I am about to graduate law school, but you are just beginning your journeys. My most vivid memories from law school were from my first year. (Maybe because that was the last time I was there in person, before the whole world changed). And the whole world is about to change for you.
After my 1L year, I felt an irresistible compulsion to give back, specifically by teaching and tutoring. I even unwittingly maxxed out my teaching credits in the middle of my second year. During my time in law school, I have taught Contracts (twice) and Civil Procedure for MSP, have been a Legal Writing TA, have provided guidance for first-time clinic students as an advanced clinical student, and have gathered dozens of other "students" and mentees. I plan to teach Civil Procedure for both ASP and MSP next semester.
Before law school I never had any mentors. In law school, I not only gained mentors, but learned from the best about how to be a mentor. A mentor, a teacher, a friend who is flexible, understanding, and human. Professors Amy Soled, Charles Auffant, David Noll, Ronald Chen, and all three MSP Deans have been integral in every aspect of my law school career. During my own lessons I found myself emulating their wisdom; attempting to be the best resource I could be, especially for those of my students who had very little.
I never thought I wanted to teach. "Maybe college," I would say. But teaching in law school has taught me a lot about myself, and a lot about my professors. I realized how much work it takes to prepare a lesson plan. Felt the pressure to make sure I was conveying accurate and helpful information. But most importantly I developed my own philosophy on education. I have been lucky to have such wonderful students as I have had. But we don't always agree. Through my experience I have acquired the opinion that everyone deserves access to knowledge. Some people learn faster, some people learn quieter; some people learn in a way that is very different from the way I learn. And so I have done my best to show my students that there is no wrong way to learn, and there are no stupid questions.
What I want to say here, to all of you who have been my students, mentees, and friends over the years, is that I am immensely proud of you. What you might not see now, I see in you a limitless potential. I want to say that I believe you can accomplish all you put your minds to. And if you need a helping hand, as we all do, sometimes, I will be here far beyond our short time as "teacher and student." And I am lucky that I have come to call all of you friends.
To my students--thank you for what you have taught me.
Sarah Frey (Class of 2022)