Skip to main content

From Your SBA Vice President: Ryan Carlson

November 3, 2014

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is one hell of a law school. Believe it or not, we as students are in the hands of pretty awesome people, and in the comfort of a pretty awesome building.

Wayne Dyer once said, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.” Apply that to life. Apply it to law school. Apply it to whatever you want; it works. I personally think that what our student body (“we”) needs, as a whole, is to change the way we look at our amazing school.

To state it simply, albeit bluntly, the way we look TJSL right now is absolutely horrible. We have our minds completely consumed with the idea of coming to school to chains on the door, thus preventing another 36-50% of our 3L’s from graduating and passing the bar. I can go on and on for days about both issues, but instead I’ll leave you with this: only YOU can affect the stats; and if you have not heard already, we restructured our deal with the bondholders. TJSL is a fantastic school and, with help from us, the students, it is only going to get better. Want to know how I know? Keep reading…

As this is a school, let’s talk about our professors. Aside from being some of the most well connected members of the community, the faculty members at TJSL are also some of the smartest. Think we have it tough? Try going to law school at Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, or Georgetown… just to name a few tier one schools. Our professors are literally the best and brightest in the field, and they are doing the very best to see to it that we follow in their footsteps. When professors such as, but not limited to, Golden, Cromer-Young, Herald or Semeraro, make themselves available to us as much as they do, it is very hard not to succeed. So ask yourself, do you want to help raise those bar statistics mentioned above? If so, do your diligence as a student and use these invaluable resources, which have been so graciously handed to you on a silver platter.

What about the building they teach in? According to and (insert grin here), we have the third most impressive law school building in the world! But we need not read articles from two online blogs to know that because we experience first hand how beautiful this school truly is. Could you imagine what it would be like somewhere else – like Cal West’s campus or having to park at USD? We are here every day, so maybe we take it for granted. But next time you find yourself in the highly-resourceful, ergonomically friendly library, or perhaps, in one of the most technologically advanced classrooms in the world, or even at home watching a recorded lecture, take a second to think about how lucky we are to be students in such a state-of-the- art, eco-friendly building.

In three years or less, you will become an (hopefully proud) alumnus of TJSL. You will stand in the same ranks as Leslie Anderson, the billionaire owner of the Houston Rockets, former Wisconsin Senator, Jessica King, and countless others. However, the road to becoming one of those proud alumni is not easy to navigate, and wasting time thinking about our school in a negative light is endlessly counterintuitive, unnecessary, ignorant, and the most distracting thing you can do.

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change. Stop focusing on the negative, and start honing in on the positive (like your Con Law II final). We are in the hands of great professors teaching in a great building, and we are about to become members of a great alumni community. There is absolutely no need to bash, criticize, or worry about our school. Think positively and do your part as a student, and together this community can go places that not even our save-the-day dean, Dean Thomas Guernsey, could imagine. The change starts with us. Do work TJSL.