Happy Halloween! Today will be a lighthearted day at the law school in many respects (even though the 1Ls have an LRW exam to prepare for tomorrow!). For instance, I am honored to serve as one of four judges for the Student Bar Association’s Halloween costume contest during lunch today. Law students, faculty, staff, and administrators can sometimes be overgrown children, at least for a day!
The next major American holiday is Thanksgiving, and our students will receive a “break” for that holiday starting three weeks from today. I want to speak a word to the family and friends of our law students in regard to Thanksgiving break.
I know you all miss your student’s attention terribly, and a five day break sounds fantastic. I want you to know, however, that classes end for the semester just one week after Thanksgiving break begins — and that the first 1L final hits just one week after classes end. What this means is that no student needs to take a complete five days off from their studies so close to the very important finals season. Some may be in a position to take more time off than others, but that varies widely, and you should not expect that your student will be able to simply stop their studies for five consecutive days.
On behalf of the students, please do not pressure your students one way or another as to how they handle Thanksgiving break. Some will choose to remain in Malibu and spend the break studying (they are all invited to a Thanksgiving feast with my family if this is the case!). Others will choose to go home for the holiday, but will need significant time in a quiet place to work on their outlines in preparation for finals. A few may be so on top of their outlines that they can enjoy several days at home without much need to hit the books. None of these options are better than the others. All are preparing for the same thing, and each individual student will have different needs during the preparation process.
There is good news on the horizon. A “real” break is coming when the semester ends! The last final exam is on Friday, December 14, which is just six weeks from Friday! You and your student will then have three glorious weeks when they don’t have to study anything! That is truly something for which to give thanks.