As I prepare to graduate this May, I have been looking back wistfully on my last four years at KU Law. My time has been split between the law school and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, as I’ve been simultaneously chipping away at a J.D. and an M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures—although the joke is that it has just taken me four years because I love law school that much.
All joking aside, part of the nostalgia of reflecting on my time in Lawrence is that I’m so incredibly grateful for the friends and second family I’ve found while living here. I came to Kansas as a complete transplant, with no friends or family in the area but an unshakable determination to graduate with two degrees I was passionate about. To my delighted surprise, I instead found a law school family that I now realize is unique to KU Law.
This family includes so many integral parts of the law school that keep it running smoothly, and it’s the little things the school does that go far from unnoticed. Decorating the library for Halloween and leaving a bowl of candy for students are examples of the how the law library staff brightens our days. I cannot count the number of times I have sent a panicked email to the registrar, Vicki Palmer, with a hyper-specific dual-degree student question. Her patiently crafted responses and nurturing advice serve as a gentle reminder that I don’t have to figure it all out by myself.
Then there are the inspiring, intelligent and incredible students at KU Law. I don’t have to panic if I miss a class because I have classmates who will happily fill me in as we chat before class. I have friends I can text late at night to borrow textbooks, and the equally tired but still smiling faces that greet me in Green Hall everyday make the stress and exhaustion feel a bit more bearable.
These are the faces I think of as I prepare to bid farewell to KU. While I am more than ready to retire my highlighters and tabs and say goodbye to late nights spent reading cases or writing papers, it’s not so easy to leave behind the people who have helped guide and support me the last four years. They have been a challenging and life-consuming four years, but I cannot imagine what they would have looked like without my law school family.
Thankfully, I’ll never have to know law school without them.
— Kasey Considine is a KU Law Student Ambassador from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, set to graduate in May 2016 with a J.D. and an M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures.