am simply asking for gin in a class.” I am glad that this should be the end.

      “You’re weird,” he says, looking for the gin behind a pomegranate flavored vodka.

      “Fisticuffs it is!”

  2. Lordess says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I enjoyed the advice and from growing up within Atlantic City, I can concur with your perspective!

  3. Will Lee says:

    I agree with everything you say. As a native of Camden (yes, Camden), I truly learned to appreciate New York far more than Philly. And thanks for clearing up the whole martini thing…

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