This past week has been an amazing week in law school. It seems like every night this week I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people in the Denver Law community. I have met civil rights lawyers, Colo. Supreme Court Justices and great Alumni lawyers. It’s been great hearing from people who graduated from DU Law and to listening to them talk about the teachers they remember having (some which we have now) and how they survived in our shoes.
This week’s Harry Potter chapter really fits that same type of conversation. This week, Harry starts classes. He not only learns that magic is more than just waving a wand and saying weird words, but there is a lot to learn! He meets his teachers and boy are they all different from each other. We see Professor Sprout, Professor Flitwick, Professor McGonagall (who is different from all the other times we’ve met her), Professor Quirrell (again), Professor Binns and then a series favorite Professor Snape. Each teacher not only teaches a different subject, but they all teach in very different styles. Harry notes that Professor Binns (the History of Magic prof. who is quite literally a ghost) is boring, Professor McGonagall (Transfiguration prof) is strict and clever, and Professor Snape (Potions prof.) hates Harry. Harry doesn’t quite understand why Snape hates him, but he is certain that Snape does.
Snape had the gift of keeping a class silent without effort.
It’s an interesting dynamic that leads us to our theme of the week: Diverse Teaching.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Law School so far it’s that you have to adjust in every class to what the teacher likes best. It can be a little challenging trying to figure out what each teacher likes, but going into week 8 it is truly getting easier to do. In undergrad I would have never thought to actually go to the office hours of a professor once. I never thought it was important to talk to a professor, to try and understand how to get a better grade in their class or how to even improve personally. Now, I try to go to office hours even if I don’t necessarily have a question about class itself, but want to pick a professor’s brain on a topic. I love talking with professors and hearing their stories or views on the world. What I love most is that they all bring some different way of thinking to the law.
One of my favorite teachers is very much like Professor McGonagall. She is strict and clever, and from what I’ve heard she has an amazing story to be told. I was talking about this with a past student of hers last night at an event. It amazes me to find out fun facts about people who seem so intimidating in the classroom. It makes them a little more human at the end of the day. Having such a diverse set of instructors with such diverse backgrounds is important. Getting to know these instructors is even more important.
We are lucky to have professors with such high level of intelligence in fields all over the legal profession. They not only teach us what’s important about the subjects they teach, but when you get to know them and hear their stories, you realize they too have a passion for the law and different parts of it. It’s our job though to go and collect those stories, to really get to know each professor and understand why they think the way they do. At the end of it all it’s not necessarily about talking to professors to just get a great recommendation letter or having another wonderful human to put into your networking circle, it’s about challenging what you think and why you think about things that way.
So, the take away this week is to go and talk to professors. Go and ask your professors this week questions about class, about the way they think, about their passions or how they became successful in their fields. We’ve been given an amazing chance to pick the brains of some of the brightest people in the legal field… don’t miss out on a chance to pick their minds a little more.
Until Next Time,