Should I Attend Washington University?
I don’t know. We are a fantastic school—I have great colleagues and great students, and most of our graduates have great opportunities. But don't come if you will be saddled with debt.
Should I go to law school?
Maybe. Law school is a transformative education for many people. It changed the way I think about words, language, people, culture, government, and society. It made me a better reader and, eventually, a better writer. It gave me a set of skills that I use in many different areas of life. But it’s not for everyone.
What should I do to prepare for law school?
Take undergraduate classes you enjoy that make you work on your writing. Also, work on your writing. Study for the LSAT and take a preparatory course if at all possible. Learn to be a really good writer, and fight for feedback about how to get even better. Don’t try to figure out what law school is going to be like—it’s one of those things in life that you won’t really understand until you’re doing it. Also, work on your writing.
Is law school hard?
Yes, for many students. It was hard for me. I find students with work experience after college or other advanced degrees generally have less difficulty, but it is a lot of work for almost every student.
Law school can also be emotionally difficult. You are learning a new way to think about the world, and you are encountering challenging and often highly charged material. You’ll want to prepare intellectually, but also physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And if you get to law school and it feels like too much, talk to someone. Dropping out of law school is not even close to the worst thing in the world.
Will you be my dissertation advisor or serve on my committee?
Because my primary appointments are in a law school and an interdisciplinary center that does not have a PhD program, I rarely supervise dissertations. But it happens occasionally. I also serve as a second reader or an outside reader for dissertations related to my expertise. The closer to my core expertise, the likelier I am to accept a request to be an outside reader. There's lots of work still to be done on the freedom of assembly!