Hello, I’m Matt Latanich and I’m a 3L at Widener Law Commonwealth. As you are surely aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how law school is taught, how material is learned, and how students interact with one another; but this shall pass, and if there’s one thing law school has taught me, it’s the necessity of maintaining resilience when faced with adversity.
Regardless of whether learning is online or in-person, one common assertion you’ve probably heard about law school throughout your life is true: law school is difficult. This isn’t meant to be discouraging or to sound pretentious. It’s merely the truth. And at Widener Law Commonwealth, the education you will receive—in-person or online—will allow you to develop the skill set necessary to not only pass the bar, but also to become a self-sufficient and competent attorney who is prepared for the actual practice of law.
The small class sizes at Widener Law Commonwealth were massively beneficial for me in two primary ways. First, it allowed for more individualized attention from professors both in and out of classroom, which, coming from a large state school in undergrad, was extraordinarily helpful to me when making the difficult transition to learning law; it also allowed for a back-and-forth dialogue between students and professors during class discussions, which helped me become more familiar with my classmates. Second, the small class sizes that increased my familiarity with classmates led to developing friendships, but more importantly, to developing working relationships with classmates who eventually became study buddies.
I stress the importance of finding people to study with because of the difficulty of law school. In the first year, students completely shed what they previously knew about learning and are taught to think like attorneys. On paper, this sounds easy enough. In practice, it is a fairly daunting task, but entirely possible. Widener Law Commonwealth’s small class sizes helped me find classmates to study with—and those classmates became some of my closest friends. More importantly, however, we helped each other learn how to think like attorneys, how to master difficult material, and how to prepare for exams, all of which were imperative to success in our first year.
The benefits of small class sizes extended to our professors as well. Rarely, if ever, in undergrad did I have professors who knew my name, let alone knew me on a personal level. At Widener, your professors get to know you and you get to know your professors. Not only does this make the overall experience of learning the material that much less difficult, but it also allows for the professors to tailor how they teach that material to individual students—because they know you as a person, not just you as a student. Furthermore, the intimate connections with professors present opportunities far beyond the classroom: networking opportunities, externships possibilities, and even help finding jobs after graduation.
In short, the professors are incredibly talented, extremely approachable, and genuinely care about their students. The people you will meet will push you to become a better attorney day in and day out while providing the necessary support in a stressful, yet rewarding setting. And Widener Law Commonwealth, as a whole, will present opportunities and experiences that are unmatched as your legal journey begins. Check it out. You won’t regret it.