On a Friday during the Spring of 2019 instead of going to my classes at Penn State I left for Harrisburg to attend Accepted Students Day at Widener Commonwealth Law School. Upon first arriving at Widener Commonwealth I was struck by the stark difference in the size of the campus as opposed to the one which I had become accustomed to during my time at Penn State. At first, I was leery of the small size of Widener but by day’s end after listening to various students, professors and administrators speak of their fond regard for their small close-knit community, I realized the size and scale of the law school might be a welcome change. In fact, that brush with the Widener Community was the primary reason I chose to attend Widener Commonwealth. In particular I found what several Widener students had to say about their personal experiences most impactful. The students spoke of the relationships they had fostered with their professors and how influential those relationships had been in the early stages of their legal careers. On average I talk to a professor (one-on-one) at least once a week to discuss class material, ask for guidance with moot court, seek insight about internships and the list continues.
In addition, when I was a 1L the upperclassmen were willing to help in whatever way they could. They were not intimidating and were cognizant of the challenges of adjusting to law school. They inspired me to do the same. As a 2L I became an Academic Success Fellow for Contracts I and II. I hold weekly office hours to meet with 1L students. It has been a pleasure to provide whatever support they might need in a particularly challenging 1L year.
I am happy to say I have experienced all the benefits of Widener Commonwealth described at Accepted Students Day despite the pandemic restrictions. I feel the nature of our close-knit community that was so apparent to me at Accepted Students Day has been a true blessing during this pandemic. I believe our law school community’s already tight-knit nature allowed it to adapt as seamlessly as possible to a virtual format. The administration and staff provided all of its students with the flexibility and support needed. In addition, the Widener Commonwealth professors continued to impress me and went above and beyond to make sure we received the same legal education we would have if we were attending in person. Although I was no longer able to walk down the hallway and stop into a professor’s office, I could still meet with the professors just as frequently and with relatively the same ease. In some way the professors became more available. All you have to do is send an email and they are willing to jump on zoom to discuss something.
The relationships I have developed with the professors at Widener are something I never experienced during my undergraduate career. I can already sense the impact these relationships have had on my legal education and I am certain when I graduate their value will come into an even sharper focus. I will always be grateful for the support and direction from these dedicated professors. I only hope that they will not change their email or phone numbers because I suspect I may still have a few questions after my time at Widener is over.